Monday, 31 October 2011

Paul Gillespie

Memories of the Toronto Sun - Paul Gillespie

I started my journey at the Toronto Sun the way most 'day-oners' did, by working at the Toronto Telegram. 

I worked in the Syndicate Department as a messenger. We were a news service, sending columns, cartoons and photos to other newspapers all over the world. 

My job was to get columns and cartoons made up in the Tely composing room, then send them out by mail to the newspapers who ordered them.

Don Hunt, was Syndicate director and my boss. After we were told the Tely was closing, he called me into his office and said he and others were going to start another newspaper the day after the Telegram ends, and they were taking the Syndicate Dept with them. 

Don offered me a job, but said he didn't know if it would last a day, month, or a year. I was just married and living at my mother-in-laws and didn't have any other job to go to, so I jumped at the offer.

Those early days at the Sun were a learn-as-you-go experience. My co-worker, Bruce Borland, and I, went from handing work to Tely comps to doing it ourselves. There was no Tely composing room to make up our reporters' columns or artists to put cutlines under cartoons. 

We also inherited the mailroom duties; all incoming and outgoing mail for the new Toronto Sun. We worked long hours, with a lot of rushing to meet deadlines, but it was the most exciting time I ever had at a job. 

The work environment was easy going and we were all on a first-name basis,. No Mr.s and no more ties. For the first time ever, I enjoyed going to work. 

After three years in the Syndicate Department, I decided to take a new journey - into the pressroom. For three years, the Sun was printed at different plants all over the city. Now we were getting our own presses and they needed four apprentices.

I took a $25 dollar a week drop in pay to work in the pressroom, but would make that up with longer hours, shift work and overtime.

I spent the next 33 years of my Toronto Sun journey in the pressroom. It was the most physically demanding job and the most satisfying I've ever had. 

Every day brought new challenges and new problems as so many things could go wrong and when they did, the paper would be late getting to the street. 

There was never a dull moment with the 40 men I worked with. They made a difficult job fun to do.

I was having so much fun. My three brothers Glenn, Larry, Chris, and my sister Colleen came to work at the Sun as well, though in different departments. I know they loved it as much as I did.

I'll always be proud to say I worked at the Toronto Sun and I'll always be grateful to Don Hunt for giving me the opportunity.

Paul Gillespie

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1 comment:

  1. Paul, Great Job and Thanks for getting me a job at the Toronto Sun in 1974. The Sun was an amazing place to work for in the early years. Thank you Doug,Don and Peter!
    Glenn Gillespie