During an election, Anne Finlay-Stewart walked into a Tai Chi class with a sheaf of papers.

It was a newsletter with her take on how the issues in that election connected with our community. The newsletter was informative and thought provoking.

After class, she went to observe the city council meeting. Anne must be one of the most consistent attendees, outside of the councillors themselves, seeking to understand how the city’s direction is set.

ReboundOS PubPartSem 24May23 enthusiasmWhen the team that originated the platform needed to divest themselves from it, Anne was a regular contributor. I was not surprised when she agreed to take it over. And I have appreciated what she has done to build the platform.

First, we get her careful and thoughtful journalistic pieces. With her ear to the ground, she notices when something is up and digs in to it.

A recent example is her piece on the legal costs incurred by the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.

I did not know how a municipal freedom of information request worked, but now I do. Not a simple process, and her first request was going to be way over budget.

Anne persevered and now we know the horrendous amount spent on one law firm.

Second, we get her openness to the community. She made space for any legitimate opinions, promotions, and news pieces.

Lately, InkQuinoxIII presents thoughtful short pieces with interesting pen and ink drawings. There have been many letters to the editor that express important ideas that would not be picked up elsewhere.

The Owen Sound Hub has been accessible to people who need to speak out, and to the community that is ready to listen.

Third, Anne Finlay-Stewart is a serious editor.

I am sure there are pieces that Anne sent back with requests for additional information or more careful proofing. I bet there have been a few hate-filled pieces that got filed.

But, as a serious editor, she was not afraid of controversy. Some public debates and a few almost personal arguments took place on this forum.

And, because she was known to be fair and hard working, people came to her with concerns.

It was on the Hub that most of the public learned about concerns with the management of our public health unit. People reached out to Anne with their concerns, and she followed up carefully and diligently, making what she learned public.

It was the first owner of the Hub who invited me to write a weekly spirituality column.

When asked, I said that I could not say no because I had argued for years that we have to get outside of Sunday morning to bring messages of hope and connection, meaning and purpose and to our communities.

It has been a privilege to continue to write this column with Anne as the Editor.

She has been unfailingly supportive and encouraging, and as I spend Saturday mornings at the market selling novels, I have met so many people who read Between Our Steps. It has been humbling, but also an eye opener. The Hub has lots of fans.

I am sure that those whose advertisements appear on the Hub are going to miss it. It has been a place for small businesses to promote their place in the community.

All of us who go there for news about city council and so many other things going on just under the surface are also going to miss it.

I will miss the weekly routine of thinking through a topic, though I am going to write, once a month, for the new forum The Owen Sound Current. The Current launches on November 1 but a preliminary website is up now to get a sample of what this site will feel like.

There won’t be advertisements which businesses and organizations will miss but readers might not – frankly I think I will as the look of the Hub has always been alive and colourful. The publishers welcome letters to the editor so there will be space for otherwise marginalized voices to speak out.

ReboundOS PubPartSem 24May23 oncetheyregonetheyregone

Anne’s voice will not disappear tomorrow.

She has a newsletter that will continue.

She will always be ready for engaged conversation when we see her.

And … who knows.

To my eye, she still has energy to engage the world.

It will be different though. This iteration of a local online news magazine will be missed.

ChatsworthHoney 100th 16Sep23 TedAnne CathyHird



Cathy Hird lives on the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation.








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