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Maguire, Mary (1924 - 2011)

Born
29 August 1924
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Died
13 July 2011
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Journalist and Radio Broadcaster
Alternative Names
  • Pettigrove, Mary (maiden name)

Summary

Mary Maguire was one of the first female presenters for ABC Local Radio in Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Details

Mary Maguire was born and raised in Broken Hill. Her mother, too, was locally-born but her father had come to Australia as a migrant from England and worked as a winder house driver in the mines. With her older sister Grace, Mary attended Morgan Street Primary School and North Broken Hill Primary School before completing her education at Broken Hill High School. On leaving school she found work at a grocery store owned by Mr. Dry and earned 10 shillings a week delivering groceries to customers' houses by pushbike, enjoying the opportunity to meet different people in the Broken Hill community. After several years Mary gained employment at Wendt's Jewellers in Argent Street as a shop assistant, and took pride in her smart red uniform with silver buttons down the side and a black skirt. Both she and Grace joined the Broken Hill Repertory Society, which opened in 1944, and relished the chance to act under the direction of Victor A. Bindley, who had worked with J.C. Williamson before moving to Broken Hill from Sydney.

In due course Mary moved to Adelaide, where she continued to work for Wendt's Jewellers. Again she became involved in theatre, this time under the tutelage of Jack Hume, and joined several productions for ABC Radio in Adelaide. After some years Mary moved to Sydney and began work at Proud's Jewellers. During a holiday in Broken Hill she met the man she would later marry, and subsequently returned to Broken Hill to live permanently.

In 1951, Mary became one of the first women presenters at the ABC Local Radio station in Broken Hill and worked on numerous programs including the West Darling Magazine and the Silver City Interlude. She compered talk shows such as the Today program, interviewing prominent people passing through Broken Hill, as well as people from the local community. Mary also contributed material for ABC Radio National, and produced a segment about Broken Hill for the women's program. From 1982 she presented A Touch of Silver at 2NB in Broken Hill, focussing on issues relating to elderly citizens.

Described as 'a pioneer radio woman', Mary Maguire died in July 2011 after a long illness. Her interviews and the sound of her voice are safely collected in the ABC Radio Archives.


This entry was prepared and written by Georgia Moodie.

NB: Interviews with Mary Maguire are also held in the ABC Broken Hill audio archive.

Sources used to compile this entry: 'ABC Celebrates 50th Birthday', Barrier Daily Truth, 1 July 1982, p. 12; Interview with Mary Maguire, 5 February 2009; Moodie, Georgia; Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project); '999 ABC honours a radio pioneer', ABC Radio Website: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/07/15/3270452.htm?site=brokenhill [accessed 2011-10-13].

Archival resources

Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project)

  • Interview with Mary Maguire, 5 February 2009; Moodie, Georgia; Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project). Details

Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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