It’s with a heavy heart and mixed feelings that I pen my column this week.
This will be in fact, my last column as editor of Coast Reporter. After 11-plus years and too many deadlines, bylines and interviews to remember, my last day in this editor’s chair will be May 1.
Starting May 4, I will be sitting in a new chair as the editor of the Burnaby/New Westminster News Leaders.
This is a huge step for me both personally and professionally and I’m honoured and humbled at the opportunity. And as excited as I am for this new challenge, I’m also saddened by the prospects of leaving a great community, leaving friendships and relationships behind and — most importantly — leaving this newspaper and a staff that I not only consider colleagues, but my friends and family.
When I first came here as editor in 2003 from The Squamish Chief, I really had no intention of staying too long. I figured three or four years getting my editor’s feet under me and I would be off to my next gig. But this community grew on me. The relationships that I have fostered will stay will me forever. I have had the great fortune to write many wonderful stories and been a part of fantastic achievements. The numerous awards that this newspaper has won certainly come to mind, but also the many community events, milestones and accolades that we all have celebrated have made my time here so special.
These memories will be in my heart forever.
There is certainly not enough space here to thank people individually. That would take two or three columns I figure, but there are a few folks that I do want to recognize. The first is literally the first person I met back in 2003 and that is Tom Poulton. He came into our little office on Cowrie Street the first couple of days with men’s hockey standings and we have been friends ever since.
Next is the late Reg Thomas, who fostered my love for soccer. Reg was our beloved soccer columnist for many years and I was honoured when his family asked me to speak at his memorial service. Reg you are still missed and treasured by this community.
To the Arduin and Richey families — well, what can I say but just thanks. Thanks for allowing me into your lives so personally. I will always treasure our relationships.
To all my buddies, and friends at Gramma’s Pub in Gibsons — my favourite watering hole — I can’t believe I won’t be sitting in the centre barstool in front of Johnny the best bartender around. Going to miss all the great times.
To the amazing staff here at Coast Reporter, both past and present, thanks for making me a better person, for pushing me, for supporting me. You have all helped shape me and allowed me to take this leap of faith. I will forever be in your debt.
And finally, thanks to the Sunshine Coast community. Thanks for your support, thanks for your criticism, thanks for supporting this newspaper and supporting what we try and do every week, which is put out the best community newspaper possible. I will enjoy reading about the Coast from afar.
Goodbye and good luck.