By Kaitlyn Clark
The Haldimand Press is saddened to announce the passing of Publisher Emeritus Robert “Bob” Hall on November 15, 2018 at the age of 82.
Bob was born in Cayuga to Gordon and Marion (Hibbs) Hall in 1937. The Halls had been brought to Haldimand when Gordon learned that The Haldimand Advocate was for sale and purchased it in November, 1931. Gordon had a history with newspapers, as his father was a publisher of The Clinton News Record and Gordon himself had become an expert in linotype. Because of this, Bob was born with ink in his veins and was sure to follow in the family business.
In a June 25, 2009 Haldimand Press article about Cayuga’s history by Catherine Berry Stidsen, Bob recalled travelling to the Canfield G&B train station every Thursday morning to put papers on the train, along with regular trips to pick up stock from paper houses. Bob learned to maintain the linotype machine when he was 16 years old in 1953.
Having retired in the fall of 2014 after selling the paper to fellow Cayuga resident Jill Morison, Bob would have spent over six decades working with the paper. During this time, he took over the role of editor and publisher after his father’s death in 1965 and saw the amalgamation of The Haldimand Advocate with The Hagersville Press in January, 1975, the combination of which would become The Haldimand Press.
“Bob’s work and that of his family has made its own mark on the history of Cayuga,” wrote Berry Stidsen in her article. “When I asked Bob about his hopes for Cayuga’s future, it was that no matter what happens, he hopes it will always ‘retain its character’. (I would suggest that character is best found in Bob’s own person…).”
Ed McCarthy, a long-time friend of Bob’s, gave the eulogy at Bob’s
funeral; he spoke of Bob’s dedication to the paper, his love of Lincolns and his truck “Old Blue”, his passion for racehorses, and those “colourful little gems”.
Long-time subscribers of The Press will remember fondly Bob’s weekly columns, “Bits by Bob”, as he mused about life in Haldimand and ended with “This Week’s Little Gem”, a tradition the paper continues to this day.
On these “colourful” jokes, Reverend Canon Katherine Morgan added, “There was a spark of mischief in his eyes. He had a sly sense of humour and he liked to push the envelope on what he could get away with.”
On Bob’s passing, Jill Morison said, “It’s very sad. He leaves behind a legacy of commitment to our community and informing people about news and happenings in Haldimand. I’m very pleased that his life’s work – The Haldimand Press – lives on and continues to be a vital part of our county. He was also a great friend of my family and I’m humbled that he entrusted me to purchase The Press, which was so dear to him.”