Oswald “Ossi” Elsaesser owned the Merritt Herald for thirty years.

Now, decades later, his granddaughter, Hayley Elsaesser, is honouring him by creating a fashion line in line with National Newspaper Week.

Oct. 4-10 marks the occasion, celebrating local newspapers across the country.

“Now, more than ever, Canadians are turning to newspapers as a trusted source of information, because they know they can count on them for credible, fact-based news reporting,” said Bob Cox, Chair of News Media Canada. “An active and healthy democracy relies on an active and healthy news media. While we champion the work of Canadian newspapers all year long, this week provides a unique opportunity to recognize, celebrate and support our newspapers and the people behind them.”

Ossi purchased the Herald in 1960, running as the owner and publisher until 1990. Along with the attached print shop, there were two employees.

By the time he left, there were 17.

Such a long tenure inspired his granddaughter to create the ‘Champion the Truth’ collection, which features both the words ‘news’ and ‘truth’ on each piece. Available are t-shirts, masks, and tote bags.

One of Elsaesser’s pieces. (Photo submitted)

Using the word ‘news’ certainly was a no-brainer. It was adding ‘truth’ that really inspired Elsaesser.

“The word ‘news’ on a design supporting Canadian newspapers and news media certainly made a lot of sense to me, too – but the word “truth” was equally important. What makes Canadian newspapers and news media so critically important, and an essential service to their community, is the commitment to delivering not only just “news” but credible, fact-based reporting that Canadians can really trust. The words “news” and “truth” really come together to  represent newspapers, and their unique offering that can not be found anywhere else. It represents what newspapers stand for; credible, fact-based ‘news’ and a commitment to reporting the truth.”

Elsaesser also noted that the two words are both printed in multiple languages, which she said “really highlights the strength of Canada’s diversity.

“The design also features my iconic mouthy print to exemplify the way newspapers act as a voice for communities across the country.”

All sales from the collection will go to Canadian Journalists for Free Expression(CJFE), in support of Canadian journalism.

Especially due to her grandfather’s profession, Elsaesser said she has “always been a fierce supporter of a vibrant free press.”

“I know first- hand the immense impact that newspapers can have on a community and the important role they play in providing local content that cannot be found anywhere else.”