Old St. Andrews



The St. Andrews Beacon



Of his own newspaper, Robert Armstrong concluded his "History of Journalism in St. Andrews," 1910, with the following remarks:



Of the Beacon other hands than mine will have to write its history. Suffice it for me to say that it began publication in the Land Company’s building on May 2, 1889, and that up to the present moment it has never lost an issue, never failed to appear at the appointed time. It was the firt paper to introduce a steam power plant in St. Andrews. The Beacon was originally known at the St. Andrews Beacon, but as its horizon widened it adopted on the present title.



The St. Andrews Beacon published between 1888, having taken over the plant of the Pilot, and operated out of the basement of the St. Andrews Land Company Building for many years. Under Armstrong's guidance the Beacon shone a bright, sometimes humorous, sometimes sarcastic light on local and provincial affairs. A newspaperman by training, having served time with the Saint John Globe, Armstrong was a mult-talented editor and writer, with a a keen interest in people and politics. In the realm of politics he was something of a dog with a bone, but his local pages were full of life and light. Having fought for the commercial development of St. Andrews for many years, Armstrong finally left for Saint John, his home town, in 1914, just befor ethe destruction of the Algonquin Hotel, to sit on the Board of Trade, where he thought he could better serve the port interests of Charlotte County.



Between 1914 and 1919 Armstrong was succeeded in his position by Wallace Broad. Mr. Broad was an enginner by training who had lived for some time in Rhodesia. Though Broad criticized the outspokenness of Armstrong's politics, he himself was less than subtle when it came to his opinions on the way in which the CPR treated the town in them matter of water and electricity. He was not as droll as Armstrong, but quite hit off a good line on a regular basis. He was more serious, and under his guidance the Beacon became almost a literary magazine, with many historical and literary essays adorning its pages.



The Beacon ceased publication in 1919, and with it a good deal of the Shiretown disappeared from the news, not reappearing again in any substantial form until the advent of "Shiretown Items" in the 1930s.