June 21, 2024
Gloria Antoinette M. Hamada

Gloria Antoinette M. Hamada

Early this year, my thoughts on the challenges Baguio Midland Courier will have to face another year of this pandemic saddened and worried me.

The world as we know it is gone and for what feels like such a long time, hope and resilience keeps us going. I also thought of the Midland turning 75 years old on April 28 and so much pride came upon me. Thoughts of my childhood came rushing in and tears started rolling down my cheeks as I recall as early as my fifth or sixth grade, I would help my mom “practically” every Sunday morning bring cooked breakfast for the Midland staff.

The smell of ink and the warmth of the newly printed news pages come to mind as I helped in the binding department. As I grew older and in high school, it was an early Sunday morning routine for me and my younger sister, Elizabeth, to help insert pages and fold the printed newspaper using a wooden “plancha” to press it down, but I grew tired of that process and wanted to try something more challenging and found it…I helped pick metal letters and arrange them upside down to compose the stories written by columnists! It needed focus and determination, says my dad, I found it to be fun. When college schedules permitted, I assisted in doing bank transmittals for the press. Now looking back, growing up and witnessing the hard work of meeting deadlines and overcoming the challenges faced by the Midland like Martial Law in the 70s and 80s just make you admire my family.

Of Japanese and Ibaloy descent, my uncle, Sinai Hamada, conceived the idea of starting a newspaper in 1946, just about a year after being liberated in 1945 from the Japanese occupation.

With the help of some investor friends, the Baguio Midland Courier was born and its four-page maiden edition was released on April 28, 1947 with a circulation of 200 copies. Notwithstanding that World War II just ended, uncle Sinai envisioned a community weekly newspaper was needed to provide information about the latest news and concerns of Baguio City.

There were press nights that I recall, uncle Sinai would doze off in front of his typewriter, fingers still on the keys and when awoke, continues his typing like he didn’t miss a thing. Uncle Sinai was not only the Midland founder but also its first editor-in-chief. One can only admire uncle Sinai’s “hutzpah”.

His older brother, my father, Oseo “Ossie” Cariño Hamada, managed the day-to-day business of the Midland. He had this beautiful big narra desk and many times he would work till late hours in the evening. My mom or us kids would check on him and bring him coffee and what stands out on his desk aside from the paperwork, is this abacus…a calculating tool which has been used in ancient times, originating from China and he was really good at it. In the 70s, basic calculators were being used but dad stuck to his abacus even in the 80s. Dad was the extrovert side of uncle Sinai…my opinion. Not only was he an avid golfer, dad was a member of several community organizations, he sure did have a lot of friends. I saw in my father his compassion for others early on that he would sponsor fund drives to help train the blind community earn a more descent income, children of poor families born with a cleft palate or a clubfoot would get corrective surgery for free and during disasters my father used the Midland to generate fund drives to help communities hit hard by the disaster.

One comes to mind. In 1991 during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, the community that benefited from the donations named their village Barangay Midland Courier. My father taught us well as we continue to this day his passion in helping others. My younger brother, Charles, decided to forgo his medical career to manage the Midland after my father died in August 1993.

For 22 years, Charles steadfastly directed the Baguio Midland Courier to reach its growth potential. After the devastating Pinatubo eruption, a lot of lowland residents relocated to Baguio seeking a new life, influx of students started coming up to Baguio making businesses, schools and universities expand and the Baguio Midland Courier was right behind them. Expansion was needed to move large machineries out of the Kisad property to a larger Gen. Lim property and hire additional staff to meet the increased demand of advertising and news in 2007.

Mountains that were once covered by trees, some are now covered with houses. The Baguio Midland Courier received numerous awards yearly for its excellence in civic journalism. Readership increased to 25,000 a week.

I had to take over the helm in 2016 after Charles succumbed to a lingering health problem in January. Facing the increasing challenges of social media was no small feat but the Baguio Midland Courier persevered.

In 2017, the Baguio Midland Courier was awarded the Best Edited Weekly Newspaper for the fifth time, Best Editorial Page for the seventh time, Best in Science and Environment Reporting for the third time by the Philippine Press Institute in Manila, and to top it off the Courier was elevated to the Hall of Fame.

For the first time I was speechless, just felt warm tears rolling down my cheeks and could only murmur “We did it, dad.” The jubilant pride and plans to expand our website to compete with changing technology in social media was short lived when in March 2020 the world was struck with the Covid-19 pandemic.

This new challenge was like no other because it caused death. The Baguio Midland Courier being media was allowed to operate business but retrenching had to be made including part-time employees. What was a six-day business operation became three days, advertising decreased, government agencies utilized the Midland to disseminate pertinent information, health protocols had to be strictly followed, checkpoints everywhere, streets were bare, businesses were greatly affected and some closed permanently.

It’s been over two years now and some relief is being felt after vaccinations and booster shots had been administered. The confidence that we’re going to be fine is seen in people’s faces, businesses are starting to thrive, the eagerness to get back what was lost is in the air. It’s like coming out of a world war and the enemy is Covid-19. This virus is here to stay and just like the flu, we have to get our booster shots every year or when Department of Health states so.

So, this is where we are thankful to our local government leaders and department of health leaders in directing and guiding our city in fighting this virus.

I’d like to end my tribute to Baguio Midland Courier by thanking the highlight of our company’s strongest asset: our Baguio Midland Courier team past and present, who without these hardworking dedicated and loyal employees, the Baguio Midland Courier will not be here today.

To my siblings, especially Maria Luisa Hamada-Lapid and Oscar M. Hamada Sr., thank you for always being there when Midland needed help.

To my dad, Oseo, uncle Sinai, auntie Cecile and uncle Ben Palispis, thank you for your enormous contribution, dedication and love for the Midland.

I hope we make you proud as we continue to be Fair, Fearless, Friendly, and Free.

 (The author is the chief operating officer of the Hamada Printers and Publishers Corporation and publisher of the Baguio Midland Courier. She is the seventh child of Virginia Monroe and Oseo Hamada)

Elizabeth Hamada-Platt

Elizabeth Hamada-Platt

Growing up in Baguio, everyone knows the Midland Courier is the Sunday paper of Baguio.

There are a lot of memories I have growing up around the printing press. Not only did we live behind the press but it was also a playground for the five of us younger siblings Toni, Charly, Jeannie, Patrick, and myself. (Hide and seek; Indian and cowboys; pretending driving a car or flying a plane using the paper cutter). We also use the main entrance of the press to get home after staying out later than our curfew hour to avoid consequences from mom and dad.

We also learned how the paper was made by watching the employees we call “uncles” doing their jobs from setting the letters (upside down), cutting the paper to size, to inserting the pages of the paper and then folding them getting ready to sell and deliver to newsboys and newsstands and mail delivery.

Our dad had encouraged us to explore our writing skills, business management, self-confidence, public relations, and getting involved in civic organizations which helped developed our future endeavors. 

After graduating from nursing school at BGHSN, I had the opportunity to be dad’s secretary since “auntie Juaning” had some personal matters to take care of. This is where I watched how my dad handled the business and was fascinated how he preferred to use the “abacus” instead of a calculator. (I have it as a momento of dad).

I really thank my dad for my experience working in the press that helped a lot when I had to create a facility newsletter for the nursing home my oldest sister manang Boots owned, then in my next job working at a rehab facility in Michigan until I retired.

Seventy-five years is a milestone to celebrate a family-owned newspaper business that I’m very proud to be a part of. I’m also very grateful and appreciative of the hardship and dedication my father Oseo C. Hamada and his brother, uncle Sinai, put in to develop and manage the newspaper…Baguio Midland Courier

I pray and know they are very pleased of how the newspaper has changed through the years to reach this milestone.

Congratulations to all the staff for their hard work and may God continue to watch over us, guide us, and bless us.

 (The author is the president of the Hamada Printers and Publishers Corporation. She is the eighth child of Oseo and Virginia Hamada)

Christine Lapid-Delvalle, RN

My very first job was working in the Baguio Midland Courier at age three. I “helped” the binding department. I was told that I was the boss and received one peso for all my hard work. But let’s face it, the “Boss” was Oseo Hamada. But Midland Courier was a family business, so when you were able, you helped.

My most vivid image of lolo Oseo is him sitting at his desk reading the Midland Courier with his charismatic smile, that glint in his eye, and discerning judgment making sure that everything was just right.

I can also remember my lolo at Baguio Country Club having lunch and schmoosing with his many business partners and conducting business with such ease and self-assuredness.

He was a man short in stature but his persona was larger than life. He had this magnetism that pulled so many to his orbit.

He was also a man of deep conviction. He was steadfast and true making sure that the news printed was accurate and reliable. And he did not shy away from printing stories that others tried to hush. He was a real newspaper man!

I am truly amazed what he and his brother, Sinai, with the support of their mother, Josefa, was able to do so much with so little resources. They had a vision. They had determination. And they worked so hard and were so determined to make Midland Courier a reality. A reality that has stood the test of time for now 75 years.

What an achievement!

But this would not have been possible had it not been for the support of so many: especially lola Jean, our family and extended family, devoted friends, dedicated employees, loyal business associates, and the wonderful subscribers and readers.

We have all benefited from Midland Courier by having a reliable source of news and more. My hope is that we will continue to have this legacy for many more years to come.

 (The author is an administrator of Magnolia Gardens Assisted Living in New Jersey.

She is the eldest daughter of Dr. Reynaldo and Maria Luisa Lapid)

Richard David Hamada

Richard David Hamada

Happy 75th anniversary to the Baguio Midland Courier from Hawaii.

Aloha! It’s an honor to share some time with you in celebration of the 75th anniversary of this iconic family publication, the Baguio Midland Courier

A brief introduction. I was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1961. Lived and attended school in the state of Indiana. Lived and worked around the United States and internationally finally settling in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am blessed with a beautiful family and career as a radio executive and broadcaster, and I attribute all to the Lord’s blessings and I give Him thanks. 

I include in His blessings to be a member of the Hamada family. Despite time and distance, I am joyful to share a heritage that is filled with faith, dedication, professionalism, tenacity, and profound community service. The Baguio Midland Courier is the personification of these family ideals and beyond. 

You have been a part of the Baguio Midland Courier for generations. However, perhaps I can provide my perspective from Hawaii.  

On April 28, 1947, it was the launch of the Baguio Midland Courier comprised of four pages and 200 copies. Founding editor, Atty. Sinai C. Hamada, wrote in the first issue of the mission and purpose of the paper and his words are inspiring today. I encourage you to read, “By Way of Beginning” which is found online at www.baguiomidlandcourier.com.ph.

I contemplate the innate challenges of starting a Japanese family business in the immediate post-World War II era. This speaks to the family’s heart and the community’s acceptance following a severely difficult time in history and I am moved by the actions of both.  

I also reflect on historic moments where the Baguio Midland Courier had a role in reporting and archiving for future generations. Martial Law was declared by then President Ferdinand Marcos on Sept. 23, 1972. It was a period of unsettling times, but the Baguio Midland Courier continued despite the tumult advanced by the presidential edict and its effect. 

Fast forward. As with my industry, the newspaper business has evolved. The sound of typewriters and typesetting are silenced, and the smell of ink has dissipated.

Now, it is the smartphone with images and words uploaded in seconds that’s regarded as citizen journalism.  

But just a satellite radio was predicted to replace terrestrial broadcasts there is nothing that can replace a personal and professional connection to a community.

A forum for local voices to share their thoughts and opinions, local businesses reaching families and neighbors and, of course, the news of the day that remains news and not a biased opinion of the writer or editor.  

These qualities among many others have brought the Baguio Midland Courier through 75 years as the source of information and service to this community and beyond. With your support and our family commitment, the Baguio Midland Courier will remain for generations to come.  

 (The author is the director of Public Service, iHeart Media Hawaii. He is the host of “The Rick Hamada Program at KHVH Radio. He is likewise the host of “Community Matters” Radio, KSSK AM/FM, Island 985, The Beat 939, Star1019, KHVH 830, FOX Sports 990, KUBT-FM. He is the eldest grandchild of Oseo and Virginia Hamada and the son of Samuel Hamada and Dorothy Jane Cariño).

Anna Hamada, MD, PhD

Anna Hamada, MD, PhD

Growing up, Sundays were special. We usually split the time between our grandparents’ homes. Sundays were also “Midland” days!

My favorite memory of the old Hamada house in Kisad was the hidden door in lolo Ossie’s study that led to the printing press. Since the top of the entryway was waist-high, you had to duck down to get in. It only took a few steps, but it was mostly dark, and the room had a distinct smell that I used to pretend I was entering a dragon’s dungeon. Later I would find out that the “smell” was a combination of ink, bolts of newsprint paper, paint, and other chemicals. Yummy!  

Lolo would lead us down and warn us to be careful and not touch the machines, but those machines were huge, loud, and fascinating from a child’s perspective. I recall uncle Pio explaining the letterpress machine and uncle Doming showing how typeface printing was done meticulously by choosing and arranging the metal templates.

Undoubtedly, the newspaper is the main output of the press and vital to the people of Baguio. I experienced how tedious it is to get one press release out in my current job, so my respect for lolo and the people behind the weekly newspaper has gone through the roof since then. All the people I knew who worked for Midland seemed happy and proud of their work.

In my eyes, the one most proud of and dedicated to the press was my late dad. His vision and subsequent decisions for Midland were born out of his love for family. Oscar M. Hamada was not the type to brag or complain out loud, so he usually kept quietly supporting the business and its people from behind the scenes.

This month this year marks the 75th anniversary of Midland. It’s a remarkable milestone for sure. This kind of longevity in an ever-expanding digital world is truly commendable. If they were here, I am confident that lolo, dad, and tito Charly would be profusely thanking the staff, our customers, and business partners while downplaying their contributions. This passion translated into day-to-day work. Rain or shine, lolo Ossie would walk from Gen. Lim to Midland every day. Dad and mom had the same ROS work ethic that their children inherited. 

As I reflected on my favorite experience from half a century ago, I realized it’s a real-life metaphor. The dark hallway with funny smells represents our initial challenges into something new and unknown. Once we overcome those, we’re ready to deal with the complicated machinery of the bigger world. It could be intimidating and noisy, and we may get confused, but if we rely on our “family” to guide us, we should be good. Most importantly, the secret door in and out of the press reminds us to keep our heads bowed down, be humble, and remember that all things come to fruition through God’s providence.

Congratulations, Baguio Midland Courier! Truly blessed and humbled to be part of this legacy.

 (The author is the head of Gastroenterology Medical Franchise Takeda, Japan. She is eldest daughter of Oscar Jr. and Emilia Hamada)

Stephanie Hamada-Matias

Stephanie Hamada-Matias

As a child, I remember the printing press as my personal playground. My parents, siblings and I lived with our grandparents along Kisad Road during the early 70s. I distinctly recall a small secret door in the house that would lead to my lolo Ossie’s office. This gave me easy access to and from the house and the plant. Sometimes, I would sneak in through that door, unnoticed by my lola Jean, and watched my grandfather and his employees go about their daily tasks. Back then, I perceived this as just a bunch of adults moving around as if in perfect unison with the trusty Heidelberg’s rhythm. It was an interesting mix of sights, smells, and sounds. Now, I know why the smell of ink brings back fond memories.

Fast forward to a decade later. Shortly after my first year in college, my grandfather offered me a job at the press. The first couple of years saw me in the binding department. This is where each printed sheet is gathered and folded to arrange the page sequence of the newspaper. I was also asked to help proofread on Friday nights. I would try to stay up until the release of the Baguio Midland Courier on Sunday morning. I didn’t mind being sleep deprived on the weekends. It was fun and it kept me out of trouble. I was excited to be part of something important. 

It wasn’t until after the 1990 earthquake that I truly got to know my lolo Ossie and why he was widely respected by Baguio folk. My sister, Nicole, (who was now also employed in the business office) and I moved in with him shortly after this disaster. It turned out to be one of the most significant periods of my life. By this time, I was an encoder and relished typing the different news articles and ads for the newspaper. On days we made the short walk from his General Lim home to work, he would offer snippets of advice on how to conduct ourselves around his business associates, his friends, and more importantly, his employees.

He always stressed on the importance of arriving ahead of everyone at the Kisad office. He said we should set the example and clock in earlier than the rest. He expected more of us especially since we were family. I wasn’t spared from being called out if I was tardy or if my performance at work wasn’t as expected. He made it very clear that we were not to be given any special treatment just because of our association. 

I will forever be grateful to him for making me realize the value of working your way up from the bottom. He himself was never handed anything on a silver platter. He had to work hard and prove himself. What he accomplished, together with his brother, Sinai, is nothing short of inspiring. They laid the groundwork for the paper’s reputation and success.

For all his accomplishments and experience, lolo Ossie remained humble and grounded. My grandfather applied his principles to both his personal life and business. He was always involved with the community and made it part of his life’s work to help where he could. He appeared stern and unapproachable to some but nothing could be further from the truth.  He was a quiet, wise and soft-spoken man, who wanted to leave behind a legacy built on kindness and respect.

It’s no wonder the Baguio Midland Courier is still up and running after 75 years! Despite Martial Law, natural calamities, strikes and a global pandemic, it is undoubtedly Baguio’s longest running newspaper.

Today marks the paper’s Diamond Jubilee and what an honor indeed. There are no words to express how proud I am to be part of a publishing house that has survived a myriad of challenges and still has the community’s support in terms of readership. It is an essential part in the life of Baguio City’s residents.

Of course, we mustn’t forget the dedicated staff behind the Courier’s success. If not for their commitment to the company, we wouldn’t have made it this far. My lolo recognized the significance of each person and the role they played. Whether he was dealing with the errand boy or the front office staff, his approach was the same. He treated everyone with the utmost respect and professionalism which is why he was beloved by all. 

To everyone that is part or has been part of the Courier (management, columnists, journalists, readers, advertisers, staff), kudos to you!

May this milestone make you recognize your role in the Oseo Hamada legacy you’ve strengthened all these years. I know we’ve all done him proud.

 (The author is a managing partner of FPM Real Estate Dev’t. and interior stylist of Big Sur Villa Rentals. She is the eldest daughter of Cesar and Dolores Hamada)

Charisse Hamada-Gutierrez, MBA, SFO

Charisse Hamada-Gutierrez, MBA, SFO

My first recollection of growing up on General Lim was lolo Ossie sitting in front of histrophy case (from golfing!), with his signature stern look on his face, while reading the newspaper.

The times we would drop by the press office on Kisad Road to visit him, I remember hearing the whirr of the printing press machines, the endless flapping of paper and the smell of ink.

My siblings and I were very young when we left Baguio, but even at that age, I somehow was aware that lolo Ossie ran the press that published the city newspaper. Of course, as a young child, the significance of his output – Baguio Midland Courier – was lost on me.

It was not until I was old enough to read and get an education, developing a heightened sense of awareness of what was going on in Baguio and in the Cordillera. The major source of news that impacted the community’s daily lives was none other than our family’s newspaper.

The Courier’s most important role is to get news out quickly, accurately and with balance – sparking community conversations, reactions, and points to ponder, while providing information, entertainment and promotional services. 

Such is the power of the printed word, and the Courier was at the forefront of that all-important mission – one that has pursued for the last 75 years. But the real movers and shakers of the Courier are its people – our employees, news contributors, editorial staff who, through the years, have held up high the bright light of the Courier for 75 years and counting. What a feat in the age of digital communications and social media!

On this milestone, I represent our family in congratulating the Courier. To all our employees, old and new, thank you for the valuable hard work you put in each day! And of course, to our readers, who have supported the Courier – without your patronage, we would not be celebrating this milestone today. Wishing you all a great Diamond Anniversary!

With God’s continued blessings, it is my fervent hope that lolo Ossie’s legacy continues to flourish under the leadership of the succeeding members of the family, our late tito Charly and today, our tita Toni. We extend all our gratitude and appreciation.

(The author is a School Business Administrator at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is the eldest daughter of Arch. Ferdinand and Celine Hamada)

Ulysses Leroy Hamada

Ulysses Leroy Hamada

My earliest memories of lolo probably were the times mom and dad took me and my brother (just the two of us then) for vacation in Baguio City.

I should be about four years old because mom had Farrrah before I turned six. Coming up to Baguio was always a highlight for me.

Back in those days in Lingayen, Pangasinan, airconditioning was not yet that popular so the thought of having a more comfortable sleep at night was something I really looked forward to.

Of course, there were other obvious reasons to get excited about like the cousins, Burnham Park, the horses, bikes and boat rides in the lake, strawberries, and Camp John Hay but seeing lolo was tops.

My maternal grandfather passed before I was born so I only had lolo. Besides, he was Japanese! During those times, ninja movies were the fantasy of young boys and I remember of having thought of lolo as one especially everytime he flexed his biceps to encourage my brother and I to drink up our Milo in the morning.

The thought of finding weapons (katana or a flying star) in his closet was once a mission. Instead, what you find were the two giant dimes (10 cents) on top of his desk if I am not mistaken that are still, I should say, equally amazing. The fireplace in lolo’s house was also a big part of my childhood. We don’t get those in the lowlands. We may get some strawberries from time to time but burning wood inside the house was something. 

Lolo loved golf so much that he probably entered every tournament. A restaurant was named in his honor just by his love of the sport. His trophies in the living room are enough proof of his capabilities and he did it while running the press and being barangay captain at the same time. I never got the liking of it but every time I see a game shown on TV, I think of him. 

My first year in college was the time lolo passed. Dad came to the dorm in the afternoon to tell me the news but missed me. I came a bit later after dark, most probably out doing group assignments and so, I found out the following day. During the wake I was always around, I don’t remember going back to the dorm to get ready and go and attend classes. The next thing I knew I was enrolling on a new course the next semester. 

My daughter, Lizanne, was born on the 7th of May (same day as lolo’s), nearly two years after his passing. If there’s one thing my grandfather had that I wish I would have even just a shy truth of reality is his unconditional love for his family and the same unconditional love his family has for him. 

We miss you lots, lolo. I never found the flying star but it sure made me tell one of the best stories in school.

 (The author is a board of director of Harvent School in Lingayen, Pangasinan and second eldest son of William Hamada)

Pamela Hamada-Gementera

Pamela Hamada-Gementera

When I think of Baguio there are a few things that come to mind, Session Road, Burnham Park, John Hay, and the Baguio Midland Courier. The press is so ingrained to Baguio that you almost take it for granted, all the hustle and bustle that goes on behind the scenes to publish news that truly matter. My memories are sparse, bits and pieces glued together of my lolo, Ossie, and my dad, Charlie, bent over a desk working away or standing on the balconies of the General Lim home.

I remember spending my days at the press, moving from one department to another department, most likely being a nuisance to my dad, lola Cecile, cousins, manongs and manangs. Asking them endless questions of their job and their day, and while they entertained my mundane questions. The experience and the memories were priceless to me. For me it was all about making memories of Friday night dinners and dance parties with the crew, which was a nice break before the “press night” began. 

I was lucky enough to be there for the Courier’s 50th anniversary, where the cousins were broken out in teams and tasked to solicit our faithful advertisers for the anniversary issue. We made it a competition to see who can bring in the most advertisers, which added to the fun. It was such a different Baguio then, driving around from Tiong San, Baguio Country Club, Brent, Star Café, and Rose Bowl, and ending with a celebration party where everyone came dressed for the occasion at the Baguio Convention Center.

Every Christmas, papa Charlie prepared gift baskets, for the advertisers, suppliers, columnists, and health care and government officials. Papa was so meticulous in the preparations of the baskets that not an item could be out of place, or a bow untied or off-center. He prepared them with the same keen eye he reviews an article, writing it off to the “Japanese” in him. The cousins would hand deliver each package for the added personalized touch.

Looking back at it all, I see it as him including us in the family legacy, giving us a peek into what makes this company so special.

The Baguio Midland Courier is our family’s legacy. A legacy we are fortunate to share week after week around the world. The quality and the craft have remained unchanged and set us apart from the rest. It is something I have been blessed to experience and add value, however minimal and humbling that may be in its journey as it celebrates 75 years. 

I commend those who have dedicated their time to the Courier, making it into the success it is today. It is something to stand tall and be proud of, a legacy that will be forever remembered as your work is archived in the black and white pages and digitized in the cloud.

(The author is a Senior Manager of Enterprise Engineering HR Technology and eldest daughter of Charles Hamada and Malu Cruz.)

Andrea Jennifer Belen-Sandhorst

Andrea Jennifer Belen-Sandhorst

For this 75th anniversary of the Baguio Midland Courier I am honored to reflect on the life of my grandfather, Oseo Cariño Hamada, and the legacy of the paper itself.

My lolo Ossie passed away when I was only 12 years old and while I grew up in the United States and do not have very many memories of him, he has had profound impact in my life.

My parents and I lived in Seattle for much of my formative years and we received the Midland Courier via mail. I looked forward to opening the paper, seeing the unique type, font and physical feel of the paper itself. Reading the headlines and articles would transport me back “home” through these words.

These stories, photos and even cartoons gave me a deeper glimpse into the country of my birth, my parents’ hometown and established a greater connection to my family who still ran the day-to-day operations of the paper.

Hearing my mom’s stories of how they would help and fold the paper as kids and how lolo Ossie worked hard managing and publishing the Midland despite challenges were truly inspiring. 

This drive and dedication to the press influenced my interest in studying journalism in high school and college. When I became the editor-in-chief of my high school paper, I like to think my lolo was smiling and looking down from heaven as we worked on crafting articles and laying out the spread.

While I didn’t pursue a career in journalism, I still use the skills I learned every day. I have transitioned a lot of that to the digital space by crafting posts on LinkedIn, copy for websites, and corporate presentation materials. 

Our family strives to honor the memory of our lolo Ossie and lola Jean and continue the mission of the Midland Courier to remain Fair, Fearless, Friendly, and Free. Congratulations to 75 years and here’s to many, many more.

 (The author is the assistant vice president of Pittsburgh National Corporation. A banking advisor, she is the daughter of Albert and Virginia II Hamada-Belen)