Trevor (Bud) Slapak

The AWNA paid tribute to an icon in the Crowsnest Pass – Trevor (Buddy) Slapak, who was editor and owner of the Pass Herald for 65 years.  Buddy, who passed away in February of 2017, was awarded a Gold Quill at the association convention on June 2nd for his years of service to the industry.

Buddy was a rare creature in these modern times, when huge corporations own the majority of newspapers in Canada.  He was a homegrown, independent owner-operator of a community newspaper.  Buddy set a shining example for others in the newspaper business to follow, one of service and commitment to the community.

Over six decades he was able to cope with the changes in the industry, from writing stories and drawing ads by hand, hot metal and cold type, to desktop publishing and the Internet.  Buddy saw it all.

He celebrated the community’s triumphs on the pages of the Herald, and he mourned with the Crowsnest Pass on those same pages when tragedy struck.  Buddy provided leadership on the opinion pages, holding politicians and others accountable for their actions through his editorials.  He took pride that the Pass Herald was “a little spicy.”

Over the years Buddy took on all challengers, including more than one big media corporation, when they set up a rival newspaper in the Crowsnest Pass.  The battles were hard, real David and Goliath stuff at times.  But Buddy and the other people at the paper persevered, and at the end of the day the Pass Herald was still standing.

The fact that he was still involved in the paper at an age when most people would have long since retired speaks volumes about the man, his commitment to the Pass Herald, and his love of the Crowsnest Pass.

Buddy can rest easy, knowing he left a proud legacy and set an example for all of us who follow in the newspaper industry.

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