Mr. Albert Clarke, a YMCA Officer, had picked up on a community newsletter being provided by local scribe Mr. Alex McCullough, who was heavily involved in community projects and a State Electricity Commission employee, with, at that time, restricted opportunity due to SEC control. Mr. Clarke was able to circumnavigate this problem and became its first Editor, ably assisted by his wife and Mr. McCullough. Firstly being sold at 3 pence a copy, 250 copies were produced courtesy of The Stevens Brothers, the then proprietors of the Bright Alpine Observer.
The Hydro Courier was originally printed by Johnston and Lesly Stephens of Bright who were later bought out by the Elliot group based in Shepparton. They refused to print free copy and for some time the Hydro Courier became a priced issue with a considerable drop in issue sales. The paper was eventually bought by Colin Wiltshire and was printed in Myrtleford for some time before being bought by Messrs Jack Garoni and Eddy Dean where the Alpine Observer and the Hydro Courier were joined as a single issue with the Alpine Observer being the front part of the paper and the Hydro Courier the back part with the front page being shared by which ever area the main news was emanating, at the time, the Garoni brothers Jack and Dennis bought out the Dean family and continued the combined issue to be eventually bought out by prominent press publication person Mr Hartley Higgins who continued with the issue until following the formation of the Alpine Shire. He decided to abandon the original format and produce the now currently circulating Alpine Times serving the whole of the North East, thus effectively ending the history of the Hydro Courier.
It was November 5th that the paper became a free press and was then the sole province of Mr. McCullough, with an increased circulation of 700 it was being distributed courtesy of the Scouts and Mt Beauty Boys Club and served as a great vehicle for advertisers and the dispersal of information of the progress of sporting bodies, community service groups and important Council and SEC regulations. It provided a wonderful vehicle for community information service wherein debate on local issues featured quite strongly, as McCullough was a member of the Bright Shire Council, representing Mt Beauty Riding, served as Shire President on three occasions over his twenty years of service, reported Council organisational and planning items without fear. The Hydro Courier provided adequate space for many letter writers who in the early years used nomdeplunes however in its latter years most had the courage to sign their names to what they were on about.
The coverage of those days had provided an important history of the development of the town and local area copies of the Courier now incorporated with the Alpine Times were presented to the Mt Beauty Secondary College in 1980. McCullough continued to provide information for the paper until l991. The then High School had the volumes bound in 12 month series which are readily available in the College library for researchers of local events and times. It is a pity that contributors to a continuing provision of such History are not apparent for most activities.
Over the last few years local correspondents of value have been hard to come by or maybe the excitement of a developing community has past. The Hydro Courier spent some years as part of a composite weekly issue the Alpine Observer was the original paper which served Bright a neighbouring town and the printers at the time determined that the papers should be combined, this was a reasonable position but with the amalgamation of local governments, the owners decided that a new paper should appear. They developed the Alpine Observer which is serving the townships of Bright, Myrtleford, Harrietville, Porepunkah and Ovens. The Alpine Observer and the Hydro Courier were laid to rest when the new paper took their place on Tuesday, January 10, 1995.