Paper provided a place for faith
Pastor Richard Edwards
The great troubadour, Bob Dylan penned the lyrics to Times They Are A-changin’ in 1963 but they’re still applicable today. Part of the last verse says: The order is rapidly fadin’ — And the first one now, will later be last — For the times they are a changin’.
As I sit at my computer to write this farewell to the Camrose Canadian, I must admit to more than a hint of sadness at its demise. The reasons for my sadness are many, the greatest being that I spent 10 years working at this paper, and the second being that I believe in the power of the printed word. I am also sad that the local churches no longer have this published voice in the community. Yes, the times are changing.
The Camrose Canadian has a rich history in our community from the first edition in 1908. As an employee, I came to appreciate the archives and the history of this great paper. As I pulled negatives to print for various articles, I found the history of Camrose was all there in front of me. I hope that all of it will be preserved. If it is not, this community will lose an important part of its memory.
A copy of an early broadsheet page reveals that the editor was a multilingual female who was a graduate of a prestigious British Ladies’ College that operated under the protection of Oxford University. On that same page there were no less than four languages represented, all edited by this young, brave pioneer editor.
But the history of this paper is no longer relevant. A newspaper’s worth is no longer measured in its stories, nor its history, nor its personnel, but in its balance sheet. That is perhaps the saddest reality we face in the loss of this institution. It is an institution whose time has come and those who believe that it should always be there “to tell our stories” must accept that cruel reality and roll with the changing times. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, we must either move with times or cling to the past and, as must be, die with it.
The Clergy Comment had a long and distinguished run in the pages of “The Canadian.” Unfortunately, the changing religious demographic wasn’t truly reflected on the religion page, but the Camrose Canadian was not alone in failing to provide that opportunity. This is, after all, a conservative area where change is often dimly viewed, if viewed at all. Rightly or wrongly, this oversight may have contributed to the view that The Camrose Canadian was ready to be retired.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 the wise man says: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die … and a time to laugh; a time to mourn.
Today we mourn. Tomorrow, we move on. Let’s put the clergy comment “to bed” for the final time.