The time has finally come for me to hang up my pica pole.
Yes it is true — my career as a newspaper guy will come to an end tomorrow.
It has been quite a ride! I started in the business selling Teleguide ads in the Shuswap about 18 years ago and since then have had the opportunity to live in many beautiful towns and a couple of cities. I have met so many nice people along the way that I have lost track of how many.
I am glad that my career ends on a high note. Last weekend I passed the president’s gavel of the British Columbia Newspaper Association and resigned from the board of directors of the Canadian Community Newspaper Association as our association hosted a national conference of newspapers in Richmond (sorry it wasn’t here, folks. I tried — just too many people).
At the convention we won the Best All Round Newspaper in Canada in our class as well as Best Editorial Page in Canada, and we picked up a second for Casual Country in the B.C./Yukon Ma Murray Community Newspaper awards. Sage Birchwater grabbed a second also for arts and culture writing. Congrats to the entire Tribune team. It is an absolute testament to your tireless commitment to excellence!
The staff at the Tribune have always been so committed to our city and they have proven time and time again through an unbelievable dedication of their own personal time and cash I might add (if you are a kid selling candy bars for charity, I suggest you show up around 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays or Thursdays) to so many events, fundraisers and charities.
The devotion is unbelievable and I am proud to count you all as my friends. I really can’t say enough about you all — I really can’t because Erin would not give me the space! Good luck to you, Erin. You are great and will direct the Tribune well. Taking over from Ken Macinnis was a large task and you have risen to said task and are, in my mind, destined for greatness!
The departure from the business is not without some sadness.
I have enjoyed this game immensely and assure you that there has never been a dull moment. The excitement of helping to cover a big story or the success of a good advertising campaign is very satisfying. The ability to help in the community in its moments of need — shortages of supply in our food bank or during the fires of last year to name only two is a very rewarding and satisfying feeling.
I will continue to work as a volunteer in our city with the groups that I have become involved with (as long as they will have me) and am very thankful for the recognition that I have received from the Chamber of Commerce with respect to the Community Booster of the year award. I thank my family Shelley, Shelby and Miranda for allowing me the freedom to be involved in so many things and I thank them for being involved in much of it with me.
I owe a great deal to Black Press and many of its staff. I will be forever grateful to all of the people who I have worked with and would like to further thank Bob Grainger for taking a chance on me as a 24-year-old kid. Special thanks also to David Black, Lorie Williston and Rick O’Connor, Jason Tansem, Curt Duddy and so many more who I simply can’t name here — you know who you are and you know I will be forever grateful.
To my customers and readers, you are the best! You have been the most engaged community I have ever seen. You (as only Cariboo folk could be) have never been bashful in your comments about the direction of our paper and I am both glad and thankful for your input. You have for certain been the driving force behind the content of our paper and that engagement is what has made our little paper so great! Thank you so much.
To my new family — Brian and Muriel Garland, thank you for the opportunity to become business partners with you. Shelley and I are grateful for the opportunity — we look very much forward to a great relationship. I have had the good fortune to have worked with many of the crew at Cariboo GM and can’t wait to work with you all. I know that you are as committed to your/our customers as the past crews I have worked with. I know we are gonna have a ton o’ fun and am very excited to join your team and proud to wear the Chevrolet bowtie! See ya Saturday!
Again, back to customers, readers, friends and charity groups, it has been an awesome time at the Tribune but I would encourage you all to pop by Cariboo GM and visit for a cup of coffee, a hand shake and a great deal on some beautiful Chevrolet products — because this newspaper guy just had a blood transfusion from ink to petrol!