Well what do you know, our little weekly newspaper has gone and grown up on us, reaching the ripe old age of 110 years old as of last week.
Frankly, I don’t think we look a day over a hundred.
The inaugural edition of The Outlook arrived on February 6, 1909, just about six months or so after Outlook as a community was founded. So here we are, 110 years later, one of this town’s oldest businesses, and it makes me wonder how many others still remain today? What other businesses that started up soon after the Town was founded are still going in 2019? Are there even *any* of them left?
I’m genuinely curious about this, so if anyone knows the answer to that query, I’d love to get an email or a note about it because I’m a sucker for that kind of local history.
Whatever the case may be, it’s pretty cool that the local newspaper has withstood the sands of time. It’s seen and covered a whole lot of history in its century-plus existence, including headlines straight from the front lines during both World Wars, and introduced people to the beginning stages of many things that are recognized today as vital provincial infrastructures or iconic regional landmarks, such as the Gardiner Dam.
Today, I like to think we’re covering history as it continues to unfold before my eyes and before my trusty camera gear, especially in the Outlook and surrounding area. Some of it may be incredible, some of it may be difficult to take in, but all of it forms a huge, unfiltered picture of what life looks like in our part of the world.
My contributions to The Outlook’s 110-year history include the past 12 years – well, 12 as of March 27 in about six weeks time. It’s a small chunk, but it’s certainly been a busy one; I’ve driven upwards of 300,000 kilometers spread between two vehicles (three if you count the old pick-up I drove for almost a year), with a lion’s share of those clicks pertaining to business. What can I say, that’s the life of a roving reporter; I might be in Dinsmore one day, Elbow the next, and maybe Kenaston or Hanley the day after that. When you’re a reporter for a small town weekly newspaper, you’re chasing stories in a large number of communities, even if your publication specifically singles out one of them in the name.
I’ve been fortunate to be at the front lines of so much that has happened in my dozen years here. A few examples include:
Local Crime: What immediately comes to my mind when I think of crime in these parts are three key instances; the murder of Broderick resident Rick Murphy in March 2010, the apprehension of America’s Most Wanted suspect Patrick Gage just three months later in June 2010, and the stabbing of former RCMP officer Robert Laidlaw in the Rudy Landing Estates development just north of town in May 2012. These incidents dispelled the notion that every small town is a sleepy, quiet neighborhood where everyone knows each other and no one locks their doors.
Maple Leaf Pride: When Outlook went about celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined the sheer size and scope of what organizers had in mind. I don’t know if it was done anywhere else to mark the occasion, but for me, the ‘Human Canada Flag’ that was done on the football field at Outlook High School stands out as one of the coolest things that this town has done in a long time. The outdoor festivities that followed on Canada Day also rank right up there with community celebrations.
Making Waves: The saga of getting a new swimming pool in Outlook has seen its fair share of both shallow and deep ends. It started in late 2013, and all signs point to it finally concluding with the new pool’s grand opening later this summer. Time will only tell how this new facility fares in the long run, but when the ribbon is cut on it, it’ll signify another landmark moment in this town’s rich history.
When it comes to The Outlook, yes, the look has changed, the location has changed (we used to be on Franklin Street where BMO currently is before moving here to Saskatchewan Avenue in 1975), and the people have changed, but the goal has always been the same; to give our advertisers the most bang and exposure for their buck, and to provide readers with the news of what’s happening in their community and region through fair, balanced and unbiased journalism that doesn’t try to push a certain narrative.
In this day and age, with baseless cries of ‘Fake news!’ hurting reputations left and right, such a mandate has never been more important.
For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.