With editor's sudden passing, Montrealers wonder what's next for Community Contact paper
Many Montrealers are still mourning the sudden death of Egbert Gaye, the founder and publisher of the Community Contact newspaper.
His passing left people wondering what will happen to the paper.
On Tuesday, Gaye's desk was exactly how he had left it last week when he was rushing to get the next edition out.
"It's been tough, it's been tough," said journalist Lelo Moyo, who came into the office to tie up some loose ends.
She said she couldn't say when the next edition would be published.
"We just want to respect him and give ourselves time to just mourn him," she said.
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Gaye may have had a team at community contact, but he was the heart: writing, editing, delivering, and selling ads to pay the bills. With the founder gone, many are asking what's next.
Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, president of Playmas Montreal Cultural Association, says Community Contact kept everyone connected. "This is the pulse of our community," she said.
"It's just something we look forward to, where we could get our news, things that are not reported in the mainstream media that we know we can find out from Community Contact."
Rodney Rodrick, who runs the Kustom Kutz barbershop, placed ads in Community Contact and says the paper has also been valuable to many local businesses, helping people support Black entrepreneurs.
"There was a young lady, and her business is all the way in the West Island, and she was saying, 'If it wasn't for the Community Contact, no one would have ever known her business,'" he recalled.
Many say it's paramount that Community Contact continues, including Beryl Wajsman, the editor-in-chief of The Suburban newspaper.
"It's given pride to the community; it's given union and unity to the community that has felt abuse, has felt oppression," Wajsman said, adding that he's hopeful there will be a way to keep the paper going.
"What Egbert taught, not only to his family, to his son, and the community as a whole and passed the Black community, is that you strive and you continue to strive."
On Tuesday, people were already coming by offering their assistance to fill the void, and Raeburn-Baynes says there are already discussions about ways to get involved.
"We were thinking of doing something, an event where we could honour him and giving all the proceeds to Community Contact," she said.
The founder may be gone, but the hope is his life's work, his mission, and his baby can live on.