Profiles of Historic Sites

Fraser Valley Record, street front.
Fraser Valley Record fonds/0025-1977033-26a
Courtesy Mission Community Archives.

Record Newspaper Office

33047 First Avenue

Downtown BIA

Date of Original Construction:

Resource Type:

Current Owner/Occupant:
Black Press

Site Description:

The Record Office is a single storey wood frame building, situated along the strip of shops on the north side of First Avenue between James and Grand Street. The building has a flat front with a flush door and two large display windows.

Site History:

The current Record Office building is the third to be erected for this newspaper. The first local newspaper "Mission City News' was financed by the Board of Trade, with editor Henry Howells reporting and expressing local views from 1894.

In 1908, the "Fraser Valley Record" was launched by editor John Bates. The first building was a small 12 foot by 12 foot structure in the bush near the CPR right of way near Horne Street and Railway Avenue built. The second building that the newspaper moved to was much larger and at the current site of Rex Cox Men's Clothing store. In 1940, on the newspaper's 32nd birthday, the current building was completed and the business moved for the last time.

For the first six years in this building, the newspaper shared the space with the legal office of James A. Campbell but after he moved the business acquired the entire building. The building remained unchanged until 1948 when the front was altered for the installation of new printing machines. The alterations changed the door from being inset to flush with the exterior wall and made the inside offices larger. Further space was allowed for the Fraser Valley Record in 1950 when more excavation into the hillside made way for a sixty foot extension into the lane at the rear.

The name of the paper changed in 1996 to the Mission City Record reflecting its principle community. It has been known under its current name, the Mission Record, since April 21, 2005.

The building received smoke damage in 2007 when the adjoining Mission Bowling Alley and Syd's Bar burned down next door.

In 2008, the Record celebrated its' 100th Anniversary with a special edition of the newspaper, an open house and exhibit (which is now at the Mission Community Archives).

People Associated with the Site:

John Bates, founder & editor (1908-1924) of the first "Fraser Valley Record", was a great booster for Mission City and apparently started use of the title "Home of the Big Red Strawberry". His outspoken views on local issues made the paper an entertaining read.

R.D. Cumming, was the proprietor of the paper from 1924-1944, originally from Ashcroft.

  B. Stone Kennedy - published the paper during 1927-1929.

  T.A. Cumming was manager from 1929-1930.

  L.W. Cumming was manager from 1930-1938, then editor from 1938-1944.

Lang Sands - Third owner of newspaper (1944-1962), taking over on June 1, 1944; he also owned Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News. He continued as managing editor from 1962-1964.

Liverpool Daily Post & Echo (Holdings) Ltd. became the fourth owner of the "Fraser Valley Record" in 1962 with Cecil Hacker as President; he had formerly been publisher from 1949 of the Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News. The company also owned Chilliwack Progress and Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News.

  John Evans was the managing editor from 1964-1996.

On Februay 1, 1996 the paper became the Mission City Record.

Currently owned by Black Press Community Media.

  Andrew Franklin was publisher from 2008-2016.

  Carly Ferguson has been publisher since September 2016.

  Kevin Mills has been editor since 2015.

R.P. Wardrop - did alterations in 1948

Charles Cade - did alterations in 1948

Jack Reid - foreman of the back shop for 6 years until 1955

Duanne Geddes - Editor, 1983

Wilf S. Kerry - member of composing room staff. Retired in 1982 after almost 30 years of service

Architectural Features:

The current building stands out as an example of early small-town architecture. It was originally 25 feet by 50 feet and built using concrete with the address "447 Main Street" (this address remained until at least 1954 when street names were changed in Misison). One storey building is wood frame, finished in stucco.

Where to get further information:

- Mission Community Archives
   Community Reference File:
    FVR-Business 250.20.17
    Mission City News 653.20.1
    Fraser Valley Record 653.20.2
    Mission City Record 653.20.3
*the Archives also maintains the collection of old newspapers from 1908 - present --an outstanding source of information about the settlement and growth of our area.
- Fraser Valley Record: (articles referred to in this summary)
  - October 7, 1948 "Changed Front Constructed for Record Office"
  - October 11, 1967 "The Record to mark 60th Anniversary" page 1 and 3
  - June 21, 1978 "The Record Celebrates 70th Anniversary Sunday" Section B
- Mission Record

Last Modified January 24, 2015