Chemainus’ Roy Summerhayes operates the seniors101.ca website, but emphasizes there’s still very much a need for the printed product to complement it.
His Nanaimo Seniors’ Directory 2020 is a case in point. Along with being available online, he also had 2,000 physical copies printed. “We didn’t know what the response would be,” Summerhayes conceded.
He’s pleased to report they’ve been going like hotcakes. Summerhayes also has a Victoria Seniors’ Directory in the works.
“I’m starting on it this week,” he indicated. “It’s going to be out March 1 (next year).”
When asked about a possible Cowichan Valley edition, Summerhayes didn’t reveal his hand like a good poker player, but if you were a betting man, it would certainly be worth a little wager.
There’s obviously still many seniors around the Island who don’t have or use a computer so Summerhayes felt it was crucial to make sure the information got out to everybody when putting the Nanaimo directory together.
“101 has been a web page for 15 years,” he said. “I’ve been pushed many times, ‘would I do something in print?’
“People said many times give us something we can take around with us.”
Summerhayes’ wife Trish also had something to say that he said influenced the decision.
“She said, ‘for goodness sake make it something I can put in my purse and it won’t crumble,’” he related.
Working with Mathieu Powell of Coastline Marketing in Victoria, in February “we said, ‘let’s give it a whirl,’” Summerhayes pointed out.
“He knows the concept. He said he would do the print side for me – laying out and everything. I supplied the design and all the content and I said I would do the marketing.”
Then COVID hit in March that put a kibosh into the plans of many people, but Summerhayes forged ahead with his project.
“It was done in my office – email and phone,” he explained. “I never set foot out the door. People weren’t expecting me to knock on doors anyway.”
Particularly with COVID, the directory is proving invaluable for seniors. First impressions from walking around last week and handing out copies to many people were entirely positive.
“It’s not a magazine,” he elaborated. “There’s no articles. It’s purely information.”
Advertisers, of course, also make it all possible.
“We’ve already got people that want to be in it – advertisers for next year,” noted Summerhayes. “Without advertisers, there’s nothing.
“Print and print newspaper is the heart and soul of the community. People should support the local newspaper. If they don’t, it will die.”