When Ivan Carrutthers started working at the Smithville Review as a 17-year-old, he never suspected where that job would take him.
Turn the clock ahead 60 years and man who was the youngest community newspaper publisher in Canada when he bought The Review from George Adams in 1954 – Carruthers was addressing a crowd of family, friends and customers at Carruthers Printing’s 60th anniversary.
With a long list of thank-yous, both Carrruthers and current owner Steve Ecker were very appreciative of the support they have received and noted their staff over the years were a major component to the company’s success.
“In a small business, with a small staff, everyone is required to wear many hats to make things run smoothly and (his wife ) Mary and I would like to thank them for that,” said Ecker.
The business has changed a great deal, from hot lead to digital graphics; The Review was sold in 1968 to become part of Rannie Publications; Niagara Farmers Monthly was launched in 1970 and sold in 2006, which left the focus on the commercial printing division.
Ecker noted that when he and Mary bought the business when Ivan “retired”, two per cent of the company’s transactions came via email.
Now that has reversed and 98 per cent of business comes via email.
As well, Ecker gave a touching note of appreciation to his late mother, Jean.
“I think that Ivan would agree that we would never have made it here today without her support and financial discipline,” said Ecker, as Carruthers nodded in agreement.
Ecker also thanked his kids, Alyson, Jack and Emily, “who gave up a lot for their workaholic parents”.
And they weren’t working, they were volunteering.
Carruthers is currently president of the West Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the fourth time he has held the post.
Ecker was one of the founders of Poultryfest. Both he and Mary have been 15-year volunteers working on the board and during the event