The newspaper liked big headlines:
But the truly startling story of that day – 14 August 1949 – was buried on an inside page:
BAY RESIDENTS ACCUSE MINISTER OF COMMUNISM
Some Say – “Agents of the Devil!”
A strange, absurd report came into the Herald office this week when an indignant resident of Coley’s Point told of two alleged communists operating around that area. The resident went on to say that the men were young, somewhere between the ages of twenty and twenty-two, and that they were distributing literature. The men were supposed to receive secret messages at night in an old graveyard and, claimed our informant, the messages came from an invisible plane during the night.
However, when a reporter checked the absurd story with the Chief of Police it was learned that such was not the case. Two men were indeed there and were distributing pamphlets, but they were not communistic in any respect. The literature was of a religious nature and the men themselves were of some unknown religious denomination in the United States.
The two men asked for no money or any other reward for their services. If they are not asked by the kind residents of various Newfoundland settlements to have supper with them or lodge with them for the night, the two merely stay out and, like the old song, have the sky for their roof and the stars for their lamp. Their only interest is getting souls for the Kingdom of God, they claim, and the material things of this world mean absolutely nothing to them.
We are glad to present the true facts of the case, and to demonstrate once again how quickly people let their imaginations run away with them.