Times’ publisher honoured with prestigious award

Times’ publisher Jim Cumming was presented with the Margaret Hennigar Award for Exemplary Leadership at the annual Canadian Community Newspapers Association convention last week in Montreal.
The award is named after the late Margaret Hennigar, a longtime CCNA member who was active in the association as well as in her community.
She helped found the Atlantic Community Newspapers Association, and served as a board member for both the CCNA and the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE).
The award was created by members of the association in 2007 to honour exemplary individuals in Canada’s community newspaper industry who have shown outstanding leadership in business and within their community.
Hennigar’s daughter, CCNA past president Lynn Hennigar, was the recipient of the inaugural award and her company, Lighthouse Publishing, now sponsors it in honour of her mother.
Lynn Hennigar’s introduced this year’s recipient with the following remarks:
Publishing community newspapers is far more than paper and ink. It is a business that demands dedication to community, vision, courage, and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Our members are leaders. That leadership is exhibited in hundreds of communities across Canada in many different ways. Some promote economic development. Some volunteer their time and resources toward charity. Some lead by being the local expert on an ever-changing world. Some are the conscience of their community.
Many are all of the above.
Tonight we seek to honour one such leader with the Margaret Hennigar Award. This award annually honours a member of the Canadian community newspaper industry who has shown exemplary leadership in a business, community, or association setting.
Margaret Hennigar was such a leader. She was not born into the industry, but she quickly came to love it after she and her husband, Ralph, purchased a printing operation that included a small weekly newspaper in Lunenburg, N.S. in 1968.
Marg was recognized as one of Canada’s leading editorial writers. Her newspapers won dozens of awards. Yet she still knew the importance of supporting and being directly involved in the communities her papers served.
Marg volunteered for everything from the Chamber of Commerce to flipping burgers on the wharf during the Mahone Bay Wooden Boat Festival. She was involved in every capacity in the Atlantic Community Newspapers Association and served as a board member of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association.
In 2001, she received the Eugene Cervi Award from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, and in 2000 was named an honourary life member of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association.
In 2006, she authored a children’s book aimed at attracting young readers entitled “No News is Bad News.”
Margaret Hennigar epitomized the important role community newspapers play in their home communities. It is a role that may not generate headlines, but is vital nonetheless.
Marg died in December, 2006.
Tonight I have the honour of presenting the Margaret Hennigar Award to a person who meets these high standards.
We honour a third-generation publisher who has dedicated countless hours to his community. His recent contributions include the “Just Imagine” campaign which raised $1.5 million in three months to purchase a CT scanner for the local hospital; the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, a week-long fishing tournament; and work with the Rainy River Future Development Corp., which helps area entrepreneurs.
He’s also a regional representative for Swim Ontario, as well as officiating at regional swim meets and teaching new swim officials.
We honour an industry leader who believed in our need to provide proof of our extensive readership. He led our industry into the complicated world of readership studies and was the driving force behind the creation of Combase—North America’s largest media study, measuring in excess of 400+ individual Canadian markets.
We honour a visionary who has embraced technology and has continued, with his sister, Linda, brother, Don, and his mother, Del, to evolve the family business. The family’s 40-person team publish the Fort Frances daily and weekly papers, a weekly in Rainy River, a printing division, and a growing Internet business.
We honour a volunteer who has given untold hours to our industry through service with the Ontario Community Newspapers Association and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, both of which he has served as president. Not to mention his extensive role in creating and serving on the tripartite board of Combase.
Tonight we honour a person who, through his actions, dedication, and leadership, is a role model for all of us.
It is my pleasure to present the Margaret Hennigar Award to a fellow “has been” and a good friend–Jim Cumming.