Community members, writers of Kerwood news column remembered

·2 min read

KERWOOD - Residents in Kerwood likely remember Joyce Morgan, a community member whose roots ran deep in the village. Later in life, her friendliness and social spirit became tied into a larger legacy when she began writing the Kerwood News column in local newspapers.

Morgan began writing the Kerwood News in 1997, initially earning 10 cents per inch. The column first appeared in the Age Dispatch and later, The Watford Guide-Advocate. Her bread-and-butter was local community organizations like the Optimists Club, Guides, Scouts, local sports teams, and the fire department. If there was an event, you could count on a detailed recap in Morgan’s column.

Family members say that the weekly column was her way of supporting a community which she held so dear to her heart.

She continued writing the Kerwood News even after moving to Strathroy with her husband, Ernest, in 2011, continuing until September 2020. Morgan passed away in September 2020, in her 82nd year.

She became well-known for her weekly “AND FINALLY...“, a segment which consisted of a clever quip or words of wisdom capping the column each week. Readers say they looked forward each week to reading the “AND FINALLY…” quotes, and Joyce would carry a notebook and pen with her everywhere in case inspiration struck!

Before Joyce Morgan, Eileen Freer was the voice of the Kerwood News column. Her husband, Reg, was postmaster in Kerwood, and Eileen worked as a telephone operator for some time. A member of local churches, they were well plugged-in to the community and its ongoings. “Dad had an orchestra and toured around, so everybody knew them,” added daughter Lynda Paine.

The Kerwood News column was how residents stayed up-to-speed with one another. Visiting relatives, community events, and even a train derailment were captured in the column. The Kerwood News came to an end in 2020 with no successor.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner