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Dutch community newspaper The Windmill Herald to fold

Readers have been amazingly supportive

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LANGLEY, BC - Red ink is hastening the demise of Dutch community newspaper The Windmill Herald, news which still reverberates throughout Canada and the United States as readers react with shock and disbelief. It is with much regret that we came to the conclusion that we were going to be unable to turn the bleeding around.

The paper which is published twice-a-month dipped increasingly into red ink as the Canadian dollar moved to parity with its U.S. counterpart and as postal rates and technological upgrading costs kept inching upwards.

“We had been able to slow the effects of a nearly inevitable greying readership with an English-language section in The Windmill Herald,” said Albert van der Heide who purchased the paper in 1969, five years after coming to Canada as a teenager. “We keep hearing from grandchildren of 1950s Dutch immigrants interested in their heritage and roots, but not enough to sustain the paper in its current format,” he said.

Contrary to the generally held perception, which views the internet as a competitor to newspapers, the soon-to-be former publisher experienced the rise of the Internet as a significant help instead. “With easy access, it stimulated interest in Dutch heritage, genealogy and even every-day news in the Netherlands, often prompting people to order a mail subscription,” Van der Heide said. We always tried to offer our readers a news package not quickly browsed on the Internet, including indept articles on subjects such as Dutch history, roots and identity, including surname meanings.

Van der Heide’s publishing company, which plans to continue with its online bookstore and Windmill Archive collection, offers subscribers their pick of books to settle any unused portion of pre-paid subscriptions. He also offers his paid-up readers a choice from three titles as a postage offsetting Thank You and Farewell gift to, what he calls, “an amazingly loyal and supportive group of subscribers.” The offer was published in the May 10, 2012 issue and is good until August 31, 2012.

The Pre-Farewell Issue was published on June 11 and a full colour 32-page commemorative Farewell Issue in August 2012.