Saturna Scribbler

Published at least nine times a year, the Scribbler has evolved from a school-based paper to a volunteer-produced community newsletter.  Articles and advertising are solicited from Island residents and businesses to provide an informative publication with items of interest to all.  Articles, photos, poems, Letters to the Editor, comments and offers of help are always welcome.  Annual subscription rates are $35.00 for on-Island mail distribution or $20 emailed as a PDF attachment; $50.00 mailed off-Island within Canada; mailed to the USA  $65.00.  The Scribbler is also available at the General Store for $5.00 a copy.  Distribution is at the end of the month depending on the printer.



by Judy Tipple

The Saturna Scribbler grew out of the request from Don McClellan editor of the Lions Bulletin, who suggested that the school students might enjoy producing a newsletter. The staff of the Saturna School felt that it would be a good learning experience for the students and worked to make it happen. Frank Neumann contributed his tireless energy and patience along with his expertise in computer work to get things going and with the support of the community the Scribbler was born. Volume 1, Number 1 was produced January 1993 and there have been 9 or 10 issues per year produced ever since. I am certain that most students can look back on their time of work and contributing to their community's newsletter as a real learning experience, though at times they might have felt that it was a painful exercise. 

Several grade 6 and 7 students took a liking to learning about the computer and pasted up their work in the creation of the newsletter and it wasn't until these students moved on to High School and there were only primary students left at the school that things broke down. I recall hearing that the youngsters would break into tears when they were asked to write something for the Scribbler. As the breadth and quality of content dropped so did readership.

One day Doris Ackerman, who was involved in the health committee and recycling asked me, “How can we get the needed information about recycling and our health survey out to the community?”

My reply was, “Well, how about writing it up for the Scribbler?”

She said, “But not enough people are reading the Scribbler.”

I boldly stated, “If you can get more subscriptions and convince folks that they will be getting information they want and need, Rick and I will help with the Scribbler production and hopefully make it more useful.”

That was in 1997 and the rest is history. Frank Neumann and Rick Tipple alternated doing the paste up and the editing team worked to streamline the process. Each of us was assigned contributors to encourage (read nag) to produce some articles. When Frank and Gail moved to Salt Spring they would still come to Saturna for a day or two to help create the constantly improving Scribbler. Their work and support was always much appreciated, as was the continued encouragement and help from School staff such as Melanie Gaines, Sam Peramaki, Dayle Johnson and others.

The production location moved from the school and Frank's home to the Tipple home where there was a newer computer and more current software on which to work. Editing was often done at Melanie's home to give the edit team an ocean view and change of venue. When the Rec Centre was opened the Scribbler had the counters and a cabinet built for community and Scribbler use. In recent years the group editing of the Scribbler remains at the Rec Centre and the actual paste up and work on the photos are done using the facility of iCloud. Who knows what the next technological change will bring to simplify the production of our greatly valued Saturna's own and only newsletter.