Thursday September 24 was a big day for the GO! & Express, as it marked the paper’s 25th anniversary.
While the weekly community title has become a reliable news staple of the BCM area, its origins were more chaotic than one might think.
The paper was the brainchild of then-Daily Dispatch managing director Terry Briceland.
In 1995, Briceland heard that a rival publishing group was looking to move into the Dispatch’s distribution area with their own newspaper.
Briceland realised that this would pose a serious threat to their advertising revenue, so he immediately called a meeting with fellow staff members to adress the problem.
He proposed that they start their own weekly tabloid-format newspaper in order to pre-emptively counter the new arrival.
When asked when he wanted the first edition ready, Briceland responded ‘next week’.
With no time to waste, the team rushed to their desks to bring this new dream to light.
Then Dispatch editor Professor Gavin Stewart was responsible for coming up with the name, and so the paper was officially titled “GO!”.
With some last minute crunching from both the advertising and editorial staff, the first edition of the GO! hit the shelves.
The name would eventually change to the current GO! & Express after they acquired the now-defunct Kei Express.
In its 25 years, the GO! & Express has seen ten editors, the first being Lew Elias followed by Stevie Godson, Mark Stansfield, Sven Herselman, Taralyn McLean, Peter Martin, Ethienne Arends, Gaye Moonieya, Gcina Ntsaluba and current editor Matthew Field.
Of course, there are some who have stuck by the paper since the early years.
“I started working at the Daily Dispatch in 1991. In 1995, I was moved across to do Classified sales for the GO!,” said GO! & Express marketing liason Wendy Kretschmann.
“I was there until about 2004/2005 when I moved to work in the Daily Dispatch advertising features department.
“I was then seconded back to the GO! in 2008 and have been there ever since.”
Sales rep Cheryl Larsen has also been working with the GO! since the beginning.
Chris van Heerden was also part of the GO! & Express’ founding team and is now the Community Titles Manager at Arena Holdings that includes The Rep and Talk of the Town.
The paper has also been working hard on expanding beyond the printed page and into the online sphere.
In addition to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, which are updated daily, the GO! & Express also boasts an Instagram account and even a YouTube channel.
Their staff continue to work hard to bring honest, reliable news to BCM residents and look forward to serving their community for another 25 years.