At a time when newspapers ruled the world, the ‘Northern Luminary’ kept Russell people connected with the greater community, much like our Russell Lights does today. Printed in Kawakawa by owner/editor Mr Francis MacKenzie, the ‘Northern Luminary’ built up “a good circulation in the northern districts”. Perhaps this was due to an important weekly feature; its public notices. Some excerpts are as follows.
Saturday, July 10, 1880: “For Russell, Whangaroa, and Mangonui:-S.S. ‘Iona’ will leave Auckland every Monday at 5 p.m; leave Russell for the North, at 5 p.m. every Tuesday; leave Russell for Auckland every Friday at 2 p.m. J.H. Salmon, Agent, Russell.” “Mail Notice: Mails will close at this office as under:- English Mail via San Francisco – Thurs, July 17th, at 8 p.m. Mails for Auckland, every Thursday, and Friday, at 8 p.m. Russell and Bay of Islands, every Monday, Thursday and Friday, at 8 p.m. Money order office open daily (Sundays excepted), from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m.”
Saturday December 11, 1880: “Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell – Joseph Flood is making extensive additions and alterations to the present premises.”
Saturday February 5, 1881: “The Dog Registration Act, 1880 – appointed Registrars and Collectors – Mr. John Prior – Russell Riding.”
Saturday April 16, 1881: “Manganese at Russell – Mr. F. Mollard has found a manganese lode. Mr. Mollard’s find is in close proximity to Russell; he has secured protection and a Crown license, and is now endeavouring to open up another industry in the district.”
Saturday May 14, 1881: “Russell Bank – Mr Alex. Young Hay succeeds Mr. R. S. B. Clough as agent of Russell Bank.”
The ‘Northern Luminary’ supported our community for forty years, from 1879 to 1919, when it closed.