In 1966 teenager Ray Sheehan started doing newspaper runs in Albion Park when his parents relocated the family from Sydney after buying the local newsagency.
Mr Sheehan took over the business from his parents Patrick and Dorathy Sheehan after his father suffered a heart attack and needed to ease back.
Now after more than 40 years running the business he has sold it and is ready to retire. He recalled the role his parents played in Albion Park at a time when the local newsagency, barber, butcher, baker and post office were the cornerstone of many communities.
The barber shop across the road still has photos on the wall of the old shop and other buildings in the town from more than five decades ago.
"When my parents came here the town wasn't as developed as it is now and my parents built quite a big business at the store," he said.
"They put many long hours and we built the present shop next to the original shop."
Mr Sheehan's two sisters Robyn and Linda played a big part in the newagency's heyday.
"At one stage we had a staff of 14 here. We had people who rolled papers and people who did home deliveries and all that kind of thing."
Mr Sheehan's parents and sister Robyn are no longer alive but he said when they were all involved in the business, it was a wonderful era for the industry.
And if the many hours he worked at the Albion Park newsagency weren't enough, many years ago he used to also come into the Illawarra Mercury at 11.30 at night and drive a van that dropped the newspapers off to many shops in the early hours of the morning. He would then return to Albion Park and do the paper run.
"They were long days but I was a lot younger and a lot fitter then," he said.
Mr Sheehan recalls all the big news events from the past five decades. But one stands out most.
"The biggest story I ever saw was the day Princess Di died in that accident. The interest from people was phenomenal."
Mr Sheehan said the 1998 floods were one of the many big local stories that had a huge impact on the community.
"We had water up to the front of the shop. There was probably only 10 to 15 times we actually could not do a paper run and that was one of them because we were water-bound."
Mr Sheehan said he would miss the daily interaction with people but he looked forward to spending time on the golf course and with his grandchildren.
"I finish up on Father's Day. That is my Father's Day present to me," he said.
"One of the big things I will always remember is the people. As big as Albion Park is now it is still like a small village. We have had some hardships out here but everyone still sticks together."
Mr Sheehan said his family had always been blessed to have great staff. Some have been there more than 25 years.
"Without the staff we have here we wouldn't be what we are," he said.
"I can't say enough about them. I have had three generations work here from some families. And like the Blue Mountains at one stage I had three sisters working here."
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