A respected Wagga businessman and sportsman is being remembered for his longstanding commitment to the city.
Former newsagent Brian Partridge passed away at the RSL Remembrance Village last month at the ripe old age of 95.
The man who at one stage owned three Wagga newsagencies was also heavily involved in the local sporting scene - at one time serving as Wagga Magpies Rugby League Club mascot under Eric Weissel, who would go on to play for Australia.
It all began when Brian was born to parents Eric and Ella Partridge in Newcastle on October 26, 1928.
Following the Great Depression, in 1933 the family sold up their newsagency business and moved to the Riverina, where they purchased the Wagga Newsagency at 28 Fitzmaurice Street.
At the age of eight, Brian began to work for his father, being tasked with adding the Ginger Meggs comics to each Sunday Herald.
As an incentive, he wasn't allowed to read the comic until he had done 100 papers.
In the winter of 1940, Brian was thrust into the job of paper delivery boy when the regular was a no show one day.
Stepping up to the plate, he headed out in the fading light with his pushbike, a run book and a flashlight, and didn't make it home until midnight.
On leaving school in 1945, Brian chose to stay in the family business.
During his younger years, he was also heavily involved in the sporting scene, serving as mascot for the Wagga Magpies in 1938 and 1939 under captain-coach Eric Weissel.
Brian played league until his early 20s, when he made the switch to union, playing for the Waratahs and Wagga City. He also played for South Wagga Cricket Club.
Hiis whole life changed when he met the love of his life Margaret Burkinshaw at a CWA dance in Wagga in 1953.
"Mum was just sitting there on her own, so dad went up and asked her for a dance and it went from there," daughter Roslyn Navin said.
But before they could get back in touch, Brian faced an unexpected challenge.
"On their very first meeting, he asked her name and she said it was Margaret Burkinshaw," Ms Navin said.
"A few days went by and he attempted to ring Mum, but he didn't realise there were so many Burkinshaws in the book, so he spent much of the day ringing [a lot of them]
"Many of them were on the party line... where there is one telephone line and five off that, so anyone could pick up on the line and everybody knew Brian Partridge was looking for Margaret Burkinshaw."
They were engaged the following year, married in November 1955 at Wagga's Wesley Methodist Church, and welcomed four daughters into the world just four-and-a-half years after that.
In 1957, Brian became partners with his parents in the business at 28 Fitzmaurice Street, before he bought the business with wife Margaret in 1962.
In 1967 they expanded the business, purchasing a second newsagency at 190 Baylis Street, then a third in 1979 in the Sturt Mall.
Ms Navin said her parents were a strong partnership.
"They were a real team. They did everything together," she said.
Brian retired at the age of 60 in 1988, and the businesses were sold, ending well over half a century of family ownership in the Wagga newsagency trade.
Over the years, Brian was also a stalwart of many community groups, in particular the Wagga Commercial Club, where he held membership for 70 years.
Brian was a past president of the South Wagga Lions Club, and was also involved with Probus, lifesaving at the Wagga Beach and the Masonic Lodge.
Margaret sadly passed away in 2023, just 11 months before husband Brian joined her.