Brian Joss was my wingman

Blue letter

David Hill, Constantia

I would like to pay tribute to a true gentleman of the Press.

During my 11 years as editor of Cape Community Newspapers (CCN), from 1992, Brian Joss was assistant editor – and what a pillar of strength he was.

When I arrived at the office at 6.30 every morning Brian was already there, hard at work. Typically he would respond to my greeting with a rather gruff “Morning”. He was a man of few words but we all knew where his heart was and Brian was very popular with the staff, who benefited from his vast experience and dedication to helping them hone their skills.

We were both committed to enhancing the editorial quality of our newspapers and spent many hours editing stories and correcting page proofs. A 12-hour working day was the norm. Lunch was taken at our desks.

Brian had a lovely, dry sense of humour. I have so many good memories of working with him. He drank lots of Coca Cola. We pulled his leg about this “addiction”. When we were faced with difficulties his mantra was always: “We’ll see what happens…”

During his time at Newspaper House he bounced back bravely from an “own goal”. He was knocked down by a newspaper delivery van leaving the back of the building.

He certainly earned his retirement but he continued with his popular consumer column, Off my Trolley, helping the “small person” obtain fair treatment from the “big guys” – a valuable public service.

I shall also miss his sometimes feisty letters published in the daily newspapers, rebutting what he believed was unfair criticism of Israel.

Brian left an indelible mark on CCN; now he has moved on to the next edition…