‘The Boss’ spent four decades at the Star
THE Northern Star’s longest serving staff member, Julie Grace – the woman affectionately known as “Aunty JuJu” – retired in 2016 after 47 years with the newspaper.
When The Northern Star celebrated its 140th anniversary that same year, it was noted Julie had been working at the paper for a third of its existence – and during a period of accelerating change.
She started on March 17, 1969, back when the phones had dials, the main switchboard burst with cords, pay packets were in little brown envelopes, and journalists smoked at their desks.
“The paper was a broadsheet then and the ads, including the classified ads and lots of real estate and auction ads, were taken over the phone and written out by hand,” Ms Grace recalled.
“These days we don’t even have phones any more, all calls go through the computer.
“I could go on and on talking about the changes I have seen over the years.”
Ms Grace moved through a number of positions on the clerical side of the business including reception, switchboard operator, finance and administration then moved into the editorial administration assistant role in 2000 under then editor Dean Gould.
Since then earned the nickname “The Boss”, as the person with a commanding knowledge of the details ofpays, rosters and leave balances of many a journo.
“Sixteen fun years in editorial, my how the time flies, I wouldn’t have thought I had been ‘the boss’ for that many years!” she joked.
Having spent so long around journalists Ms Grace is wise enough not to speak about any of the juicy bits, but sums it up by saying her husband Gary Buchanan is a former journalist at The Star.