Beach Memories: Paper pioneers, past and present

In 1994, the Beach Metro News goes green and is printed on recycled paper. With the fresh papers: Joan Latimer, Dianne Marquardt, Michele McLean, Brenda Dow and Sheila Blinoff. PHOTO: Beach Metro News Archives

A newspaper, like a business, institution, city, or hospital, is made by the people who stand behind it, and Beach Metro News, aka Ward 9 News, is no exception.

I have been associated with Beach Metro News from nearly its beginning, in one form or another. During this time, I have never met finer people. These are people who work hard, honestly, and deliberately to make this publication – in my humble opinion – one of the best in the city, province, or even country.

As an amateur historian, this great community paper and its people are a part of our history, not only in the Beach but in the entire East End. Local papers have come and gone over the years, but Beach Metro News remains, and has for over 45 years.

Its staff and volunteers are pioneers in print, past and present. Running a newspaper is no easy task; you need people to finance, people to advertise, people to put pictures and columns in a special order, people to check. This newspaper has never shied away from investigating and promoting current news stories.

From its first year, 1972, to the present year, topics have touched on social and civic issues, transportation, medical and mental health, housing, religion, finances, sports, police, and so on, with an aim to bring the people of the Beach the truth as well as they can.

Opinion writers cover a wide variety of topics – food, wine, history, arts, literature, education, civics, and more.

The paper has had its sad times and good times. We have been condemned, vilified, and threatened at times, but we have also experienced incredible support and goodwill.

It’s been an honour for me to know and work with these newsies over the years. I’ve been looking back through past issues, and there are so many great stories about all areas of life in these pages. Many staff that have moved on have left an indelible mark in the history of the community, and the history of newspapers in this city.

Our staff physically pulls the paper together on Tuesday before our volunteers come in and trundle our beloved papers to the far-flung corners of our neighbourhood.

A newspaper has to have integrity, intelligence, fortitude and a great heart for its community, and Beach Metro has all of this and more.

It’s a pioneering press for people in the East End.

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