The News-Log

I have a feeling that if I hadn’t discovered the News-Log finding sources for my content would have been a lot harder. One of my best sources sent me about three years’ worth of the publication. A little while later I had to find the time to go and look at the rest of them. Somehow I found about eight hours over the course of a weekend in November of 2018 to look at every single employee newsletter produced for the Grand Falls Mill. I would strongly encourage anybody that has an interest in what I write, to go and have a look at these newsletters, I do know both the Harmsworth Public Library, and the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society both have them in their collections.

Grand Falls-Windsor no longer has a newspaper. But would you believe that at one time there was a first class magazine style newsletter produced mainly for the employees of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. And more people probably read it than read the Central Voice, or whatever Halifax calls the written news these days!

It was originally a glossy illustrated magazine much like the Atlantic Guardian, which comes as no surprise because it was published by the Guardian publishing and public relations firm in St. John’s. To the best of my knowledge it was distributed for free. Back in 1967 it was reported that some 5500 copies were circulated each month.

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October 1960 AND News. A short time later the A.N.D News and the Newfoundland Logger would be merged into the News-Log.

The origins of the News-Log can be traced back to to the early 1950’s when there were a few information booklets produced by Guardian for the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. These included Paper Making at Grand Falls and Pulp and Paper Towns of the Interior, nice, glossy illustrated booklets highlighting the contribution of the AND Company to the economy of Newfoundland.

Around 1955-57 there were a few issues of the A.N.D News produced, which were compiled along the same lines, I am not sure if it was published regularly, but existing issues from this time period are sporadic. A few years later the A.N.D News started to be produced more regularly and in the wake of the IWA Strike another magazine, the Newfoundland Logger, came out.

Early issues of the Logger represent a major public relations, if not propaganda campaign by the Company. They are filled with pictures of new pre-fabricated camps, depict the first refrigerators, freezers, and televisions in the logging camps and dedicate countless pages to the training programs that the Company had brought in for camp cooks.

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Many things would be lost to history had they not been recorded in the News-Log, like the tree nursery near Rushy Pond. Apparently this project was abandoned when the government tree nursery at Wooddale was started.

At the end of 1960 it was decided to merge the A.N.D News and the Newfoundland Logger into one paper. The was a contest held among employees for a new name. The winning entry was “News-Log” by Roy Hanson of Grand Falls. The first News-Log came out in January of 1961.

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The first issue of the News-Log. January 1961. 
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Roy Hanson won $100.00 by coming up with the name “News-Log.” It’s very interesting that Hanson came from one of the first families in Grand Falls. 

If you have ever seen a picture of logging or mill operations for the Grand Falls operation from this time period (or before) there is a very good chance it was originally in the News-Log. although not usually attributed many of these pictures were taken by Tom Howell or Albert Hillier. Hillier had a contract for photography with the company and Howell was the community relations director for the Company. In fact Howell was the contact person for the News-Log and was very likely the editor and chief, as well as the main contributor. Many older pictures from the early years also found their way into the Log through submissions from readers and from older existing pictures at the mill. There are a number of notable old logging pictures from the 1900’s-1920’s that would now be lost had they not been submitted by readers for publication in the Log.

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The demolition of the Daily Mail Library. One of the many events documented in the News-Log. 

The AND News/Newfoundland Logger/News-Log went through a number of format changes though the years. The early glossy magazine format was used until about 1962, when it took on the form of a small newspaper type format. At some point in the 60’s the format was changed yet again back into a magazine, but a less expensive type than the original.

The News-Log would survive the A.N.D-Price Merger with only a few minor changes. Naturally it became the Price (NFLD) after the formal name change on April 29, 1965. it would depict many important goings on such as the visit of the Soviet Premier and the building and opening of the Moby Joe paper machine.

The News-Log ended publication sometime around 1969. After which all news from Newfoundland was folded into the Company wide Price Projections. Price Projections covered all of the mills and if you are lucky there may be one story in each issue from Newfoundland.

The sometime in the 1980’s the News-Log was kind of resurrected. I have a suspicion that this second incarnation, known as the Abitibi-Price Grand Falls News was most likely the brainchild of Roger Pike.

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Two former mayors, a former Member of Parliament, a former Member of the House of Assembly, a Mill Manager, and a Masked Paper Maker. Abitibi Price, Grand Falls News. I have a feeling Roger Pike’s finger prints are all over this newsletter. 

This news letter would remain in publication in some way, shape or form right up until the 2000’s and the closure of the Grand Falls Newsprint Mill.

-Bryan Marsh

 

Special Thanks the Mac Squires, who supplied me with a couple of year’s worth of News-Logs that he had rescued from an Ontario paper mill. And to John Griffin of the A.C Hunter Public Library in St. John’s, John is from Grand Falls and was familiar with my work. He was incredibly helpful, right from the first phone call to the library.

4 comments

  1. That paper maker’s last name was Mercer but I’m sorry, I forget his first name.
    February 1994 was the second year I was GM at the mill, a position I held until 1998 when I transferred to Kenora as GM of that mill. Great days back then in Grand Falls at the mill !
    Dave Kerr

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  2. and my Uncle Albert Hillier did some of the designs for this as I still have some of this work here in Labrador…wondered why it looked so familiarkathleendyke

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