Publisher ensures a legacy of giving
Hamilton Community Foundation is honoured to continue lifelong newspaperman Roger Brabant’s philanthropic legacy, as the successor organization to The Brabant Foundation.
Born in 1928, Roger G. Brabant entered the newspaper business as a young man with the Timmins Daily News in 1943. After newspaper stops in London, where he met his ﬁrst wife Blanche, and the Niagara Peninsula, he purchased the Stoney Creek News in 1960.
This ultimately led to an office and production facility on Queenston Road in Stoney Creek. Additional Hamilton area weekly mastheads soon followed: Ancaster News, Dundas Star News, Mountain News, Real Estate News and Flamborough News. Following Blanche’s death in 1984, Roger continued to operate the growing weekly chain until 1987 at which time he sold to Southam Newspapers.
“Roger was schooled by Thomson Newspapers, where every nickel spent had to be exactly accounted for,” says his friend and executor, Bill Farrar. “So he ran a very tight ship. The cost-sensitive atmosphere that permeated Brabant Newspapers was respected by the staff and contributed to the spirit of camaraderie among them. Over the years, Brabant Newspapers provided welcome employment for many Hamilton region residents.”
Roger Brabant believed that his newspapers should be the “Good News Papers.” He felt that there was quite enough newspaper reporting of crime and other human failings. He wanted his organization to report only uplifting local news.
After he sold his newspapers, he felt a very strong desire to “give something back” to the Hamilton community in recognition of the success he had enjoyed within its boundaries. He founded The Brabant Foundation in 1987 with a signiﬁcant portion of the proceeds from the sale of his business. In 1989, Roger married Lois Hill and together they collaborated on granting The Brabant Foundation funds to local Hamilton charities such as hospitals, food banks, churches and social assistance organizations until his death in 2017. To ensure a continuing legacy, Roger designated Hamilton Community Foundation as the successor to his foundation.
Roger chose Hamilton Community Foundation as the vehicle to carry on The Brabant Foundation’s work because he was satisﬁed that the community foundation was in the best position to continue to deliver his ‘good news,’ now in the form of ﬁnancial assistance, to the Hamilton area,” says Farrar.
Excerpt from 2019 Annual Report