Newspaper history celebrated at council meeting

A publication that has reflected the culture of Wellington County for half a century was the focus of the Cultural Moment at the March 29 Wellington County council meeting.

Wellington County Museum and Archives administer Janice Hindley and archivist Karen Wagner gave council a preview of the new Wellington Advertiser digital archive to be launched at a special 50th anniversary celebration at the museum on April 4.

Hindley drew council’s attention to several display boards set up in the chamber, including the front page of the first issue from March of 1968. which featured the paper’s original name: Fergus and Area Shoppers News.

 “And it was all advertising,” noted Hindley. “There were no speeders of the week, no editorials, no letters to the editor – just advertising.”

The display also included a front page from May of 1968, which publisher William Adsett dubbed the “Special Success Issue,” as he changed the paper’s name to the Wellington Advertiser.

“So he was declaring early success,” Hindley noted.

Wagner pointed out that getting the Advertiser online was one of a number of digital projects the museum and archives have been working on over the years.

“Something the public has really been asking for is to have Newspapers put on line and because the Wellington Advertiser is truly the only county paper, and coincidently they happen to be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, we thought that would be the paper to start with,” she said.

Wagner pointed out all copies of the Wellington Advertiser from the past 50 years are now online in a searchable format accessible through the archives website.