Bert Duder: Canadian joined RAF and sold space for Norfolk weekly papers

A long-serving advertising representative in south Norfolk, Bert Duder, who has died aged 92, left Canada to serve in the Royal Air Force during the second world war.

When he retired after 33 years with the then Eastern Counties Newspapers (now Archant), he was dubbed by colleagues as 'Mr Mercury' for his role with the group's weekly series of publications.

He had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force after starting a newspaper in Newfoundland, where he was born and raised. His family had emigrated more than 150 years earlier and he had a letter written in 1833 by an ancestor describing her trip across the Atlantic to join her husband.

He came to Britain in 1938 having also been in the American Air Corps and joined the RAF, serving during the war as a radar technician. Demobbed in 1946, he worked for Boulton & Paul until three years later, he joined the Norfolk News Company's weekly sales team, covering an area from Norwich to Bury St Edmunds.

During his years with the company, he sold advertising space to people from every walk of life – from goats' milk manufacturers to the Salvation Army. A farmer even offered him a pig in payment for an advert. He often returned to the office with stories for reporters.


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He married Kay in January 1943 and they were together for 68 years. They lived at Poringland, near Norwich, for more than 35 years until they moved into a residential care home at Melton House, Wymondham, about three years ago.

He leaves Kay, a daughter Mary, granddaughter Eleanor and great-grandson, Rhys. A funeral service will be held at Earlham Cemetery Chapel on Tuesday at 11.30am followed by burial.

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