The man who owned and operated this publication for almost 15 years through the 1970s and 80s has died.
On June 12, 1972, Ron Bock came to Campbell River from Port Alberni, where he was, at the time, the production Manager of the Alberni Valley Times.
He had been offered the job of publisher with a new upstart in Campbell River called the Mirror. The offered position included an option to purchase the publication after one year – provided he could make it turn a profit.
“In the first six months, we lost a small amount of money,” Bock told the Mirror in an interview in 2006 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the publication. “But the following year we showed a half-decent profit.”
He did purchase the paper from the original consortium of owners after the year, and began to expand the operation. Through the rest of the 70s, business was booming.
In the 1980s, however, when the economy slumped, the Mirror began to hurt, as well. Closing businesses in the region meant fewer advertisers, which meant staff cuts, which meant more work for those who remained.
“It was tough,” Bock said. “It was challenging, I tell ya. We had to work long hours.”
Thanks to Bock and his staff’s hard work, the paper survived, obviously, and in 1987, Bock sold the paper to Gerry Soroka – who later sold it to its current owners, Black Press.
Bock retired from business in 2007.
According to his son Darryl, the Bock family has a long lineage in printing. Daryl started with the Mirror as a printer in 1981 and is the fourth generation of printer in that particular family tree. He went on to manage Discovery Press in Campbellton for years after Ron sold the Mirror.
There is an upcoming memorial service being held for Ron, where Darryl says the community will remember a family man who coached hockey, loved fishing and was a strong business figure in town who took a risk on a little paper that could, right when that risk was needed.
Bock passed away on Nov. 6. he was 82.