NEW GLASGOW – When it came to newspapers, the Irving family delivered in every sense of the word.
Dec. 29 marked the last day a member of the Irving family would deliver The News to residents in New Glasgow. For 25 years, they have been working after school and early in the morning to deliver papers.
Erica started at nine-years-old, when she was still in elementary school, though she can’t quite recall how it all came about.
“I was in Grade 4,” she recalls. “It was The Evening News then so I delivered newspapers after school.”
She continued to deliver newspapers for the next ten years.
Erica’s parents Pat and Danny also helped deliver when she couldn’t.
“I would help pick up the slack,” said Pat. “As the kids grew up, I would take over the routes for a bit.”
But it usually wasn’t for long, as Erica’s siblings also joined the family tradition of delivering newspapers. Her brother and sisters Jeremy, Amy, Pamela and Emily all had a turn.
“It was a great experience for the kids,” said Pat. “They all had a good job while in school and little extra money too. It became a family affair.”
Emily, the youngest, is currently a journalism student at University of King’s College in Halifax.
“By delivering papers, I was able to save up,” she said. “I’ve put a lot of that money towards university.”
The family’s favorite memory was when Erica won a contest to gain new subscribers for The Evening News. She was given an all expenses paid trip to Florida for three, though the rest of the family came along too.
Erica remembers the connections she had made with seniors when delivering papers, becoming close with many on her route. With some she would exchange cards and gifts at Christmas.
Pat was on duty this morning, and said her goodbyes to all the familiar faces on her delivery route.
“Everybody was giving me hugs, saying ‘we’re sorry to see you go’,” she said.
She’s confident others will come along to fill their family’s big shoes.