The Richmond Review, where I worked for four years early in my career, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. Reporter Matt Hoekstra is preparing a story about the anniversary, and asked me for my memories. Here's my response:
Congratulations on the Review’s 80th birthday. I worked at The Review from 1979 to 1983, the first two years as assistant editor (under the late Ms. Jean Baker), the final two years as Editor in Chief.
After graduating from SFU (BA) and Carleton (Journalism) in 1975, I worked for two years with The Canadian Press in Vancouver, and then two additional years as Legislative Correspondent for CP in Victoria. But my new wife and I became homesick for Greater Vancouver, and so we moved back to the mainland. My timing wasn’t the best, however, because the Sun and Province went on what turned out to be a half-year-long strike almost immediately upon my return, and my job opportunities were limited.
I was most grateful to land the job at The Review, and it proved to be an invaluable experience. As a matter of fact, the first two years at the paper exposed me to City Hall on a regular basis, as I was the council reporter. I actually loved the close-to-home, close-to-the-people responsibilities that council had, and I learned much about local government. Fast forward to the present, and I’m now a city councillor myself, in Coquitlam, and I can say that my experience in Richmond helped contribute to my decision to run here in Coquitlam.
Perhaps my favourite memory from my time at The Review was in preparing the 50th anniversary edition. At the time, it was widely thought that a certain woman had founded the paper in 1932. But my research led me to discover that the actual founder was a man who was still living in Cloverdale. I tracked him down, and he told me he had founded the paper in the depths of the depression as, essentially, a make-work project. Little did he know that the paper would end up “making work” for hundreds if not thousands of people that would follow! We all owe him a debt of gratitude.