Local newspaper ‘great news,’ reader says

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Sir: Such great news.

I’m so glad to see the launching of The Chatham Voice, a newspaper that boasts local ownership and local content.

I have worked for several newspapers, all of which are now part of Sun Media Corporation, Canada’s largest newspaper publisher, with 44 dailies and more than 200 community and specialized publications. And Sun Media is itself, owned by the massive Quebecor Media Company.

I must admit I’m surprised the federal government doesn’t regulate these large groups, splitting them up so the public can have fresh stories written by local people, not articles written by Toronto Sun writers. But I digress.

I spent 25 years in the textile manufacturing industry, both in England and in Canada and then I spent 25 exciting years working for Brabant Newspapers since the 1980s, first as reporter then as editor. I have also worked for the Elliot Lake Standard before moving here.

My wife and I moved to The Forks on Sept. 3, 2009. The Forks? That’s what they used to call the village of Chatham, which grew from McGregor’s Mill where five black families had settled in 1820.

The Forks soon became a haven for runaway slaves and by 1850, its population was one-third black.

This is a wonderful town, a wonderful area.

We deserve an independent newspaper again.

My wife and I have truly settled here. We have fitted into Chatham very well. We belong to a wonderful Christian church.

I know this used to be quite an industrial town – once in the barber shop at the corner of Grand and St. Clair, a fellow told me there used to be 50 factories in Chatham.

I am immensely proud of our black heritage and I love to drive through the fields to our doctor’s office in Tilbury.

Very best wishes to the gang at The Chatham Voice. May God protect you and may you prosper in a very competitive business world.

 

Stephen J. Beecroft

Chatham

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