Reported in the News Letter on December 20, 1954: Tributes and gifts for News Letter editor who gave 50 years’ service

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Mr W H McKee, who retired from the editorship of the “Belfast News-Letter” at the end of August after occupying the position for twenty-six years, was entertained in the Grand Central Hotel on Saturday afternoon [December 18] when, to mark his retirement and the completion of fifty years’ service with the newspaper, he received the gift of a television set from the management and staff, and from the night news composing room and stereo department a gold-mounted umbrella.

Mr James Henderson DL, managing director, said that, although in its 218th year, the News-Letter had had only nine editors. Mr McKee was engaged by the late Sir James Henderson. At that time Mr McKee was a medical student, and if his appointment was a loss to the medical profession, it was a gain to journalism.

Mr R G Hamilton, who succeeded to the editorial chair in September, said that one of Mr McKee’s greatest characteristics was his approachability. No member of staff ever felt any embarrassment in going to him either with office or personal problems.

The News-Letter was recognised by the public as a newspaper of sound character, and that reputation had been maintained and furthered by Mr McKee’s qualities of integrity and journalistic ability.

Mr McKee, acknowledging the gifts, said that if in any measure he had helped the progress of the “News Letter”, the reward had been his in satisfaction.