Alexander Morrison 

Alexander Morrison was the proprietor of the Budget newspaper and printing press in Singleton in the early 1900's. There was a big rivalry between the Singleton Argus and the Budget, with much competition. Alexander Morrison was known for his appreciation for Aboriginal culture and artifacts. He employed the Wonnarua people from the nearby St. Clair mission to work at Budget printing.  

 Morrison family, Singleton, c. 1900. Alexander Morrison is standing behind the donkey. Morrison/Glass collection.

The Budget

The Budget was a Singleton paper acquired by Alex Morrison, of Scottish descent, in 1894, when it was published in George-street. Former owner, William Connolly later worked for Morrison for 30/ a week. Connolly later became general manager of the Sydney Morning Herald.

The plant was later moved and extended in the owner’s property in John-street, where it closed down in February, 1955, due to extensive damage by river flooding. (The plant was near the banks of the Hunter River). The George-street property was severely damaged by fire.

Morrison also published a weekly paper that circulated in Wyong. He died in July, 1955, but for several years had retired from active work due to illness. He was the local coroner for about 30 years and none of his findings was challenged. He was identified with the aboriginal mission of St Clair near Glennie’s Creek.

A personality from the mission was King Billy, famed for his ability to throw boomerangs. He was engaged to put on an exhibition at the showground for the visit of the State Governor in the 1920s. Billy halted at a pub on his way to the showground and could not be found, so Morrison took over the boomerangs and was about to throw them. Billy, however, sighted them in time, and gave the exhibition. 

Billy, and his son, “The Prince”, belonged to a local tribe. “The Prince” worked at the printery for a while before joining Dave Meakin for a world tour with an animal outfit. “The Prince” became a lion tamer.

A colourful character in the early 1900s was a local reporter, Popperin Hagen, who was a stickler for decorum. He complained that the local night soil carters were not properly dressed, so he took over one shift attired in frock coat and silk hat. The clothes of a gentleman did not reduce the unpleasant character of his work. 


Information supplied on Nov 14, 1977, by Mr. Morrison’s son, Mr. Don Morrison, of Hamilton. Part of the Morrison/Glass family collection in the University of Newcastle Archives.   

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