WIDELY experienced Nelson Mandela Bay journalist Sally Kernohan died in St George’s Hospital in Port Elizabeth on Monday after a short illness. She was 66.
An outspoken woman with a larger-than-life personality, Kernohan was born into a family of journalists and later married widely known newspaper man Bob Kernohan, 67.
Sally’s mother, the late Jill Joubert, worked on The Herald from the early 1950s and was later editor of Grahamstown’s Grocott’s Mail.
Bob said that after attending Collegiate and the Hill College, Sally began working at what was then known as the Eastern Province Newspapers library in Baakens Street in the late 1960s, after which she became a reporter for the Daily Dispatch in East London.
She later moved to the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley, where she met Bob, who had recently arrived from Scotland, in 1971. There Sally became one of the first women sub-editors to work night shift in South Africa.
After returning to Port Elizabeth with Bob in 1973, she brought up two daughters while continuing her busy career on the then-Evening Post and, later, the Weekend Post.
She was the first editor of Algoa Sun community paper and later editor of La Femme supplement in The Herald before returning to her first love: design, layout and copy-editing.
Kernohan retired from fulltime journalism 11 years ago, but continued to write a cookery column for Weekend Post and did other freelance work until four years ago.
“Sally was remarkable in her wide-ranging skills acquired over close to five decades in newspapers, through several generations of technology. She could do just about anything in journalism,” Bob said.
She was also very involved in the soup kitchen at Hill Presbyterian Church in her beloved Central area of Port Elizabeth.
In The Herald and Weekend Post newsroom, she was this week remembered as a vibrant and caring person.
She is survived by Bob, daughters Helen and Alison and Alison’s partner Di, and an elder brother, James.
A memorial service will be held at the Hill Presbyterian Church tomorrow at 2.30pm.
-The Herald Reporter