Stuart Town, about an hour's drive south of Dubbo, has what could be one of the last internet cafes still operating, and its members are asking you to support their 20th anniversary celebration.
Money raised by the Stuart Town Advancement Association at the event will go back into improving the town, which is perhaps best-known for its links to Australian bush poet, Banjo Patterson.
Originally called Ironbarks, Stuart Town is the village the poet used for his poem, 'Man from Ironbark'. The town was set-up during the gold rush but is much quieter today.
The Rural Transaction Centre/Internet Cafe is not just a place for people to use the internet but has become a community hub, according to Stuart Town Advancement Association vice president, Richard Eade.
It was built on the site of the local hall in 2003 after a government grant was secured by Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, John Anderson of the National Party of Australia, who set-up other similar centres around rural Australia.
Mr Eade told the Daily Liberal much of what the internet cafe offers the community is now redundant due to the rise of mobile phones, however the transaction centre still offers the people of Stuart Town an important service.
"The idea was to provide computer access to regional and remote areas, and it did that, but what happened is all that technology has bounded along in great leaps and what we're doing is now obsolete because you can do it on your phone," Mr Eade said.
"We were a little bit different from some of the others [transaction centres] because we had other interests involved. We had a credit union so we used to use it as a bank - they were pretty happy about that until banking became ever so much easier over the internet. [The Credit Union] is gone because everyone does their banking on their telephone, except me.
"Having said that, it was built on our school of arts hall. There was a building especially made. We got $110,000 to do that 20-odd years ago and it's still operating."
The locals still support the centre, which is open on Mondays and Tuesdays and provides two computers, a "big" photocopier and a "pretty comprehensive" archive system for the transaction centre and school of arts.
Mr Eade said senior citizens use it most: "There's a few people still use it, the older generation. It's a meeting place. We have a couple of volunteers who run it ... and people go in and have a cup of coffee, or a sandwich - scones are pretty popular. We're trying to keep it open because it does generate a little bit of money."
IN OTHER NEWS
The association has contributed to and managed countless improvement projects in Stuart Town, including installing park benches, picnic tables, a foot bridge, planted Queen Elisabeth II Jubilee Trees, and carried-out repairs on the walking trail in the Stuart Town Recreation Reserve, all contributing to making the town nicer for locals and visitors.
The Stuart Town Rural Transaction Centre 20th anniversary morning tea will be held on Sunday, July 9 from 10.30am. For catering purposes, RSVP is requested by July 4 to 0418 468 242 or 02 6846 8380.
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