by Jane Shulman
Luigi Zardo arrived at the
Link office early Sunday afternoon, and before long, had five current
Linkies sitting around him, asking questions about the way
newspaper production was done in the 1950s. It was almost too typical
to believe: the guy from the old days and the kids of today fascinated
with the others way of doing things. But this was genuine, and just
the beginning of the student newspapers 20th anniversary alumni
The Link was founded in 1980 when Loyola News of Loyola
College merged with the georgian of Sir George Williams University.
The two schools had merged five years earlier to become Concordia, but
the campus papers had held out, arguing that they were too different to
ever consider merging.
Loyola News had its roots at the small Jesuit College, walking
a fine editorial line between reporting the news it wanted students to
have and what the priests would allow, explained Zardo, a retired Ottawa-area
high school teacher, who was editor of the Loyola News in 1957-58.
The georgian, on the other hand, was a lefty powerhouse with a
progressive agenda housed in the downtown core. It took more risks, published
twice a week, and while part of the same university, was on another wavelength
from the Loyola News.
But then we were faced with the prospect that either we could merge
or die, explained Doug Leslie, who represented Loyola News in merger
negotiations and became the Links first editor. Leslie, now
a graphic designer and writer living in Pickering, Ontario, explained
that the student union forced the merger, unwilling to continue funding
The papers grudgingly began negotiations over Christmas break, 1979. Everything
had to be decided, from the papers main office location to its name.
The group chose the name the Link by one vote over The Accord and
The Meridian. They were looking for a name that was relatively
bilingual, and represented literally the merger of the papers, linked
by Concordia. By the fall, they were ready to produce the first issue
of the Link, Concordias student newspaper.
The Link held an alumni production to mark the papers 20th
anniversary, inviting former staff of all three papers to drop in and
help produce a supplement for this weeks issue filled with alumni
writing and photos of the party.
About 50 staff from the 1950s to the 1990s answered the call, many arriving
with photos of late-night production marathons, Link parties and
the accompanying tall tales. The consensus was that it is a mystery how
the paper always managed to come out on time, given the shenanigans of
the staff. Alumni pored over decades-old issues of the paper, pointing
out stories and remembering details that didnt make it to print.
The Link comes out twice a week . . . whether you like it
or not! laughed one former editor, joking about what they used to
tell people who wondered when the paper was published.