‘Of Course you Can’t Print this!’…Jennifer Leece…A.G.M….16.2.11

‘Of Course you Can’t Print this!’…Jennifer Leece…A.G.M….16.2.11

Bill Quine, Chairman, opened the crowded meeting with a warm welcome and then allowed me a few moments to hold up a section of floorboard that the Cathedral Carpenter had uncovered whilst working on the pews. Several people had written on the underside, in pencil. I can’t guarantee the accuracy but as far as I can decipher it this is what is recorded – H.Corlett Joe Good 13 Aug 1883
W.Caine J. Boyd Jan 26 1902
W.Keown (Bible Class January 16th 1902) 13 August 1804
J.Watterson Sailed to America January 18th 1902
J.Boyd Dec 1887
W.S. Caine 1887

It’s all a bit disjointed but if you think there’s a relative there, just ring me on 842541. I guess that the best home for it will be the Leece Museum. It aroused a good bit of interest during the evening.

Bill then introduced Jennifer Leece, seated at a small table complete with a tasselled table lamp in a very homely manner. She reminisced about her years working on various newspaper titles on the Island and how vulnerable this can make you. On one occasion she described a journey made by a lady on the Orient Express. Goodness knows how, she hadn’t enjoyed the experience. Jennifer quoted her to be greeted by a furious ‘phone call saying that this passenger would be sued by the company. Jennifer suggested that this was unlikely as they were unlikely to read the West page in the Examiner!

Jennifer contrasted this anxiety with a leading figure in the church who re-assured her about his controversial remarks by saying, “I spoke it – you print it!” If only more people had this attitude how much easier reporting would be and just think of the racy articles editors could publish.

Computers have never been popular with Jennifer, although she has made a start and finds that they don’t bite. She used to send her copy through to I.O.M. Newspapers, by bus, in a box, three times a week. Buses weren’t allowed to carry envelopes to avoid competition with the Post Office.

From 1979, Jennifer loved visiting events all over her area, welcomed and highly regarded. Her natural sympathy made her ideal for obituaries – that fascinating part of a paper where one has to attempt to compress a life into a few hundred words. Indeed, we’ve nicknamed her, the Obituary Queen for our own, Peel City Guardian!

Jennifer spoke fondly of her late husband Eddie and his wonderful support.

Sam Knight then served refreshments at the back of the theatre. Another event in the Atholl Room precluded access to the kitchen now that it has been walled off from the corridor. This explains the plastic mugs – sorry!

Bravely, everyone stayed for the 22nd AGM. We have had a wonderful year and next year’s programme looks superb. I’ll have to hold over the details until next month.

Note the date, Wednesday, March 2nd 7.30pm, Centenary Centre when Scottie Keith presents ‘A Magical Slide Show.’