‘Ink in his veins;’ friend remembers longtime Armstrong newspaper owner

Jack Jamieson, longtime publisher-editor of Armstrong and Enderby papers, dies at 84

Jack Jamieson (left) and Jessie Ann Gamble celebrate the release of their book Celebrating the City of Armstrong 1913-2013 at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery in 2013. Jamieson, longtime editor and publisher of the Armstrong Advertiser and Enderby Commoner newspapers, died April 20 at age 84. (Morning Star - file photo)

Jack Jamieson (left) and Jessie Ann Gamble celebrate the release of their book Celebrating the City of Armstrong 1913-2013 at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery in 2013. Jamieson, longtime editor and publisher of the Armstrong Advertiser and Enderby Commoner newspapers, died April 20 at age 84. (Morning Star - file photo)

They grew up together in Armstrong, Jessie Ann Gamble on Okanagan Street, Jack Jamieson on Wright Street.

They played Kick the Can together with all of the other kids from the neighbourhood, or scrub softball.

They graduated together from Armstrong High School in 1956.

Gamble and Jamieson co-authored the book Celebrating the City of Armstrong 1913-2013, celebrating the city’s 100th birthday in 2013.

But Gamble always knew Jameson had printer’s ink in his veins. Came by it naturally with his grandfather, father and uncle all involved at one time with the family printing business.

“But even as a teenager, Jack was taking the pictures for the (Armstrong) Advertiser,” said Gamble of her longtime, dear friend Jamieson, who died April 20 at age 84 after a short battle with cancer. “He would go to the meetings, take pictures and do all that kind of newspapery stuff.”

Born in Seattle in 1938, Jamieson and his family moved to Armstrong in 1948 to take over the family newspaper and printing business, known as Armstrong-Enderby Publishing Company.

After leaving Gamble, the neighbourhood kids and the other 34 graduates of the AHS Class of ‘56, Jamieson moved to Toronto to study journalism at Ryerson University.

He met his future wife, Dawn, on a work term in Whitehorse in the summer of 1958. They lived in Chilliwack before moving back to the Yukon where he toiled for the Whitehorse Star and for Time Magazine.

After a newspaper stint in Prince George, and a job working for Dairyland in Port Moody, Jamieson, Dawn and their two kids moved to Armstrong in 1969 to take over the family business. He spent the rest of his professional career as the publisher and editor for the Advertiser and Enderby Commoner.

Armstrong was everything to the Jamiesons.

Jack was president of the Interior Provincial Exhibition, Armstrong Rotary, Chamber of Commerce. He served on the Abbeyfield Society, Haugen Community Healthcare Society and the Spallumcheen Mason Lodge #13.

He was instrumental in getting a radio tower installed on Pleasant Valley Road and he volunteered at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery. Jack shared Armstrong Citizen of the Year honors with Dawn in 2006.

“Another thing I remember about him as a kid was he was a great swimmer and oh, could he play the piano beautifully,” said Gamble, a member of the Armstrong Heritage Advisory Committee along with Jamieson’s late wife.

Jamieson is survived by his children JJ (Kyna) in Texas and Jodi (Dirk) in Vernon and by his much adored granddaughters Aleen and Chloe. Jack was adamant that he did not want any service or ceremony to honour his death.

As was written in his obituary, instead, he would be happy if you remember him in your own way, perhaps sharing a memory of him with a friend.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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