The Editor’s Desk: Being a part of history

The Editor’s Desk: Being a part of history

For 125 years, the Journal has preserved events big (but mostly small) for posterity

It’s a piece of serendipity that in the issue of the Journal that commemorates the paper’s 125th anniversary there is an article about how the Royal BC Museum is seeking input from British Columbians about their COVID-19 pandemic experiences, so that they can form a part of the museum’s permanent display for future generations.

As the piece notes, we are all taking part in history, every day of our lives, although seldom so obviously as a time like now. The 2020 coronavirus pandemic will almost certainly be one for the history books, read and studied by those who come after us. It’s good that the museum is reaching out now, inviting people to submit their memories, experiences, and photographs, so that they do not get lost.

I thought of this the other day, as I was searching out pictures to accompany the various articles in this week’s paper about the Journal and its long past. (Here I must give a shout-out to my colleague Evan Fentiman at the 100 Mile Free Press, who is responsible for the splendid look and layout of the special supplement this week; thank you, Evan!) For a paper that has been around for 125 years, and operating out of the same building for 121 of those years, there are relatively few pictures (for most of its history) of the building and those who have worked there.

For example, while we have written records of some of the printing press equipment that was housed in the Journal building over the years, and used to print the paper and other materials such as posters, no photos of any of the equipment, or the back room where it was located, ever seem to have been taken (if they were, they have not survived, or made their way to the Ashcroft Museum). I can get up from my desk and walk into the back room and see where they were, as well as evidence such as the wax marks on the floor and the slanted layout tables where the paper was put together, but I have to use my imagination to picture the space as it would have been in the days when the newspaper was printed there.

And really, why should there be any pictures? The people who used the machines and worked in the office did not think of themselves as being a part of history; they were simply coming to work every day, doubtless grumbling about it as they did so. They would have seen no reason to take any pictures of the space, just as I have not taken any pictures of what my office there now looks like, for the edification of anyone after me who is interested.

Despite this lack of pictorial evidence, the Journal is still here, publishing every week as it has done for 125 years, and those back issues provide an insight into the rich history of this region. The paper has documented big stories (the Great Fire which started on July 5, 1916; the Elephant Hill wildfire which started on July 6, 2017) from the region, but has mostly covered the small stories that create the tapestry of the lives of the people here; the stories that would not be covered anywhere else, but which cumulatively demonstrate why we live here.

They are intensely local stories, from Ashcroft and Cache Creek and Clinton and the area, stories featuring people we know, places we love, things we’re interested in. They might not make history, but they are history, as even the most cursory look through back issues of the paper show. People and stories and events that might otherwise be forgotten are captured for posterity, a snapshot of those who came before us and what they did.

I’d like to think that the Journal will be here in another 125 years, but of that I can’t be certain. Thank you to all those who have played a part in keeping the paper here for so long, and who continue to support it, to ensure it is here for years to come.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
RCMP investigating suspicious trailer found abandoned in Cache Creek

Hazardous materials believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs were found

The trustees of the Spences Bridge Improvement District argue that one reason the EV charging station (l) should be moved is because it could compromise emergency response from the nearby fire hall. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Time is running out for Spences Bridge EV charging station

Lease for the site runs out at the end of January and no new agreement has been reached

Areas in blue show properties in Cache Creek zoned C1, which the village’s Cannabis Regulatory Framework proposes as properties where retail cannabis stores could be sited. The area outlined with a dotted orange line shows a 200 metre buffer zone around Cache Creek Elementary School, within which no retail cannabis establishments could operate. (Photo credit: Village of Cache Creek)
Cache Creek council gets more input on cannabis regulations

Council considers options to regulate retail cannabis sales and production within the village

(from l) Gordon and Lee Berdan in front of the framed ensign from HMCS Sudbury which they recently presented to the Ashcroft Legion. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Ashcroft Legion continues helping community in tough times

Branch now also displays a recently donated artifact from WW II corvette HMCS Sudbury

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

Most Read