Obituary – Bruce Haire, 68, was former editor and town councillor

March 3, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Flags in the Town of New Tecumseth have been lowered in honour of Bruce Haire, a former town councillor and co-owner of the New Tecumseth Times and its predecessors, the Beeton Record Sentinel and Tottenham Times.

Mr. Haire, who served as the New Tecumseth councillor for Ward 7 from 2010 to 2014, died Sunday at Southlake Regional Health Care Centre in Newmarket after an 18-year battle with debilitating Scleroderma. He was 68.

“He was extremely community-oriented and very involved, and he only ever had kind words to say,” said his daughter Kristen Haire.

Prior to entering municipal politics, Mr. Haire was co-owner of Simcoe-York Printing and Publishing Limited, which publishes the New Tecumseth Times and several other community papers.

His daughter said he was inspired to become a newspaper man by his father-in-law, the late Fred M. Claridge, who published the Shelburne Free Press and Economist.

“He’s just always loved news, politics and being involved,” she said.

Mr. Haire founded the company in 1974 with his longtime business partner John Archibald, starting with the Beeton Record (later the Record-Sentinel).

Mr. Archibald said they made the perfect team right from the start, with Mr. Haire serving as editor while he handled the advertising and business operations.

“We had our own roles and we got a long really, really well,” he said. “It was probably even better than marriage, because when you’re married for 40 years, you’re going to have some spats, but in all those years, we may have had the odd disagreement but we never had any real issues.”

Soon after starting the Beeton paper, they founded newspapers in the neighbouring communities of Tottenham and Schomberg. Their company continued to grow with the purchase of the Innisfil Scope in 1980 and the co-founding of the Caledon Citizen a couple years later.

Later that decade, they relocated their main office to the former town hall in downtown Beeton, where it remained until its closure last year.

After an amalgamation of Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham and Tecumseth Township to form the Town of New Tecumseth, the partners incorporated their Beeton and Tottenham papers into one publication, the New Tecumseth Times.

In 2010, the pair sold their company to London Publishing Corporation, which now publishes the weekly newspaper out of the Caledon Citizen office in Bolton.

Mr. Archibald said Mr. Haire’s calmness and non-confrontational attitude balanced well with his own more direct methods of addressing issues.

“If he wrote a story about someone in the community, he wanted to be very, very conscious of what he was saying,” he said. “He also made sure everything he was saying was 100 per cent correct before it went in the paper.”

Over the course of their 40-year relationship, the two became much more than just business partners. “We watched each other’s families grow,” he said. “When we first met I already had my kids. A few years later his three daughters were born. I watched them grow up. We’d been together for so long, our lives were just intertwined.”

Kristen said her dad’s spiritually definitely helped him through his struggle with scleroderma. “He was a devout Christian and had really strong faith.”

New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne says he knew Mr. Haire well before he pulled up a seat to the council table.

“Bruce was a great councillor and a great reporter,” he said. “I can remember when we amalgamated in 1991, he was sitting there as a member of the press. One thing about Bruce is that his stories were always accurate; he had the information before he wrote his report.”

Mr. Haire is survived by his wife of 44 years, Mary, daughters Julie, Kristen and Heather and five grandchildren.

New Tecumseth has lowered the flags outside all town buildings until after the funeral today (Thursday) at the Ron Abrams Funeral Home in Tottenham.

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