Sackville Town Councillor Shawn Mesheau says he was sorry to hear that the Sackville Tribune-Post has suspended publication for three months.
“My thoughts go out to the employees affected in our community as they adjust to this,” he wrote in an e-mail to Warktimes.
The Halifax-based Saltwire Network, which owns the Tribune-Post, announced on March 24th that it was temporarily closing all of its weekly papers until June 15 because of a drastic drop in advertising revenues, especially from local businesses shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Councillor Mesheau was the only member of town council to respond to my e-mail request for comment.
He wrote that he’s hoping to see the paper back on the newsstands in 12 weeks, adding that he has a family connection to the Tribune-Post.
“My mother worked at the Tribune after high school and then again later in life with a young family,” he wrote. “She was a Linotype operator and would type out the very important articles to help keep our community informed.”
Mesheau’s mother, who was born in August 1918 during the First World War, was named after Edith Cavell, the heroic British nurse executed by a German firing squad for helping 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium.
Known as Cavell Phinney, she joined the Tribune at age 16 before moving to Moncton and marrying Harvey Mesheau in 1943.
They returned to Sackville in 1951, where they raised five children. In 1973/74, when their youngest, Shawn, was 11 or 12, Cavell returned to the Tribune, which had merged in 1946 with its bitter rival the Sackville Post.
“I remember visiting her at work one time,” Councillor Mesheau wrote in his e-mail.
“She actually typed out my name and gave me the blocks of metal type. I held onto it for years but somehow it went missing after moving out of our family home on Main Street.”
Mesheau says his father, Harvey died in 1998 while Cavell died in 2004.
He adds that both experienced the hardships of the Great Depression and the Second World War.
“I wish she and my Dad were still here now to help provide some guidance and reassurance.”
While it’s a real shame that our Sackville Tribune Post has been shunted aside in this manner, I think the more obvious story here is the fact that ONLY ONE COUNCILLOR offered any comment.
The key sentence in this report is: “Councillor Mesheau was the only member of town council to respond to my e-mail request for comment.”
So the question becomes – why did the others not bother to offer any opinions or ideas or commiserations? Is Councillor Mesheau the only one who identifies with Sackville residents who have come to rely on the Tribune for their weekly news and social updates?
One would think the Mayor and the other seven Councillors could at least have offered some words of reassurance for the people of Sackville – what a pity they have individually chosen instead to remain silent in this time of uncertainty and social upheaval.
So kudos to Councillor Shawn Mesheau for stepping up to the plate, while he continues to work daily on the front lines as part of an essential service team, helping to ensure all of us in Sackville have access to groceries, amid the constant threat of the Covid-19 virus.
How odd. I gladly would have responded to Mr. Warks email about the (hopefully temporary) closure of the Trib… if I had received an email. As I said in a message to Katie Tower, I was saddened to hear this news. I feel it’s important for our citizens to be able to access our news through our trusted reporters