Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

The Perfect Marksman; Newspaper Delivery Man Peter Smith Has Been Perfecting His Spot-On Aim for the Past 26 Years. Janine Hill Reports

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

The Perfect Marksman; Newspaper Delivery Man Peter Smith Has Been Perfecting His Spot-On Aim for the Past 26 Years. Janine Hill Reports

Article excerpt

LEFT hand on the wheel, right arm resting out of the window of the old panel van, Peter Smith veers to the side of the road.

He eyes a light pole behind a fence in a wobbly little sloping street crowded with parked cars and trees.

The car is still moving as his right arm flicks at the elbow, then the wrist, and a rolled up newspaper slides out of his

fingers.

It tumbles through the pre-dawn darkness and falls at the foot of the pole.

The accuracy is breathtaking a an art perfected through years of practice.

Peter, 57, has delivered newspapers in the Maroochydore area for 26 years.

It is a job for a sportsman, self-starter, hermit and Good Samaritan a long hours of largely solo work, the daily atarget practicea, and brief meetings with night owls, early birds, and lonely souls who know they can count on his appearance in their lives as surely as they can count on the sunrise.

I meet Peter at 3.45am on Thursday at the newsagency in the Big Top Shopping Centre at Maroochydore, although his adaya has started three hours earlier sorting, rolling and wrapping papers.

A 1985 Mazda a coveted because its long doors and wide windows make throwing easier a is stacked with newspapers front and back, ready to go.

Seventeen boxes of newspapers are ready to go out to sub-newsagencies, such as corner stores, and 450 newspapers have been rolled for delivery.

We will cover 76km of roads in two trips (there are too many papers for one carload) before we finish in four hours time, although we are never much more than 4km from the newsagency at any time.

Back and forth, in and out, we twist and turn through so many carparks, unit complexes and cul-de-sacs so quickly that I become disoriented in streets that I have known by daylight for 20 years.

A run book tells Peter who wants what where but he knows many of the orders, the names and the street numbers without

looking.

He was a single father of two young boys when he began delivering papers. …

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