Leon Oberg's association with The Goulburn Post and its predecessor, The Goulburn Evening Post, spans about one-third of the newspaper's 150-year life.
As far back as 1957 he loaded up the local paper on his bicycle and delivered them around the city.
It whet his appetite for a 45-year career that started in 1962 and saw him cover a vast and varied chapter of the city's history.
The keen photographer with an eye for detail had already contributed several rail images to the newspaper, including one of a Robertson train crash, when editor Ray Leeson came calling.
Mr Oberg was working as a wool classer for Farmers and Graziers when Mr Leeson managed to wrest him away, promising to train him up, like he did with so many.
He started in the photographic department engraving blocks from which pictures could be transferred on to plates and newsprint. In August, 1962 Mr Oberg was appointed photographer and the adventures and challenges began.
The decade was full of raging fires, including the 1965 blaze that started at Chatsbury and finished at Nowra. Mr Oberg's image of Country Party candidate for Goulburn, Ron Brewer, wiping his brow during a break in firefighting struck a chord with voters. He was elected to NSW Parliament that year.
"I always felt it was advantageous to have good relations with fire chiefs because you were working with them so much," he said.
"In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the police scientific squad also often needed photos taken if someone was off sick. The paper would release me and I covered court-related matters, including suicides. It was traumatic but the police were good to me my whole career."
Fires helped hone tricks of the trade, like photographing through a car's rear-vision mirror in dicey situations and then reversing the image in the darkroom.
Right spot, right time
Local knowledge and a dose of daring often put Mr Oberg in the right spot at the right time. He captured some of the Allens department store fire in the 1960s from the Post Office tower opposite, and men rolling oil drums out of the Southern Motors blaze in the 1970s.
When the former iconic Knowlmans store, housing Clints, went up in flames in Auburn Street June, 1999, Mr Oberg was the first Post photographer on the scene.
"It was by far the biggest fire," he said.
"It was a Saturday night and when we came into work to process images and write stories on Sunday, there was no power in the building because the fire brigade had asked that it be cut to the block.
"We had everyone on deck to do a wrap-around for the Monday edition. We wrote our stories from home and then came back in and used light from the window to design pages."
Production manager Kevin Tozer had the "smart idea" to run a lead through to Hypercet Printing at the back of the building. The Post produced a sell-out edition the following Monday.
In 1997, Rural Press sent him as a specialist photographer to cover the Thredbo disaster.
"I saw some of the bravest people I've ever seen in my life," Mr Oberg said.
"Emergency service workers were down in crevices crying out for signs of life amid an eerie silence. The whole thing could have slipped."
There were plane crashes, the Turkish restaurant bombing in Auburn Street and plenty of other emergencies over the years, but also the big issues. Authorities often challenged him, like in the 2000s when he photographed broken asbestos on the Supertex site, but he stood his ground.
"One thing that drove me was the readers; I wanted to give them a good deal," Mr Oberg said.
After being appointed Town and Country Magazine editor in 1995 he fought hard for a district landowner who had been informed by Railcorp that the level crossing running through his property would need to be insured. The farmer was facing a multi-million dollar insurance cover but sustained coverage, which involved State MP Katrina Hodgkinson, reduced it to the cost of a car registration.
He has also photographed every Governor General since the Menzies era, every NSW Governor since Sir Roden Cutler and every Prime Minister who visited town.
The seasoned photojournalist listed Ray Leeson as a mentor and a boss who backed his staff. Likewise he learnt much about page layout and design from John Avery.
Over the years he won numerous photography awards, including for the Allens fire. Mr Oberg also shared in the newspaper's EC Sommerlad awards from the Country Press Association.
He retired in January, 2009 after contributing a large body of work to the city's history. Since then he has been associate editor for Track and Signal Magazine, produced more rail books, train calendars and written content for UK based e-magazine Railway Herald.
Asked for his advice to young journalists, Mr Oberg said:
"Work on contacts, network and don't take the view you know everything. Be humble and feel free to question officialdom who may not be telling you the right story."
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