OCNA Hall of Fame class of 2020

Provided by the OCNA
OCNA Hall of Fame class of 2020

Joanne Burghardt
Director of Content,
Torstar Corporation Community Brands

Joanne first walked into the Oshawa This Week newsroom 39 years ago as an intern. One month later, she was hired as a reporter, and five years into her career, she was appointed Community Editor. Ever since then her passion for the newspaper industry has gained momentum, and her tremendous efforts have resulted in many positive outcomes.

Arthur (Art) Carr
Publisher, Palmerston Observer

In a 2016 entry on his blog, historian Chad Martin wrote: “Carr can be credited with making huge inroads into the formal preservation of Palmerston’s history. He was a major advocate of promoting local news and stories. Seeing an opportunity to do just this, Carr quickly began researching and printing various articles about ‘the good old days’ and the local heroes of the town. It is perhaps this interest in history that prompted George Donaldson, a long-time citizen, politician and businessman of Palmerston to write a five-page article about the town in 1942. For the next thirty years this was seen as the primary history of the town.”


Jim Cumming
Fort Frances Times Ltd

Jim Cumming was born with ink flowing through his veins. His father, grandfather, grandmother and several aunts and uncles all worked in the newspaper industry, from Ontario through to Saskatchewan.

Rick McCutcheon 
Publisher Emeritus,
Manitoulin Publishing Co. Ltd – The Manitoulin Expositor

Rick’s long career and love for the newspaper industry began in 1967, after answering an ad he spotted in the Globe and Mail looking for a reporter at the Gore Bay Recorder on Manitoulin Island. When asked if he could type, Rick replied ‘yes’ and quickly purchased a typewriting to learn. He was hired and made the move from North of Toronto, where he was born and raised.

Jean Morrison
Napanee Beaver and Picton Gazette

Jean (nee Bier) Morrison was an integral, active and admired leader in the community newspaper business for many years. Born in New Hamburg, she was a teacher by trade. After graduating from the University of Western, she taught mathematics at Napanee District Secondary School before marrying newspaper Editor, Earl Morrison. She became one of the few female publishers of a multi-newspaper chain in Canada and set the highest of standards for journalism and advertising excellence.

Rixon Rafter
The Arthur Enterprise News

Born in 1885, Rixon lived to become recognized as a pioneer in weekly newspapers, despite losing his eyesight as a youth. With an intense love of journalism, and a degree from Queen’s University, he purchased a weekly newspaper, the Arthur Enterprise News (then known as the Arthur Enterprise) in 1908. He retired after 45 years of devoted service to the community.

Richard (Rick) Shaver
Cornwall Seaway News, icimédias

Rick Shaver started his newspaper career in 1978 after graduating from St. Lawrence College in Cornwall. His first seven years were spent in sales with daily papers in Cornwall, Kirkland Lake and Brampton. In 1985 he opened the Cornwall Seaway News where he has devoted an additional 35 years. “In September 1985, we produced and delivered our very first Seaway Shopping News,” said Rick Shaver in an article celebrating the paper’s 34th anniversary. “Circulation was 29,850 and the internet wasn’t even a word yet. Our friends at RE/MAX bought our back page and still advertise with us today. Out of the 39 advertisers that day, we still have a handful who are active clients.”

Donald George Spearman
Managing Editor,
Leader Publications Ltd.

Donald George (Gummer) Spearman worked in the community newspaper industry in Ontario for approximately 45 years. Born and raised in Dresden, he was hired in 1939, at the age of 17, as a reporter for the Dresden News, where he was eventually promoted to editor.


Charles (Charlie) Whipp
The Petrolia Advertiser-Topic

A long-time newspaperman, Charlie was most recognized for his weekly editorials. He usually wrote three per issue! And they explored all topics and included everything from municipal matters to medieval engineering. He worked for the London Free Press and the Windsor Star for several years in the early 1950s. He then moved on to editor and publisher of the Advertiser-Topic in Petrolia, taking on the role as owner from 1962 until 1979.

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