Sunday 18 September 2011

Bill Sandford

Memories of the Toronto Sun - Bill Sandford:

As the 40th anniversary of the Toronto Sun approaches, I feel a sense of dread and euphoria. It would have been nice to have a celebration to look forward to.

Although not a day one photographer, I was around for the launch, cruising downtown with a scanner, hoping for the big one.

It was five years later that I joined the staff of the Sun, now located on King St. E., starting out as a two-way on the police desk, replacing Al Craig, who had decided to join the Toronto Fire Department.

A year later, I was a full-time photographer and enjoyed the freedom of working out of my car. I found out that being a reporter left you chained to a desk too much.

The dread I mentioned comes from the fact that the paper could be gone at any moment, the massive newsroom we had in the early years squeezed into a much smaller space. Euphoria comes from remembering the days of big stories and scooping the Star, which was often.

I have just come back from a lunch with the Toronto EMS pioneers. This is a group of retirees and those with long service. I was inducted as an honourary member because of the special relationship I had built up over many years.

I started meeting up with the EMS supervisors for coffee when working the night shift, or whenever we could meet up during a day shift. We usually got together at any big incidents and that relationship paid off in spades.

There were many stories I fed to the newsroom, with information from a supervisor, something that wasn’t on the radios.

I enjoyed chasing news, as it was the foundation of our tabloid roots.

I garnered over 20 awards during my time at the Sun, including the first NNA for photography in 1979.

And I enjoyed working with a great bunch of photographers and reporters too numerous to mention. You know who you are. 

Bill Sandford
London, Ont.

If you are a Day Oner or one of the hundreds of men and women in all departments who followed The 62 and want to share your memories of the Toronto Sun in the next few weeks, email TSF.

We want to give everyone the opportunity to mark the 40th anniversary.

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