Bill Draayer - 2013 Ossie Sheddy

There’s no question about the suitability of this year’s candidate in receiving the Bill Draayer Award. Whenever he has been called up to lend a hand, chair a committee or preside over the board of directors, Ossie Sheddy has accepted the challenge.


Frank McTighe, a past president and himself a Bill Draayer Award winner, pointed out the award criteria in part recognizes — A member who has a record of reliability in performance of volunteer or assigned Association projects vital to its present or future success, during a period of months or years — in Ossie’s case decades. Tenacity, enthusiasm and foresight in the interests of AWNA are important.


That fits Ossie to a T.


Ossie has been in the newspaper business all of his working life, starting full time in 1970. He did start out with a paper route — delivering Gutenberg’s first publications — then graduated to setting type, pouring pigs, running presses, as any printing shop had many jobs that needed to be done in the weekly cycle of newspaper publishing. 


Ossie learned photo and darkroom techniques from a friend, built his darkroom, bought the equipment and declared himself a news photographer. He spent three weeks learning offset printing at Walter Koyanagi and George Meyer's plant in Taber, then went and spent a whole lot of money he didn't have to buy Compugraphic equipment. An evolution similar to that of many newspapermen into the new world of publishing.


Ossie always followed the philosophy that he didn't own the newspaper  —  that privilege went to both his readers and his advertisers.  He believes the best part about owning a newspaper is the people you come in contact with, and he believes the worst part of owning a newspaper is the people you come in contact with. 


You get to meet some amazing people, politicians, royalty, movie stars, criminals and sports figures. People love you and hate you, depending on what you wrote that week, and no week is ever the same. 


Ossie has, like many businessmen in a small town, devoted many hours to Drumheller's projects and volunteer activities over the years as well.He has served on the board of the Dinosaur Trail Golf Club and was president in 2009. He has served on two volunteer boards created by the Provincial Minister at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, and served as chairman in 2000. 


He recently concluded a four-year stint on the steering committee of the Badlands Community Facility, a $20 million multi-use recreational/library/ civic building that our board of directors  toured last fall, and of course Ossie was AWNA's first two-term president, serving in 1978 and more than 30 years later, he donned the mantle of leadership once again, serving from 2010 to 2012. 


He is a deserving Bill Draayer Award recipient for 2013. 

Please join me in congratulating Ossie Sheddy.

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