There are many milestones celebrated throughout one’s life. Parents celebrate their baby’s first birthday, 17-year-olds anticipate being 18, couples celebrate 50 years of marriage, and so on. You get the idea.
Fifty years is a big deal for anything … business, personal and professional. And that’s why the Lafourche Gazette publisher and staff are happy to say: “We’ve been here fifty years and are proud of it!”
It’s not easy and quite a challenge to begin and maintain a small business, especially in a small community. But for two small town entrepreneurs, the challenge was fueled by a vision and began with one, life-altering decision.
Back in the early 60s, Earl Legendre and William “Bill” Gregore were two young men employed as radio dispatchers working in Leeville. It was during this employment that they were forced to decide if this was something they wanted to do for the rest of their lives. It was then that the “vision” of a small town publication was born.
Although Bill and Earl’s vision was theirs alone, the first publication, printed and circulated to 7,000 citizens, may not have been as successful without the help of many friends, family and patrons.
Bill’s father-in-law, Harry Gauthier, owned a small publication in Morgan City titled the Shopper’s Weekly. He provided Bill and Earl the support and knowledge needed to create a small town publication.
Friends such as former State Senator A.O. Rappelet, advised the pair that the publication should be named The Greater Lafourche Gazette. And so it was … launched on October 24, 1965.
Ten years later, Earl purchased the Greater Lafourche Gazette from Bill and became sole owner resulting in the publication’s name change in 1978 to The Lafourche Gazette.
In 1990, the Lafourche Gazette adopted a Sunday edition and is now presently circulating twice a week to over 15,000 residents and businesses from central Lafourche Parish to the Town of Grand Isle.
It boasts an impressive website with the ability for users to comment on articles, upload pictures and videos relating to local events and even browse the site via iPhones and iPads, including a Facebook page, and Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Lots of changes have occurred throughout the fifty years of the Gazette’s existence. But the one thing that remained constant was the fact that Gazette ownership has always been in the Legendre family.
In 2008, Earl decided to retire and step down as owner and publisher and sold the newspaper to his son Boo, after nearly 44 years.
Unfortunately, Boo’s dream and vision of running the business his father started was cut short after Boo died suddenly and unexpectedly in July.
But his vision will continue. Addy, Boo’s wife, has stepped in and with determination, courage, and the support and help of Gazette staff, will see to it that this beloved publication will evolve.
So as they say, “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!”, and let’s hope we’re here for many more!
Posted on Fri, November 20, 2015
by The Lafourche Gazette