The technology of today can be taken for granted. Keyboards instead of typewriters, computer screens instead of plain paper, virtual classrooms instead of the hardwood of times past.
Through the Spoke online archive, one can see that some things never change. Since Spoke’s introduction in 1968, the issues matched the times for everyone, not just those on the other side of the pen and paper.
One might consider modern journalism to be an ever converging singularity of responsibilities. Journalists must write, edit, and possibly shoot multimedia for an article within hours of the story’s inception.
The turnaround has been a changing variable over the decades and the dedicated groups that have brought news to the Conestoga community have also been a changing cast.
Duncan Inglis, the ‘Advertising Manager’ pictured in the list of production staff at Spoke in a 1993 issue of the paper, had some distinct memories about his time.
“Fun times for sure,” Inglis said over online correspondence, “[the] Canadian College Athletics Association men’s and women’s championship was a definite highlight, as part of my sports coverage. I loved putting together mini-bios on each Condor player.”
1993 signified a notable time for the students of Conestoga College. News of then Doon Student Association (DSA) president Ron Lehman’s resignation, covering most of two consecutive weeks’ papers, sat above a picture of a turnstile at the on-site Harvey’s restaurant.
These detailed snapshots are made possible by Archives and Research Conestoga (ARC), which collects all documents from the College’s inception in 1967. This includes all editions of Spoke, which moved to a digital format in Sept. 2018.
Through the digital looking glass, we can see both the marvel of archival research and the difficulties that come with the process. Along with a charred smudge that errs the right side of one paper, the picture taken of the match is marred by pixilation.
Little did Inglis know at the time that the man he had photographed catching the ball in a routine match for the Condors would make news headlines far beyond the pitch.
“Did you know the goalkeeper soon after that was up on murder charges, allegedly shot his McMaster girlfriend, I believe. Sad, but true, and I don’t know how that panned out.” Inglis said.
Rory Foreman was a nursing student at Conestoga, taking up his role on the Condors soccer team as an extracurricular. In 1994, Inglis would murder his ex-girlfriend in a McMaster dormitory and later be convicted of first-degree murder. In 2011, Foreman would be denied parole under the ‘faint hope clause.’
Deaths are not uncommon at large institutions, especially ones with a diverse student and faculty body like Conestoga; with enrolment at 26,000 as of Oct. 2021.
The unsolved murder of Conestoga student Joshua Bennett in 2021 serves as a direct parallel to the community, and in turn shows the rigorous and at times unfortunate cycle of both news and college life.
While the medium by which Spoke delivers the news may have changed drastically from the era of physical papers, the legacy and stories that each former Spoke reporter carries with them into the future is significant. For Inglis, it is still vivid decades later.
If you would like to find more old newspapers, or archival documents from Conestoga College, select the ‘Archives’ tab on the Spoke navigation bar or click here.