Another year gone.
It seems like only yesterday The Mercury carried a pic of a feisty MP Jenny Aitchison celebrating her seven-year battle to have Maitland’s new hospital fully publicly funded.
But that was back in January, and it marked the start of a tumultuous year.
A lot has happened since. This should trigger a memory or two:
How about the removal of the historic Poplar Trees along the Long Bridge after they had become diseased and were deemed dangerous?
Or the excitement surrounding the long-awaited opening of the final stage of Stockland Green Hills, now very much a part of everyday life in our city.
Or, for something quirky, the story of Helen Hopcroft who spent 12 months dressed as Marie Antoinette to raise awareness of the arts. Not your everyday story.
The official opening of the totally revamped Maitland No.1 Sportsground caused a fuss too.
If you remember a disease of the grass kept the Pickers off the ground at the end of the previous season. It caused a fuss at the time but all was forgiven when they finally got back onto their home ground and its carpet-like playing surface.
It’s so good in fact that the Knights played a pre-season match here to a packed house against Parramatta – and will do the same again this season against Cronulla.
Little did we realise that the extended dry would continue and would test farmers – not just in the Hunter, but throughout the state and nation – like never before.
No, it was a tough year, but it brought out the best in people as the community rallied to keep farmers going through their darkest of days.
Only last week we printed a page of Christmas good wishes from people (many of them children) just to let farmers know there is a groundswell of support out there for them.
And now it’s time to look ahead – to a new year, with new stories.
We wish all our readers and happy and safe Christmas. Take care on the roads and we’ll continue to bring you the news from our city in 2019.
Merry Christmas everyone.