Bill Draayer Award 1986

Given in recognition of outstanding personal contributions to the progress and development of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association.

John 'Jack' Parry

As a businessman, Jack Parry became acutely aware that he could, as a weekly newspaper editor, serve his community better and exert a greater influence upon its progress. He abandoned his business career in 1953 to purchase an interest in the Rimbey Record.

His peers in Alberta weekly newspapers quickly recognized his natural ability and elected him to the directorship of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association in 1956. He served the Association as Convention Chairman in 1958 and as president in 1960-61.

Following his term as president, Jack Parry had still more enthusiasm and talent to contribute to Association affairs. He served for 15 years as treasurer of AWNA in addition to several years as an Alberta Director of the Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association. He served as president of the national Association in 1970-71.

As Canadian president of CWNA, he traveled across Canada promoting reorganization of the national body into a federation of provincial and regional association;  a suggestion that first began to take form in 1968. It was during his term as president that the federation proposal was finally approved – making him the first president of the reorganized and renamed Canadian Community Newspapers Association.

Jack Parry was involved with the first professional Readership Survey of a weekly newspaper in Alberta and, probably the first in all of Canada. The survey was conducted by Professor Gordon Haribiashi of the University of Alberta with costs shared by CWNA and the subject of the survey, the Lacombe Globe. The project was the first to prove how intimately and consistently a weekly newspaper reaches the people in the community it serves.

He was also a member of the special committee of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association that prepared and presented a brief to the first federal commission to study the role of newspapers in Canadian society, the Davey Commission on Newspapers.

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