GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L. — David Blackmore, 82, the eldest son of the Blackmore family that founded The Advertiser, The Beacon, The Pilot and many other community newspapers in the province, passed away on April 30, 2018.
Blackmore’s focus within the Blackmore Printing Company (which became Robinson-Blackmore in 1968) was on the printing side of the newspaper business, but he shared his family’s passion for community newspapers.
“He felt, as we all do, that newspapers were the primary organ of communication in these towns,” Blackmore’s sister, Eleanor Jones said. “The papers sort of centered the community.”
After the sale of Robinson-Blackmore, Blackmore and his brother Anthony went on to form Flexo-Pak, a company that did a variety of types of commercial printing.
David Blackmore was very active in community life in Grand Falls-Windsor.
“He had great community spirit when he lived in Grand Falls-Windsor,” Jones said. “He was a member of many community organizations and an active member of his church.”
While they were aware of his community involvement, Jones says his family did not realize the extent of his commitments. The condolence notes they received after he passed away on April 30 revealed the broad scope of his kindness.
“He was one of those people who was always generous and kind,” Jones said. “But, after reading all the condolences, we discovered he was even more generous than we knew. He helped individuals and made contributions to organizations that found themselves in need of money. He did that privately.”
When Blackmore eventually moved to St. John’s, he and his partner, Barbara Wood, continued to participate in community life, particularly in St. Teresa’s Parish and at his home in Cambridge Estates.
He also continued to collect family trivia, and maintain his connections to as many friends and family members as possible.
He was one of the oldest of the cousins, and as such, he kept track of the movements in the lives of the Blackmore, Harvey and Griffin families as they settled in many different parts of Canada. According to Jones, Blackmore’s encouragement convinced many family members over the years to make the trek to Newfoundland to reconnect with family in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Jones says Blackmore was a favourite among his siblings’ children.
“He was an Uncle who bought treats — he was that guy. He looked out to his nephews and nieces, and took care of them.”
Jones says that in addition to gathering family lore, and gathering anecdotes about growing up in central, her brother was great at sharing stories, particularly when among his peers.
“In the Blackmore house, you had to fight to be able to tell a story,” she said. “But that’s one thing that stood out about his personality among his peers, he was a great storyteller.”
There will be a Memorial Mass for David Blackmore at 9:30 a.m. on June 20, 2018 at St. Theresa’s Church in St. John’s. Donations in Blackmore’s memory may be made to St. Teresa's Parish 120 Mundy Pond Rd., St. John's, NL A1E 1V1 or to a charity of one's choice.