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No more deadlines


He wanted to slip out quietly - and he did. It was the last order we took from Ron Ennis, a man who defined what a Managing Editor should be. For 42 years, he worked to shape the look and purpose of community newspapers in not only Newfoundland and Labrador, but across the entire country. Mr. Ennis hired, honed and directed more accomplished and capable journalists than perhaps anyone else in this province, all the while making sure they understood their role. "The community newspaper is the last bastion of our democracy," he was often heard saying.

He wanted to slip out quietly - and he did.
It was the last order we took from Ron Ennis, a man who defined what a Managing Editor should be.
For 42 years, he worked to shape the look and purpose of community newspapers in not only Newfoundland and Labrador, but across the entire country.
Mr. Ennis hired, honed and directed more accomplished and capable journalists than perhaps anyone else in this province, all the while making sure they understood their role.
"The community newspaper is the last bastion of our democracy," he was often heard saying.
He stressed the importance of capturing the story of the common man and woman, since it is they, he said, who are the most important to us.
He started as a part-time proofreader at the Advertiser in 1968 - before most of the editors who worked for him until this past Friday were born.
The woman who hired him and whom he called his mentor until his last workday, Laura Blackmore, instilled in him the journalistic integrity he has passed on. His character, however, was a result of his upbringing in the town of Bishop's Falls, where his father Charlie is said to have demonstrated the same fairness and stalward support for his own employees that Ron carried to his.
He came to the paper to work and expected the same from everyone else in the building.
Deadlines were strict, work was to be done correctly and everyone had better have their hands on the oars pulling in the same direction.
If a reporter did a bad job, Ron would not search for eloquent words to tell them.
He would, however, defend them to his last breath if necessary.
Similarly, he defended every one of his employees during tough economic times, amid layoffs and plant closures.
In retirement, he says, he will spend more time with his family of which he is exceedingly proud.
He will continue to take photographs - those images of time standing still he cared so much about in the pages of his newspapers.
He says there will be no memoirs, no history of printing or journalism in this town or the province coming from his pen, but rather, perhaps, a collection of words which might help others understand and define their faith in God and their place in the universe.
Ron Ennis, with his morals and integrity deeply rooted and his quiet and stoic manner, has embraced many changes over the past four decades.
From a transformation of how newspapers are printed, from typewriters to computers, dark rooms to digital, he was able to roll with them all.
No doubt this change will be no different.
On behalf of the editorial staff of the Advertiser past and present and all of those journalists who he taught along the way, thank you, Ron.
That might be 30 for this edition, but we are sure you are not finished yet.
We will attempt to continue the work you cared so much about without your physical presence, though your fingerprints will never leave it.

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