The BCTTA Newsletter
A brief history
When Eddy Lo dropped off a musty box of table tennis publications from the 1970’s, my table tennis friends and I were amazed. The box was a veritable table tennis time capsule. It contained dozens of editions of provincial and national table tennis newsletters. Each volume contained detailed reports on matches, tournaments and events, as well as thoughtful analyses and editorial pieces by those in the know: coaches, players, and administrators. The coverage was comprehensive and thorough and it was clear that a tonne of work went into each edition. Even more amazing is Eddy has another 4 or 5 boxes remaining at home!
The BCTTA “LeTTers” and the BCTTA “News” publications were put together by hand in an era long before the convenience of desktop publishing. Nowadays, software and personal computers can make anyone into an editor or journalist. Eric Calveley was one of the early editors who brought many these newsletters to life. He used tools such as the typewriter, a photocopying machine, ruler, Exacto knife and glue to painstakingly compose and lay out each page. Each publication involved a coordinated Herculean effort to create and distribute when compared to today’s modern conveniences. These days, Eric is into his seventh decade as a table tennis whiz, and the unforgiving task of BCTTA newsletter editor has long been abandoned. He recalls long days and late nights of writing, editing, cutting and pasting in order to meet publication and distribution deadlines. “Errors were not easy to fix. Everything was done by hand. Each edition’s layout was a puzzle to be solved. It all had to fit, and it all had to look good and read well. It’s hard to believe now how much energy went into every newsletter!”
Fast forward to 2023
Discovering Eddy’s boxes of old table tennis publications proved to be extremely fortunate for those of us at the BCTTA who’d been tasked with creating a new BCTTA Newsletter. Each old yellowed edition is a testament to the hard work that went into its creation, inspiring us as editors of the new BCTTA Newsletter to meet that high standard of effort. On the level of editorial content, these many newsletters provide a road map for how to report on table tennis with focus, honesty, gusto, opinion, and creativity. We have devoted a series of posts to republishing these old newsletters in a feature section we call, “Looking Back”. Check them out here.
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