Three years ago this summer, I entered the world of Monday.
It had been one of those publications I’d read studiously since landing, textbook first, in Victoria in 2004 — the kind of publication that was brought up in nearly every university lecture, modeled after by student magazine mock-ups, and celebrated with applause when any freelance-writing classmate was lucky enough to score a page. It sat on my dorm room floor, at my student newspaper desk and, later, at my apartment table. So when it opened its doors to me in 2010, my heart took up permanent residence in my throat.
This last month, more than ever before, we’ve heard from residents, writers and readers around Victoria who have kept that love of Monday in good company. And, with significant changes on the horizon, many Victorians are asking how this new breed of Monday will compare. (You can read about some of the details of what’s to come in the preview story on Page 6.) Some readers have written in applauding the decision, while others have left a few tears and jeers. It’s never easy to look down an unfamiliar path, but there is excitement to be found in change.
Nostalgia is the theme this week, though, and as we raise our glasses with the last traditional “Beer Issue” it’s a great time to reflect on some of the memories made and, to borrow Robbie Burns’ phrase, take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
In less than a tenth of the amount of time this publication has roused Victoria, I’ve had the honour of working with a handful of Monday greats, and have peeked into myriad worlds — from the politics of homelessness and bridge debates to invisible sex work, drug scandals, sewage issues, queer struggles, urinal arguments, ghostly haunts, welfare trials, eco-activism, mental illness triumphs, rock-star feminism and the stories of more inspiring residents than I can even list. It’s those stories that have made this magazine for almost 40 years.
So, before all the tissues are used up with any sort of weepy goodbye, this touching letter by long-time Monday reader Colin Craig sums it up best.
“I was a 17-year-old teenager when I read my first copy of Monday as I was getting ready to graduate from Mt. Douglas High School,” writes Craig, now 56. “Victoria had never read anything like this before and it filled a void for local artists or musicians to show-and-tell us about themselves. Monday also focused on issues that mainstream newspapers wouldn’t touch in those early days. When Pride Victoria started in 1991, Monday Magazine was the only newspaper that covered us with interviews and photos that were taken long before there were enough proud people to fill a parade. I don’t think I’m the only one in Victoria that has been touched or changed by something read in Monday. There have been many, many talented and caring people that have been writing about all of us for almost four decades. Thank you. I will miss the old but I will look forward to the new.”
Cheers Victoria, and the thanks goes to you. M