Read all about it: The Herald’s Shayne Baird is a fire warden, first aid officer and on the occupational health and safety committee. “I’ve felt good here for so long that I want to look after other people.” Picture: Marina NeilSHAYNE Baird was a teenager who had just completed a secretarial course when a friend mentioned a job going at the Newcastle Herald.
Fastforward 40 years and Mrs Baird has celebrated her 18thand 21stbirthdays, met and married her former compositor husband Jim andbecome a mother to two and a grandmother to one, all while working at the masthead.
“It’s not just a job to me,” Mrs Baird said.
“I’venever worked anywhere else and I hope I’llbe here for another 20 years. It’s been exciting –you’re somewhere where news breaks and you’re part of major events.
“I might not be writing the story, but I’m a cog in the wheel.
“I feel part of something bigger than me. It’s prestigious being part of something that’s so community minded.
“The Herald is here for everybody, for the good times and the bad.”
Mrs Baird’s first official day at theHerald’s former Bolton Street offices wasJanuary 31, 1978.
“It feels like it was yesterday,” she said.
“I don’t know where the time has gone.
“I used to do the pays at times and we used to have up to five members of the same family comingup – sons followedfathers or people met here and got married.
“It had a real family atmosphere and that really hasnot changed.”
Mrs Baird started as a junior administration officer in accounting and has served in almost every department since, including circulation, production, editorial, advertising and pre-production.
“One of my first jobs was mailing invoices,” she said.
“I used to fill the envelopes and lick the back.
“I thought peel and seal was technology overload –40 years later and we’re emailing!”
Mrs Baird said she remembered looking from the office into deserted city streets shortlyafter the December 1989 earthquake.
“It felt very eerie, but we had to be there to get the news out.”
Mrs Baird has worked for the past two yearsin pre-production and is responsible for placing advertisements on pages, as well as the commercial insets inside the paper.
Her colleagues spanall ages, which she said helped keep her “young at heart”.
“The best part is I getup at 5.30am, get the paper offthe lawn andfeel fulfilled and a sense of accomplishment seeing the product,” she said.
“When you open up the paper it’s different every day, soI neverfeel like I’m doing the same thing.”