Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Saturday Sunset

The 1920's were eventful years in Vancouver and the city itself was building towards its modern form. The city's objectives were increased commercial traffic, increased industrial activity, and eventual amalgamation with the suburbs, Point Grey and South Vancouver.

Vancouver remained dependent on its basic primary industries such as lumbering, fishing, and on shipping. The twenties also saw increased immigration and commercial activity, which was common to all of Canada and particularly British Columbia. Much of the city's progress was the result of federal and provincial policies and politics but, locally, Vancouver's vigorous press and persistent civic administration played important parts.

Our newspapers had a lively history. There were a few minor and eccentric publications that lasted only a brief time but by 1925, the Fourth Estate assumed its modern day form with the Sun and the Province dominating the field. The Province was originally a Victoria publication, which first appeared in 1898. It was under the management - and later ownership - of Walter Cameron Nichol.

Nichol was an enterprising editor noted for his readiness to stir up trouble, often resulting in libel suits. However, Nichol had a sound appreciation of news values and reader interests. With such valid newspaper policies, Walter soon had Carter-Cotton's pioneer News-Advertiser closing its doors.

That left Louis D. Taylor's World newspaper as the main competition for the Province. Taylor left the running of the World in the hands of John Nelson when Taylor became immersed in city politics.  Unfortunately, Nelson dealt with inadequate financing and in 1924, that paper folded.

"Both are good papers," said the neutral Saturday Sunset. During these years, Nichol restrained his violent editorial outbursts and- with the help of F.J. Burd and Roy Brown - was producing a paper that was noted for sound conservatism and comprehensive news coverage.

The Sunset was founded in 1907 and taken over by a syndicate headed by F.C. Wade in 1912. Wade was a prominent Liberal and on February 12, 1912, it re-emerged as the Morning Sun and was tied to the Liberal Party and the party policies.

It trudged along with very little success and was foreclosed on. Then it was snapped up by Colonel J.W. Stewart - than a railroad contractor who was concerned with the construction of the PGE Railway. Stewart conducted it not as a newspaper but more like a political organ.

Funny thing is though, Stewart selected an account he hired to manage the paper and appear as its publisher. The accountant, Robert Cromie was a newspaper genius.

Thanks to the book, Vancouver, From Milltown to Metropolis by Alan Morley for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

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