If you asked anyone outside the Bermuda Sun who Valerie Roberts is, they probably would not be able to give you an answer.

But the truth is, she has held a very important role within this company for the past 49 years.

And last night she completed it for a final time.

Ms Roberts transfers all digital images to plates in order for the newspapers to print on the press; she is otherwise known as a plate-maker. She has worked for the Bermuda Sun since she was 20 years old.

“I started out in the graphic art department, where I did formatting and magazines. I was an apprentice, then I eventually moved on to the press and did stripping and plate-making.

“Tonight I will do my last paper. It’s such a shame. It’s a shock. I remember when this paper was a daily.”

Ms Roberts says during her time at the paper she has experienced a lot but the riots of 1968 and 1977 stand out: “I remember one night during the first riots, there were three of us working and the rioters were throwing cocktail bombs at the building. 

“We were backed up right into a corner in the back of the building because we were so afraid. We had a lot of flammable inks in the building and a fire could have started very easily. I will never forget that night.”

She recalls living in St. David’s at the time, which required her to have special travelling provisions: “The Island was under curfew then so if you were going to be out later than that, you had to have a pass. 

“When I left here on nights, security would call ahead giving the Police my description so they could look out for me.”

During the riots of 1977, Ms Roberts says upset residents were throwing cocktail bombs onto the balcony of the newspaper’s offices; and as quickly as they did, she and her work colleagues would kick them off.

"I’ve also been questioned as a potential witness to two murders. I’ve been through some things while working here,” she says with a chuckle.

At the age of 69, Ms Roberts says she has one thing on her agenda now that the end has come for the newspaper: “I’ll just retire.”