Edition day: Lloyd Somner examines an edition of the Bermuda Sun after it comes off the press. *File photo
Edition day: Lloyd Somner examines an edition of the Bermuda Sun after it comes off the press. *File photo

Those responsible for launching the Bermuda Sun joined former Premiers and public figures in lamenting the demise of the paper.

Sir John Swan and Alex Scott praised the newspaper for its fair and impartial reporting.

Former Island Press employee Horst Augustinovic, who was involved in starting the Bermuda Sun 50 years ago, looked back fondly on the day the first paper hit the streets of Bermuda in May, 1964

He described the end of the paper as a ‘sad day’.

Mr Augustinovic added: “I was in charge of the preparatory — typesetting, paste-up, camera and plate-making. 

Typesetting was particularly interesting as we used tape-driven Friden Justo-writers — the intermediary method between hot-metal type-casting and future photo typesetting.

“Island Press was the first company to purchase such equipment from the US, requiring special permission regarding technology transfer.

“I well remember the excitement of producing and distributing the first Bermuda Sun, with Don French and Warren Brown out on Victoria Street, loading up numerous taxis with bundles of newspapers which were delivered free island-wide.

“Printing by web offset was new to Bermuda and allowed the Bermuda Sun to print photographs of a better quality.

“It was one of the reasons for the initial success of the newspaper and the decision to go from weekly publication to daily publication at very short notice, a decision that could not be sustained as Bermuda already had two daily papers at the time — the Royal Gazette and the Mid Ocean News.

“It was also interesting to work with several editors from Martin Dyer, to Major John Barritt, Lindsey McCallum, Bob Taylor, John Ellingham and Bermuda’s own John Barritt — each putting their own mark on the paper. It is indeed a sad day to see the Bermuda Sun close 50 years later.”

Meanwhile, former Premier Sir John Swan praised the Sun’s contribution to Bermudian society.

He said: “The Bermuda Sun has, without bias, portrayed the realities of our society and issues that affect us politically, economically and socially to the extent that it recognized its responsibility as an unfettered information source. The paper’s commentaries have been profound and informative.

“I wish to commend the Bermuda Sun and all those who contributed to the paper outside the normal employees.

“To the staff I would like to say your warm hospitality, your willingness to make my thoughts welcome and your capacity to share them with the public has left an indelible mark on the history and the contemporary thoughts of Bermuda.”

He added: “The Royal Gazette now has an even greater responsibility in portraying all aspects of information to the public.

“All sides of society need to feel they have a fair information process being presented to them.”

Former Premier Alex Scott said: “We never thought we would witness the Sun going down on Bermuda. I was devastated when I heard the news. It is very regrettable. It is Bermuda’s profound loss that we are losing an institution.

“The prospect of Bermuda continuing without another voice in print is of grave concern to me.

“We are going to miss it and realize that we needed the Bermuda Sun and I certainly wish all those who are involved with the paper the best for the future.”

Stuart Hayward, chairman of BEST, first began work as a columnist in the Sun in the 1970s and has been a consistent contributor to the paper ever since.

He said: “There is a part of me that will go, when the Sun goes.

“It’s not just the loss of another public voice, but it’s a part of me that is gone, too, as I have an intimate history with this paper. When I heard the news I just hoped it was not true. We will miss the Sun and the possibility for balance.”

Acting Governor, Ginny Fearson, added: “I was very sad to hear this will be the Bermuda Sun’s final edition.

“I know the Sun newspaper has been an important part of Bermuda’s history and has, through its online presence, worked hard to keep pace with changing trends in news delivery.

“I have appreciated the Bermuda Sun’s high standard of journalism and its featuring of diverse opinion pieces. I speak for Governor Fergusson, too, when I say the Bermuda Sun will be missed and we wish its staff well with their future endeavours.”