It’s Akin to a Death in the Family

Claude McIntosh - Mac's Musings
It’s Akin to a Death in the Family

The obituary said she was 131 years old.

That is how long the Glengarry News, the award-winning weekly newspaper that served North and South Glengarry residents, had been read by its constituents.

Swallowed up in red ink, it ceased on Sept. 13. Ironically, its last edition became its most sought after edition.

It was a third-generation paper founded by Col. A. G. Macdonald with an office on Alexandria’s main drag. His son, Eugene, became its legendary editor/publisher. It was passed to his two sons.

As someone said, “For thousands of Glengarrians, it is akin to a death in the family.”

North Glengarry Mayor Jamie MacDonald – who grew up with the News – said it for the mourners when he called its demise “a sad day.”

The News was sort of a farm team for the Standard-Freeholder back in the day. Greg Kielic, Todd Lihou, Greg “Boomer” Peerenboom and Todd Hambleton cut their teeth at the News.

In 1989, when Osprey News Ltd. owned the S-F, president Michael Sifton attempted to purchase the News from the Macdonald family. The offer was well above market value. The answer was a firm no.

The News wasn’t the only media casualty last week.

Corus Radio made cuts that took a bite out of its Cornwall operations and once very profitable Metroland closed 71 weekly print editions and filed for bankruptcy protection. The job loss count is around 605.

When it comes to print editions, one has to wonder how long before debt-ridden Postmedia (reported debt of $250 million) mothballs the Standard-Freeholder’s shrinking print edition.

One doesn’t need an economics degree from Harvard to figure out that Postmedia, twisting in a financial straitjacket, is not far behind Metroland and that the S-F print edition is vulnerable.

Can’t help but recall a night at the old Montreal Forum in 1981 listening to Freddie Mercury belting out “Another One Bites the Dust”. It has become a media-shuttering anthem.

THIS AND THAT – Old pal Robert Fisher checks in again. He noted that in Kitchener at ‘Fordfest’, the premier served up a Burger King style whopper when he announced that “we will build under $500,000, 1,600-square-foot homes complete with finished basements with paved driveways and backyards.” What the preem couldn’t answer was by whom and where? …. Speaking of the preem, what ever happened to buck-a-beer? … Since when does an alleged military super power have to beg a third-world outfit like North Korea for military weapons to keep the fight in Ukraine going? … Just a thought, but did A. Ovechkin take down the photo of pal V. Putin in his Caps’ dressing room locker?

BACK IN 1971Gertrude Irwin, 65, – aka Granny Irwin – became the city’s first female crossing guard, joining 33 male guards. Weather permitting, she arrived at her West Front School post from her Dover Height’s home on her motorcycle. The longest-serving guard Joe Marsolais retired after 15 years. … Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau spent an afternoon and evening in the city. He took part in a town hall meeting at General Vanier Secondary School auditorium. … The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and United Counties School Board agreed on a new contract that gave high school teachers salaries that ranged from $7,600 to $15,500, for a teacher with at least 13 years experience. … A report by a city council committee recommended that the Cornwall Fire Department include volunteers in future expansion. Members of the study group visited Welland, Burlington and Oakville which had composite departments. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office did not object but noted that several cities that had composite departments went back to full-time. …An early-morning fire levelled the main building at Bob’s Marina in Summerstown. Fire fighters managed to save 40 boats tied up at the marina. … Ward Two alderman Roy Brunet announced that he was running for mayor. Incumbent Nick Kaneb said he planned to seek re-election and regardless of the outcome it would be his last mayoral campaign. … A study commissioned by the federal government said that by the year 2000, 73% of Canadians would be living in 12 major Canadian cities that included Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton and Calgary. Toronto’s population was expected to grow to 6.5 million from 2.6 million. The study said major municipalities would struggle to keep up with transit, sewer services and housing. (The City of Toronto website lists the current population at 3,025,642 and the GTA population at 6,471,850)…. Stafford Smythe and Harold Ballard purchased shares in Maple Leaf Gardens held by John Bassett. The shares were purchased for $5.8 million. … Victoria MacDonalds defeated St. Regis Braves 16-7 at the Water Street Arena to win the best-of-three national junior B lacrosse title. Braves won the first game in overtime. Travis Cook led with three goals. Rob Cree, Norm Piche, Gaylord Thomas and Mike Benedict had one apiece. … Domtar Papermen defeated Vankleek Hill 6-1 to sweep the North End Fastball League best-of-seven final. Dan Zeran was the winning pitcher. … Federal court justices received a $9,000 pay increase to bring their salaries to $39,000. Salaries for county and district court judges were raised to $25,000.

QUOTED – “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” – remark in 1971 by Laura Sabia, head of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.

TRIVIA ANSWERKim Campbell (132 days) and Joe Clarke (273 days) served less than a year. John Turner holds the second shortest term, 79 days. Sir Charles Tupper holds the record for the shortest term, 68 days. He was defeated in the 1896 general election.

TRIVIA – She was the first Canadian actress to win an Oscar: 1) Norma Shearer, 2) Anna Paquin, 3) Rachel McAdams, 4) Meg Tilly, 5) Mary Pickford.

FACTOIDPeter Wong opened Cornwall’s first Chinese restaurant in 1913 at 129 Pitt St. It was called the New York Restaurant but later became the New York Cafe. The restaurant was destroyed by fire in August 1972.

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