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Gordon Cameron

When column writing is too effective

As someone who writes a newspaper column, I’m often left wondering if my words have any real impact beyond bringing an occasional smile to my colleagues who edit it.

Well if I needed hard evidence to prove that people are reading me, of late, I’ve received it in spades.

Two weeks ago I invited readers to phone, write or e-mail in their thoughts about our redesign and they responded in a big way. The comments were all constructive, and, while we can’t please everybody, we have made several changes to the paper’s look since it was relaunched. (Anyone else wishing to share their thoughts on the changes we’ve made to the paper can do so via e-mail at

Then three weeks ago I wrote about the Mission Services and Hamilton Community News Golf Tournament. In that column I made it sound like not only was I a horrible golfer, but also a real menace to anyone in plus-fours and a short-sleeved collared shirt. In fact, I did such a good job describing how awful I am at golf that not a single person took me up on my offer to witness that fact for themselves.

Now personally, I take no offence. After all, most people who go to golf tournaments are not only looking for a day out of the office, but for an enjoyable game (which would be far from guaranteed playing with me unless you had a particularly warped sense of humour). But what is truly important is coming out in the first place to help raise money for a great organization that is dedicated to assisting those within our city who need it most.

When I was first introduced to Mission Services last summer, what struck me most was how vibrant an organization it is. Everyone I met seemed to not only be dedicated to their job and to the great programs and services that Mission Services provides, but they all seemed to be excited about taking on the challenges in front of them.

And they face a lot of challenges.

Not only does the group run facilities for both men and women in need of temporary accommodations, it runs a food and clothing bank, a meal program and legal, addiction and employment supports to those who find themselves in need of help, and have nowhere else to turn.

I was inspired by the work that Mission Services was doing and by the constant changes and innovations they were coming up with to meet the new challenges facing their clientele.

Of course all that takes money, and, even if you don’t want to golf with me, registering for the May 1 tournament will do a lot of good for a lot of people. You can sign-up as an individual, pair, trio or foursome at And don’t worry, I have it on good authority that the course will be ready in time.

As added incentive, if we get enough golfers I promise to stay safely in the clubhouse.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News

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