Privileged to record our histories

In 1934, my grandfather, James Alexander Cumming, with his partner, Roscoe Larson, came to Fort Frances and took over the Fort Frances Times.
Later, they created a second paper–the Fort Frances Daily Bulletin.
My parents took over the paper in the late 1960s and my brother, Don, sister, Linda, and myself assumed control of the newspaper in the early 1990s.
For 85 years, the paper has been a full part of our lives and we grew into the industry as youngsters delivering papers as early as eight years old.
The newspaper has shaped us as to who we are and what community means to us.
We have been privileged to work with hundreds of people who have enriched our understanding of community and family.
The people of the district have welcomed our family into their homes and have given the newspaper the stories of their lives.
My grandfather and Roscoe Larson had a simple philosophy: “Help make businesses successful and they will in turn bring success to the newspaper.”
They found correspondents across Rainy River District who were the “social media” of their times, writing about the comings and goings of family for decades.
Through wars, deaths, births fires, tornadoes and floods, our correspondents told the stories of their small communities. Looking back in the files, I wonder how much time they may have spent listening in on country telephone party lines.
Our family has strived to carry on the tradition of reporting all the news of the district and we are proud of our reporting staff, perhaps the largest group of writers at papers in Northwestern Ontario.
Our sales team has produced award-winning campaigns while our designers have created outstanding ads for our clients, and together they have assisted businesses to grow and be successful.
But the time has come to move forward.
None of our children wish to assume control of the paper and its several divisions.
We believed that we had to find a person who shared our values about what a community paper was all about.
We have found that in Ray Stanton and London Publishing who have several smaller papers across the province.
He believes that newspapers are the heart and soul of communities and his papers continue to reflect those values.
Last Thursday, the newspaper changed hands. There will be few changes.
The staff will remain in place and the reporters will continue to chase down the stories and issues that affect the residents of Rainy River District.
The newspaper will continue to be produced in Fort Frances and the advertising team will continue to serve our many clients across Rainy River District. The sales staff, our award-winning designers, and our IT personnel will remain in place.
I will retire. Linda Plumridge will be the general manager and Don Cumming will continue to be the manager of the production area and staff.
On behalf of the Cumming family, I wish to thank the people of the district for their support and trust in allowing the newspaper to tell the stories of families, businesses, communities across the district.
It has been a privilege to record our histories.

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