Review intern Umaia Perlin is spending a few days each week going through the newspaper’s extensive archives. The Review 125 Souvenir Book, a compilation of the 50 most impactful and interesting stories published during the paper’s century of operation, is a project celebrating the Review’s 125th anniversary.
“It’s really fascinating to look at the history of the community from such a unique point of view,” says Perlin.
“A town’s newspaper really reflects its priorities; for example, in the fifties and sixties there was a lot of worry over the price of cheese.”
She laughs. “But on a more serious note, looking through these archives gives you the opportunity to watch the development of the community on a large scale. You can see how the culture changed; for example, early on there was a “Jottings” column that detailed small socials, like who was visiting whom or who was hosting a dinner. It disappeared around the late sixties. And reading these papers in retrospect offers an explanation for the way things are today; all the articles about the Canadian International Paper Company closing in the eighties kind of explain the decline of businesses in Hawkesbury.”
When asked if any one article had struck her so far, Perlin hums in reflection. “There’s one from 1982 that I found particularly heartwarming, about two penpals meeting in Vankleek Hill for the first time. One lived here, the other in Australia. And they’d been writing to each other for 50 years! In the article, one of them was quoted saying ‘we’d never met before, but we recognized each other.’ That was a special story.”