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Delta Optimist celebrating 95 years

First edition of this community newspaper rolled off press in March of 1922

Check out our anniversary magazine that chronicles the Optimist through our 95 years, from our founding way back in 1922 to present day.

Ninety-five years ago this month the first edition of The Weekly Optimist rolled off the press.

Vincent Dunning came west from Alberta, where he was operating two newspapers, to accept an invitation from the Delta Board of Trade (the predecessor of the Delta Chamber of Commerce) to fill a vacancy left after the demise of the Delta Times in 1914.

Dunning set up shop in the former saloon of the Ladner Hotel, at the corner of 48th Avenue and Delta Street, just a block from where the Optimist has its offices today. About 500 copies were printed of that first issue, which consisted of four pages.

Although Vincent Dunning left the area the following year, the Dunning family continued to own and operate the Optimist for a half-century before selling its remaining shares to Ernie Bexley. The Bexley family operated the paper for a quarter-century before selling to the current owner, Lower Mainland Publishing, which is now part of the Glacier Media Group.

Tsawwassen resident Alvin Brouwer is both president of Lower Mainland Publishing and publisher of the Optimist.

The Optimist is currently housed in a century-old church at the corner of 47A Avenue and Delta Street.