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A writer’s story concludes

In this week's Connecting the Dots column, in honour of a talented journalist who worked at the Empire-Advance about 18 years ago, I share the news of his passing and a sample of his work in a curling story published on Jan. 22, 2005. Some of you will remember Tom Connell and his subject, Guy Hemmings.

The Empire-Advance received news of the recent passing of a former reporter Tom Connell. Tom made a mark as a colourful character and a “terrific writer,” according to a former fellow employee.

Tom worked for the Empire-Advance when Grant and Marlain Shoemaker owned the paper.

We looked back into our archives and found a January 2005 curling story that Tom had written about Guy Hemmings, and since it seemed timely, we decided to share just a portion of it here.

For a bit of background: according to THE CURLING NEWS, published May 11, 2022, “Hemmings was a curling folk hero in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He skipped Quebec to two Brier finals in 1998 and 1999, losing both climactic matches—to Ontario’s Wayne Middaugh and Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton.”

For those who remember our reporter, according to his obituary carried by the Peterborough Examiner, he was born in Scotland and came to Canada with his family in 1964. He earned two degrees and devoted many years of his life to writing as both a professional journalist and as a chronicler of his own adventures.

Tom passed away at 64, on Jan. 16, 2023 at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre after a sudden cardiac arrest. The notice was printed in the Peterborough Examiner and can be found here.

We acknowledge the thoughtfulness of his family member, former wife Joanette Connell, for sending us news of Tom’s passing.

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