Thursday, 30 October 2008

Day Oners 5

The trademark layout of the Toronto Sun's wasn't created after the Toronto Telegram's demise and before the Sun's launch on Nov. 1, 1971.

Andy Donato designed the dummy tabloid design and iconic logo years earlier at the Toronto Telegram when Doug Creighton, John Downing and Andy MacFarlane tried to convince the Bassett family the Tely should also publish a tabloid.

The Tely tabloid idea didn't fly and Andy's layout and other ideas were tucked away until 1971 and the birth of the Sun.

Which brings us to the Day One art department, messengers and secretaries:

Art department:

(16) Andy Donato: What more can be said about the kid from Scarborough, who this year marked his 40th year as an editorial cartoonist? From his first cartoon in the Toronto Telegram in 1968, to the lasting genius of his Sun cartoons four decades later, Andy is one Day Oner whose contribution to the print media cannot be measured. His award winning creative genius is recognized throughout North America and beyond. The awards are numerous, including the National Newspaper Award. His editorial cartoons spanning generations of politicians have been published in numerous best-of books. (New Donato compilation books are long overdue. How about a 40 Years of Donato book?) When not amusing Sun readers with his cartoons, Andy is a landscape artist and his paintings are in demand, as are paintings by his artist/wife Diane Jackson, formerly with the Sun. That said, Andy is also a hole-in-one golfer. What more could a kid from Scarborough ask for?

(17) Jeff Crawford: The second Day One art department staffer retired from the Sun years ago and is living in Bramalea. (Need photo and update on his life and times.)

The Messengers:

(18) Jim Thomson: One of four messengers at the Sun on Day one, Jim is also one of four remaining Day Oners on the job, along with Peter Worthington, Andy Donato and Christina Blizzard. Jim eventually worked his way into the graphics department, becoming one of the unsung graphics heroes who gave the tabloid its award winning front pages and eye-catching photos and graphics throughout the paper. In 1994, he added the weekly television guide video column to his resume. Today, Jim is the Sun's photo editor, working with photo vets Michael Peake, Stan Behal, Dave Thomas and others.

(19) Frank Benedetti: Frank, one of Andy Donato's uncles, was the talk of the Sun because he owned a 1955 Cadillac. A baker by trade, Frank delivered bread from an Italian bakery on Elm Street to the Italian community in Toronto, says Andy. As a Sun Day Oner, he was responsible for getting the daily layouts to Inland Publishing in Mississauga and there are stories to be told about car problems and missed deadlines. Andy says Frank worked at the Sun into the early 1980s and died 15 years ago. (Need photo)

The secretaries:

(20) Chris Smales: The future Christina Blizzard, Queen's Park columnist, was a busy secretary on Day One and at the time, thought she'd only be needed for a few days. Not on Doug Creighton's watch. Doug asked Christina to help out and she soon became a fixture as Peter Worthington's assistant. She was working with Peter at the time of his heart attack in 1978. He reportedly put on his coat, told Chris he was having a heart attack and shuffled off to hospital. It was 30 years ago, but it was a day at the office that Chris has never forgotten. And she has done Peter proud as an op-ed columnist. Read Christina's Day One memories here.

Newsroom staffers, messengers, secretaries, library staff etc. not mentioned to date will be listed next in a Where Are They Now? posting.

All of the known late Day Oners will conclude the 37th anniversary salute.

Next: Where are they now?

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