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.”