Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Happy 140, Winnipeg Free Press

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Congratulations to you and your staff on reaching your milestone 140th birthday. What a remarkable and enduring record of serving our community.

The Winnipeg Press Club is proud and honoured to have been associated with the Free Press and with several generations of its owners and employees for 125 of those years.

As both the newspaper and the press club continue to evolve and to adapt for our changing environment, we look forward to maintaining our relationship into the future -- whatever challenges it may hold.

A birthday gift? What do you get for the newspaper that has everything, when you're a press club with limited resources?

Of course, the storied "Dafoe Desk" is ready to make its return trip to the Free Press. From 1899 to 1944, J.W. Sifton and J.W. Dafoe enjoyed a combined 45 historic years behind that desk. During the decades following its presentation to the Winnipeg Press Club by the Sifton family, it has been a meeting and board room table, a "drinking and dining" table and home to countless Beer and Skits writing sessions. If this desk had a guest book -- what a treasure that will be.

Another small "gift." Browsing through our earliest Winnipeg Press Club minute books, I hoped to find a record of past Winnipeg Free Press birthdays. Instead, I discovered minutes of two November press club meetings held at the Free Press in the 1920s. While many of our meetings have been held there, each of these reports holds some historical interest. The November 1926 meeting in J.W. Sifton's office mentions an upcoming "News writers in Canadian history" address. The November 1929 executive meeting in the Free Press board room had an assortment of "memorable Manitobans" present or mentioned -- and the minutes tell the tale of a quashed attempt to play an undignified joke on T.B. Roberton of the Free Press. Enjoy.

Wendy Hart

Winnipeg Press Club

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 1, 2012 A15

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