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Abbotsford News celebrates 100 years

One of B.C.’s oldest community newspapers commemorates centennial
The Abbotsford News is celebrating 100 years of publication.

The Abbotsford News celebrates a century of publication in various forms and nameplates this year.

It all started when John A. Bates, publisher of a weekly newspaper in Mission, decided that Abbotsford, seven miles across the Fraser River, should have its own newspaper, so he started the Abbotsford Post in 1906. Prior to this the Abbotsford area had been covered by the Mission newspaper.

The Abbotsford Post was short-lived under the ownership Bates and, in December 1922, Gerald H. Heller purchased the newspaper and it became known as the Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News.

READ MORE: Abbotsford News: Covering the community for 90 years

Based in Abbotsford, the newspaper covered the Sumas and Matsqui municipalities. Abbotsford District was incorporated as a village in 1927. With Heller at its helm, the newspaper published weekly and averaged six to eight pages.

In 1938, Heller sold The News to Lang Sands of New Westminster. Sands came to Abbotsford with newspaper training, having worked in Chilliwack until 1927 as the assistant editor and later at The Columbian in New Westminster.

Sands’ first project was to make The News an all-local print publication. Two years later, the newspaper was eight pages of local news produced entirely in the Abbotsford shop. It had a circulation over 1,000.

In 1949, The News was sold to Cecil Hacker, who came from the Chilliwack Progress. And in 1962, The Liverpool Daily Post and Echo Limited purchased The News and two neighbouring weeklies, the Chilliwack Progress and the Fraser Valley Record in Mission City. Hacker became president of the three publishing companies.

The Abbotsford News continued to be a strong presence in the community and joined several Fraser Valley papers, including sister papers the Hope Standard and Chilliwack Progress, as part of the Metro Valley Newspaper Group.

RELATED: Moving on: The Abbotsford News looks back after saying farewell to old building

The Abbotsford News, and Metro Valley, have been a part of Black Press Media since Jan. 1, 1997.

In September 2021 the paper left the iconic News building on Gladys Avenue and set up shop at 100B – 2860 Trethewey St.

Abbotsford News Staff

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