Rant/Rave: The final Westender edition

Readers share their thoughts and memories of the newspaper, which published its final edition on Dec. 21, 2017. Feel free to add more comments below

“Heartbreaking. The Westender was always the Prince Harry to the Georgia Straight’s Prince William. The cheeky, ginger brother who seemed to be having a better time. You will be missed.”  —Andrew Templeton

 

 

“I am so sorry to hear you will no longer be publishing after Dec. 21. I am new to your paper, only five years a reader as that was when I moved to the West End. From the start I loved reading the Westender every week – it gave me a connection to my neighbourhood on a personal level that made me feel part of a caring, wonderful community that the West End is. The Westender provided information on local business, who was going, who was coming, traffic pattern changes, wonderful local events and personalities – all touching anyone who cared about this home we call the West End. You will be very much missed.”  —Lynda E.

 

 

“Way back in 1984, I was a RN at St. Paul’s Hospital and feeling rather disheartened. I had come out a couple of years before this and tried to find that perfect someone, to no avail.

Friends of mine had no problem either picking up someone or being picked up and couldn’t understand why I was always left alone at the end of the night! In talking to my 'counsellors' while sitting at the coffee bar in Little Sister’s, they kept saying I might want to place an ad in the Westender. One never knows what may happen. The more they insisted, the more I realized that I better put in the ad before they took matters into their own hands!

I spent many hours writing, re-writing, editing, re-writing the revisions, agonizing over what to say.  What do I put into an ad, how truthful should I be, what was I really looking for, etc. On Nov. 9, 1984 I walked into the Westender office and nervously handed over my ad. Then waited...and waited. A few days later I again walked into the newspaper office to see if there were any responses. Holy crap! I got 17 letters! 

After racing home I read each one and sorted them out in little piles: must meet, might meet, not interested. There were seven that were really interesting, and only one that was typewritten. Choosing the best three (including the typewritten letter) I took my life and future in my hands and went to see the Little Sister’s gang to get their opinions.

Jack and Bruce weren’t there but Jim read all three, thought about it for several seconds and said, ‘This one. Phone him or I will!’ as he thrust the typewritten letter at me. Next, I went over to the hospital to meet a very good friend and have him read the letters. Don didn’t take very long to decide that the typewritten letter was 'the one.'  

So I hurried home, butterflies in my stomach, heart racing a mile a minute. I mean, I had never done this before. I left a short message and then waited. Sure enough he phoned back, we talked on the phone about two hours, realized we have quite a few things in common, went out for dinner the next night, and before I knew it I was moving into his place. 

That was 34 years ago and we have been together ever since. Thank you, Westender!” —Ross Arnot

 

 

"I am sorry to hear about the demise of the Westender. For likely somewhere around 15- 20 years, you have been my coffee mate. The best of luck to all the staff on the new roads they endeavour… Thank you for all the years!" —Cynthia Abbott

 

 

"I have always looked forward to my Westender, delivered to the lobby of my building every week, while realizing a free local paper is a vanishing luxury. I enjoyed the Rants/Raves. It was great to read about local opinions (including my own a couple of times). It was good to know what was happening in my neighbourhood. And Grant Lawrence's reflections and insights were not to be missed. And the crosswords and the horoscopes... Thank you for 68 years of service." —Mallydee

 

 

"What, are you kidding me? This is the last Westender? After moving here about 14 years ago I fell in love with the Westender. I really liked the restaurant reviews, coverage of local happenings and the great information on beer and getting drunk. I confess I have had many Rants and Raves over the years (25-plus). I’m thankful for the editors who put my pieces in as it was a fun, creative outlet for me. So I guess this is a Rant that the paper is leaving the print landscape, which gets even smaller, and a Rave that it was a great publication for so many years. Thank you." —Keith Freeman

 

 

"My heart breaks

I shed a tear

A long time friend will no longer be here

Goodbye Westender

I will miss you forever."

—Danielle Dalbec

 

 

 

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