Your community paper turns 138 today

 Community partnership abiding vision over the years

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Expositor turns 138 today (Wednesday, May 24) and you are all invited down for a piece of cake and cup of punch.

We here at the paper are very pleased to be celebrating being Northern Ontario’s oldest newspaper and the “paper of record” for Manitoulin. For over a century and a third we have recorded the comings and goings, the births and deaths, the marriages and other familial celebrations that mark the passage of generations as well as the singular accomplishments of our sons and daughters (and now gender non-specific) both big and small.

But it is perhaps in our role as a partner to Manitoulin’s diverse communities that we revel in the most. Whether it is in promoting Island businesses as they start out on their new ventures with an introductory story (a ‘plug piece’ in the newspaper lexicon), or the numerous “we are your neighbour” series we have run over the years to introduce the people who work behind the counter at Island businesses to their neighbours and reminding residents of importance of shopping local, we have prided ourselves in being a pillar of the economic wellbeing of Manitoulin.

This past year, we instituted a contest to create a Manitoulin 150 logo that we would provide to Island residents upon request for their use at no cost, a little bit of homegrown pride to allow Islanders to put their own spin on the sesquicentennial celebrations of the nation.

In years past we were instrumental in the creation of the Prosper Together, Shop Manitoulin decal and logo that encouraged residents to keep their purchases as close to home as possible.

At the community level, we have sponsored numerous friendly contests and competitions over the years, such as Harvest Glory Days, that provide not only opportunities for communities to strut their local pride, but also give late season visitors and residents alike a reason to cruise through Island communities.

In addition to recording the various homecomings and celebrations powered by the incredible volunteer efforts of local service clubs, The Expositor has played a part in helping those clubs stay healthy and vibrant.

When the Gore Bay-Western Manitoulin Lions Club was facing an uncertain future due to declining ranks, the paper did its part by alerting the community, helping prompt a number of new volunteers to come forward. The same role was played with the South East Manitoulin Lions Club in Manitowaning. “It certainly did help, I think,” said club secretary Dorothy Chapman. “We picked up a number of new members and had a lot of other people who offered to help with our events.” Lion Chapman noted that the club has always been fortunate in the many hands that have stepped forward to assist the club in its busiest hours, a sentiment echoed by Gore Bay President Steven Glumb.

It isn’t just in the pages of the paper that The Expositor staff have played role, a number are also members of local service clubs and groups—a role the paper’s management has always supported and encouraged.

“Tom Sasvari is a member of our club,” said Lion President Gumb. “He does a great job for us. Although the heavy evening schedule of the paper makes it difficult for him to take part in our activities, he is always there to support us.” Mr. Sasvari is also an avid member of the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club.

The Expositor editor Alicia McCutcheon is an active member of the Little Current Lions Club as well, while staff writer Robin Burridge enjoys her work as a book buddy at the Manor as well as playing a major role in organizing the annual Miss Manitoulin Pageant that is the first event of the Little Current Lions Haweater Weekend celebrations on the August long weekend. Staff writer Michael Erskine has recently completed a nine-year stint as a member of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and serves on the Northeast Town municipal council and as a director on North Channel Marine Tourism Council. Production manager Dave Patterson founded the Expositor Salmon Classic almost single-handedly, office manager Kerrene Tilson founded the Little Current Fitness Club and is the driving force behind the Café in the Woods and the Nordic Ski Club, Tammy Albers works with the Manitoulin Refuge Committee offering up her many home economic skills to acclimatize refugees to Canada, Marilyn Harasym volunteers with Little Current Minor Hockey as well as the Winterfest and Haweater festivals and our newest staff member Kendra Edwards creates a calendar that supports the Good Food Box program. Owners Rick and Julia McCutcheon have been proud to record the stories of Manitoulin for over 50 years.

We are all proud to be active partners in our communities with The Expositor and to serve all of Manitoulin’s communities.

So come on down to visit us in our Little Current office and help celebrate our birthday on Wednesday, May 24 with some cake and punch. It just so happens that our 138th year is falling directly on one of our publication dates.