WR Rolph and EA Rouse


Central Launceston in about 1940, when WR Rolph was in his heyday (AOT, PH30/1/5569)

William Robert Rolph (18641948), newspaper owner, became associated with the Launceston Examiner in 1897. Sole proprietor from 1916, with two of his sons, Gordon (18931959) and Robert (18941965), he traded as WR Rolph & Sons. The Examiner published the Weekly Courier 1901 to 1935, the Saturday Evening Express from 1924 and commenced radio station 7EX in 1938. Sir Gordon became managing director and Robert director of WR Rolph & Sons. Robert was also associate editor of the Examiner.

Edmund Alexander Rouse (19262002), managing director from 1959, married Gordon's daughter, Dorothy, and established television station TNT 9 in 1962. Managing director of media company ENT Ltd from 1969, later chairman, he was sentenced to three years' gaol in 1990 for attempting to bribe a Tasmanian politician. The Rolphs and Rouse were always great champions of northern Tasmania.

Further reading: ADB 11; R Ferrall, Notable Tasmanians, Launceston, 1980; QVMAG guide to Examiner W R Rolph Collection, CHS 40.

Barbara Valentine