Monday 25 August 2008

Joe Duffy exits

Updated 08/29/08
Joe Duffy
turns in his Toronto Sun security card on Thursday in saying goodbye to a tabloid he has called a home away from home for more than 30 years.

The unsung hero of the imaging department will be surrounded by well-wishers Thursday after 6 p.m. at the nearby Betty's Restaurant, the Toronto Sun's unofficial press club.

Betty's - 240 King Street East, 416-368-1300 - has seen its share of Sun farewells in the past decade and when the goodbyes are for dedicated vets like Joe Duffy, well, the Sun shines a little less brighter.

Their numbers are fewer in 2008, but in the glory years of the tabloid Joe was among a core of Sun staffers who were always upbeat, positive and professional.

Len Fortune, another photo and imaging vet who made his exit from the Sun in March 2007, says in an e-mail to TSF:

"Just in case you or your faithful readers don't know, Joe Duffy - Hollywood Joe - is pulling the pin after more than three decades at the Toronto Sun.

"Joe, who started off in the pressroom, joined me in 1978 or '79 in the colour lab - now the imaging department. He's had an incredible career at the Sun, as a worker and as a morale booster for the paper.

"Nobody during the Sun's 37 years of existence has done more to put fun and excitement into the paper. Parties, baseball games, whatever. Joe worked hard and made sure that most of us played hard.

"His loss can't be measured in its entirety on a ledger sheet. Joe is one of a kind and the last of a rare breed."

Thanks Len.

Les Pyette, who was city editor of the Toronto Sun in the 1970s and CEO in the 2000s, says:

"Sorry to see Joe go. He was one of my Sun favorites, always willing to go that extra mile for the paper and if you needed a favor, Joe was always smiling and happy to help.

"Cheers to Joe."

Former Sun photographer Bill Sandford says Joe and his cohorts "were a good crew back in the day. Joe and I saw each other last at a ski day at Devils Glen near Collingwood a few years back

"Any idea what our favourite blonde guy is going to be doing, or is he just going to retire on his Sun pension?"

Jillian Goddard, Joe's significant other in the Toronto Sun library, tells TSF:

"No definite plans at this point . . . he is definitely taking time off in the fall to relax and hopefully enjoy nice weather. I'm sure he will be at the cottage for a good part of September and October. "

Care to share your best wishes for Joe? Send us an e-mail.


  1. You could always count on Joe for a few laughs when he would stop streetcars out on King Street with his face.

    Despite his liver problems Joe could drink with the best of them.

  2. Yes,

    Ole "Punchy Joe" never passed up a chance for a few beers while we were working in the print room. His wife Anne though could drink him under the table.