Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is the last editorial I’ll write for The Napanee Beaver.
I’ve been a part of the newsroom here since 1996 (if you don’t count a three-month stint as a student reporter here in the summer of 1992). That’s 21 years, according to my calculator. Since 2002, I’ve been fortunate enough to serve as the newspaper’s editor.
That’s a heck of a long time. I’ve seen almost 1,800 editions off to press. I’ve covered 18 elections (six municipal, five provincial and seven federal). I’ve sat through more hours of council and community meetings than I could possibly remember. I’ve been around long enough to have used film in my camera (thank goodness those days are gone) and worked at a computer without an Internet connection (ditto).
And yet in many ways, it doesn’t seem so long. The weekly rhythm of getting the newspaper filled with content and ready for press is part of it — you tend not to look too much further than next week’s edition. The fact that I work with, and have worked with, great people is part of it as well. The next thing you know, two decades have gone by.
The time has come for me to put down the camera and the recorder and try a new challenge outside of the journalism business. Over the years, I’ve felt as though I’ve always been an observer of the community and not really a participant in it. I’m looking forward to being a part of the community in which I live. That said, I’m not sure I’ll go to the next raucous public meeting looking to tear a strip off a hapless government official or functionary, but hey, at least now I’ve got that option. I know it will certainly be nice to go to the Centreville Fair, Bath Canada Day or Riverfront Festival without a camera hanging around my neck and a notepad in my back pocket (though I’m also sure I’ll feel a little naked without them).
I’d like to thank all those people with whom I’ve had a chance to interact over those two decades; the vast (!) majority of you have treated me with fairness and friendliness.
I’d like to thank all those people who read The Napanee Beaver on a regular basis — I know there are a lot of you. It’s been a privilege bringing the news of the community to your doorstep.
I’d like to thank all my co-workers at The Beaver; you’ve been a wonderful group to work with. I will certainly be back in the office as often as possible to take you off-task.
Lastly, I’d like to thank publisher Jean Morrison for the confidence she’s placed in me for 21 years and for the honour of serving as editor of a newspaper with such a rich and proud history as The Napanee Beaver.
It has always been a challenge for me to fill this space every week. I am looking forward to not having to wrack my brain to come up with a topic to shoot my mouth off about on which to comment. As I write my last one, however, I can tell you already that part of me will miss it.