A gala marking the 125-year publishing history of The Guardian newspaper included the company receiving the key to the city of Charlottetown Thursday.
Mayor Clifford Lee presented the honour to Don Brander, publisher of The Guardian during the gathering at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown.
Lee said it is amazing to contemplate a business like The Guardian that has been offering a product and a service for 125 years.
"I think it tells you something about the people that have worked there for the past 125 years," said Lee.
"We recognize and we truly understand and appreciate the important role that The Guardian has played in the development of our city for the last 125 years and the role it continues to play today and that we know they are going to play for many, many years to come," said Lee in presenting a key to the city to Brander.
The night included the launch of a book to mark the anniversary. Titled 125 Years Through Our Eyes, it features 192 pages of photos from the decades The Guardian covered.
Guests were entertained by the Singing Strings and sampled food based on past decades, ranging from Jello salad to hummus and eggplant dip.
Marc Ouellette, senior vice-president for TC Media, was a special guest at the gala. TC Media, or Transcontinental, owns 170 newspapers from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland.
"Whenever anybody asks me, 'well, what are your best titles?' I swear on my three kids, I always mention our flagships are The Guardian in Charlottetown and The Telegram in St. John's, Newfoundland," said Ouellette.
Brander said there have been other owners of The Guardian in past years but TC Transcontinental has been "the most forward thinking."
"It is important to reflect on our past, the the things we have achieved," said Brander. "At the same time, though, it is equally important to be able to celebrate our future.
"Today The Guardian has more readers than at any time in its history," said Brander.
It has the highest readership per capita of any daily newspaper in Canada, he said. Each month over 270,000 unique visitors visit The Guardian website, including through a mobile app. That generates over three million page views per month.
The Guardian is multimedia with video, photo, and interactive graph presentations of information to the public, said Brander.
It is the preserver and protector of our history, of the vital statistics of our lives, of our highs and lows and in our moments when we celebrate the achievements of our friends and neighbours. - Lt. Gov. Frank Lewis
"There is a lot more to come," he said.
The Guardian provides a rolling chronicle of history, the gathering was told.
"Look at the pages of any given day and it will have a cross section of yesterday and today as well as glimpse of the future," said Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis. "It is and it has been an incredible effort and an unparalleled achievement.
"The Guardian lives up to its name," said Lewis. "It is the preserver and protector of our history, of the vital statistics of our lives, of our highs and lows and in our moments when we celebrate the achievements of our friends and neighbours."
Doug Currie, Minister of Health brought greetings from Premier Robert Ghiz who was travelling and arrived later in the evening.
"I remember fighting over the paper with my brothers in respect to trying to read the funnies," said Currie.
He said he grew up with The Guardian, closely following the sports pages for his hockey coaching career, then the political pages in recent years with a return to the funnies to always help with the day.