One of Flin Flon media’s modern titans has died. Randy Daneliuk, the former owner and publisher of the The Reminder, died Feb. 3, aged 66.
A former president of the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce, Daneliuk purchased The Reminder in 1989 from former owner Tom Dobson, working at first with former editor Rich Billy before becoming the paper’s sole owner. Among other things, Daneliuk presided over The Reminder office moving twice, going from Main Street to North Avenue and moving later to its current site.
Daneliuk sold the newspaper in 2007 to Boundary Publishers, which was itself purchased by Vancouver-based Glacier Media, the current owners of The Reminder. Before going to a three-times-a-week publishing schedule in 2005, The Reminder was one of a small number of locally owned independent newspapers in small-town Canada.
Daneliuk is remembered by those who worked with him as a kind, welcoming boss who was willing to take a chance for people who needed help.
“Randy always made his employees feel like family and friends. We used to hold social functions on a regular basis,” said Shannon Thompson, office manager for The Reminder. Thompson is the only remaining employee of The Reminder to have been with the paper when Daneliuk worked there.
“Randy gave a lot of first-time reporters and writers their first chance.”
Karen MacKinnon was one of Daneliuk’s most prominent hires. MacKinnon, who worked previously as the sales and promotion manager for The Reminder and its sister publication Cottage North, was hired by Daneliuk in 2006 - no job interview required.
“He was always straight to the point,” she said.
“He said, ‘We’ve got this position and starts with this… and you can come in at such-and-such a date,’ and I said ‘Don’t you want to interview me?’ He goes ‘oh no, I know who you are, you’ll be fine.’”
MacKinnon praised Daneliuk as a boss, saying he was willing to let people do their jobs their way - as long as they had something to show for it at the end of the day.
“He was a good boss. He let me do my thing and it was a most enjoyable way to finish off my actual working career. Him and Rose [Randy’s wife], they treated their staff like family, they were so good to them,” she said.
“He always said, ‘As long as you get your work done, you can do whatever you want to do’. He always had ideas and he never, ever fired anybody.”
Daneliuk retired as publisher of The Reminder in 2014. When he retired, he said he would miss the business - with one notable exception.
“All those all-nighters when we used to run the presses… if there was bad paper or bad ink, or if it was too humid, then you were printing over and over again,” Daneliuk said in a story written by former Reminder reporter Kelly Carrington in 2014.
In his capacity as a business owner, Daneliuk was active with the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce, being an active member as well as the chamber’s president and, later, past-president. As the president, Daneliuk oversaw several plans to encourage tourists to come north and to boost living standards for existing residents. One of those included providing chamber support for Pioneer Square, the plaza at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue built on the site of the former Mr. Ribs restaurant.
After retiring from the newspaper business in 2014, Daneliuk operated The Tire Shop along Highway 10 but never lost his love for community print media.
“I hope that the population continues to support the paper. If you lose that support, then you lose the natural archive.”
A date has not yet been set for Daneliuk’s memorial service. If friends so desire, donations in Daneliuk’s name can be made to the Flin Flon/Creighton and Area SPCA.
Daneliuk is survived by his wife Rose, his descendants and his newspaper.