The resignation of another key newsroom player called for yet another farewell party, organized by friends and colleagues and held last night.
The invite to the "newsroom icon's" five-hour farewell party read:
"After 25 years at the Toronto Sun, managing editor and all-round swell guy Gord Walsh is hanging up his pen and notepad and retiring his calculator this week. We're throwing a farewell party for Gord this Friday."
The organizers, all Sun vets: Marilyn Figueroa, Kevin Hann, Calvin Reynolds and Tim Fryer. The attendees: a lot of people who have come to consider Gord not only a colleague, but a good friend who will be missed in the newsroom.
There have been far too many farewell parties for Sun vets who have resigned or have been laid off in recent years. This one was held at the Upfront Bar and Grill on Front Street East, a block from the Sun.
The Upfront Bar and Grill was formerly a bar called Crooks, which was the Sun's favourite nightly haunt in the 1970's and 1980's after all the deadlines were met. Great conversation and the greatest wings in downtown Toronto. Those were happier Sun times.
Gord, managing editor for almost eight years, got his start on the police desk 25 years ago, moved to city desk and on up the ladder. Whether you worked with or for Gord, he was always the gentleman. He always had a calming effect in the often chaotic newsroom.
Quebecor has lost another of the dedicated vets who contributed to the success of the Sun, but Quebecor being Quebecor, it is just another name to remove from the payroll and the masthead.
Good luck in your next venture, Gord. You did Doug Creighton, Peter Worthington and Don Hunt proud.
Update: The Saturday Sun included a photo of Gord being escorted by police to the front door of the Sun in handcuffs, a fun sendoff photo reminiscent of the old days.
(The photo of Gord above is circa 1988 - before the job turned his hair white. )