The picture from the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives shows two unidentified pressmen checking out a first-run edition of the Vernon News in 1975.
Vernon has had a community newspaper in service for 130 years.
The Vernon News was the first newspaper in the Okanagan, founded by Angus K. Stuart and W.J. Harber on May 14, 1891. A year later, the pair sold the paper to George G. Henderson and Ainsley Megraw. They ran it for a couple of years before Megraw returned to his home in Ontario and Price Ellison became Henderson’s new partner.
Soon after, the Vernon News Printing and Publishing Co. was formed. John A. McKelvie joined the paper as edtior. Henderson remained the manager of the paper until just before the turn of the century.
The Vernon News was the subject of a fascinating short film from 1948 called The Home Town Paper, produced by Morten Parker and the National Film Board of Canada. The 22-minute film takes an in-depth look at local newspapers and their relationship to the community they serve.
Following the weekly editor of one such hometown paper for a day, the film tracks the local events that will be news tomorrow. In town, you meet the people whose names are scattered through the pages: the mayor and his hope of a new city hall, the local angler who breaks a record and even the lacrosse team, sharing spectators with the band concert in the park.
When it originally started, the Vernon News was published once a week, every Thursday. By October 1954, the newspaper was published twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday. By 1973, the Vernon News had become the Vernon Daily News.
Frank Harris, took over as editor of the paper under the new business title of The Vernon News Ltd. In 1969, Harris sold the newspaper to the Thompson Publishing company who ran the business until June 1996 when, due to decreasing circulation and low revenues, the 105 year old newspaper business ceased publication.
The Morning Star was born in June 1988 and became the community newspaper. Once a three-times-a-week paper for years on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, today’s edition comes out once a week on Thursday. And like the Vernon News, it is printed in Vernon at the Vernon Press Centre at the rear of the Morning Star building on 25th Avenue.
Black Press prints all of its own publications – more than 150 titles – and numerous other publications at state-of-the-art printing facilities strategically located in B.C., Alberta, Washington, Honolulu and Alaska.
The Vernon press centre is the only such facility in the Okanagan.