Around the corner

We hope readers will be recharging a bit. Christmas dinners are over and New Year’s Eve is just days away. The hectic pace leading up to the holidays makes this week a well deserved rest. In addition to having plenty of time with the girls and a home full of seasonal smells and a warm fireplace to enjoy, there is time to pause and think of the year just past – and the one ahead.

In a few months, the Wellington Advertiser turns 40. In March 1968, the first issue rolled off the press and we’re able to keep track of the anniversaries since we were born five months before that. Planning is underway for celebrations, and we will apprise our loyal readers and advertisers when the time comes. Luckily, the Publisher, who happens to by my dad, still comes to work and enjoys a visit with staff, customers, and just about anybody who would like to talk.

Our daily chats together include reminiscing about the old days. Much of what he talks about are vivid memories – apart from the very early years when he and mom packed papers together. Or even his first office, in a building that was leveled years later. We’ll need more chats to make sure some of that early history isn’t lost. People should never forget where they’ve been.

In recent years, we have made some significant investments at the Advertiser and it is sort of funny comparing costs in his day to now. Sometimes, he’ll even wonder aloud if the paper could have bought two units for what we paid for one. Everything is so expensive today, he’ll say, but we know that’s partly an age thing, which is okay.

In terms of the Internet, email, accounting, and general business items, he’s a bit at a loss. Back in his times, he stayed up to speed on the latest industry trends. We still remember the first copier, the first Polaroid camera, the first fax machine, and the first photo-typesetting machines. Those items have been replaced numerous times, but as is the case when starting out, the first of anything is usually remembered fondly.

Just the other day he was lamenting how the old Compu-graphics were the best machines every made.

They are actually still sitting in the barn in storage – just in case – or maybe it is hard to say goodbye. Those parti­cular units were bought at a show in Toronto and we still remember all of us kids being loaded up to go see the future. Those were good times and even though none of us were old enough to understand money or risk, the whole family was together. Perhaps that’s what we like best about being a family business and now seeing the third generation run around the office – it keeps the history alive.

Earlier this month we held our staff Christmas party. It was on two separate nights due to deadlines, work schedules, and physical space at the hall. A joke went around about it being the biggest party since the paper started. Dad in his typically impish way, laughed and said, “Well, in the early days it was just one guy – me.” Today the Advertiser employs 40 people and prints 40,000 copies each week.

Having read this week’s editorial over after a quick Christmas dessert break, it would appear we have adopted the practice of rambling a bit. That is maybe a sign of age, too. While the past is appreciated there is so much more in the future.

We look forward to serving our advertisers and readers even better in the New Year.  New products and services are around the corner and we are emphatic that the principle of serving others well continues. Thank you for a great 2007 and here’s hoping 2008 leads to even greater things in Wellington County.