Time for a dramatic change in direction on this journey of mine

It’s been a great journey, but now, I feel, is the right time to change paths.

It’s been a great journey, but now, I feel, is the right time to change paths. And change paths towards a completely different direction.

After more than 40 years associated with the newspaper and printing industries, I’ve accepted a position with a locally based company, Formation Fluids, to get into the oil and gas industry.

I have been with Sylvan Lake News for 11 years and during that time I’ve met many fantastic people, reported on a lot of joy — some sadness — and provided my sometimes controversial opinions on a variety of topics.

Involvement in the community has brought an added dimension to my tenure in Sylvan Lake, whether it be with the Rotary Club, Legion or shorter term commitments like the Kraft Hockeyville campaign, Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival and Market, Friends of Sylvan Lake Provincial Park and Rotary lighthouse project. I’ve probably missed one or two other activities, but suffice to say I’ve enjoyed being part of organizations which are contributing to the community’s growth and quality of life.

At this point I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has assisted in my time at Sylvan Lake News — particularly those who contributed their articles and letters and those who phoned with story ideas.

I’ve always worked with the philosophy that a community newspaper should mirror what’s happening in the area it serves. While we haven’t been able to accomplish that totally, we’ve certainly made great strides every week to do what’s humanly possible. And the added help has assisted greatly.

Young people have held a special spot in my goal of producing a quality newspaper. I’ve certainly appreciated the support of all schools in Sylvan Lake and vicinity who have invited us into their facilities, have made sure we’re aware of events and have contributed their own pictures and stories.

As I look back over a career that has included work in more than 10 different Western Canadian communities and several others in Eastern Canada, there are many memories I cherish of accomplishments and of the people I’ve worked with in various roles.

I also remember well many, many hours growing up in a family where my father, grandfather and uncle operated newspapers in southern Ontario. As such, I started by sweeping, cleaning equipment, inserting newspapers and delivering them. At a young age I was attracted to newspaper photography and by the time I got my driver’s licence was heading out to various assignments, whether fire calls or sports events.

My retirement from the industry will bring to a close my part in a history which began about the start of the last century. One of my brothers continues to work in the industry, lengthening our family’s involvement. And there’s interest about a career in journalism from one of my granddaughters.

As I reflect, there have been many more positives than negatives during my career — obviously the reason for my longevity in such a deadline-driven and sometimes stressful job. Top among the positive experiences, besides the people, has been the opportunity to portray such a varied series of subjects. There’s never a day that is the same as the last. That also results in an independence which I’ve grown to love.

I’ve seen many changes from type set letter by letter through Linotype machines that created words in lines of lead and then to computers — punch tape to optical character recognition to the current variety where pages are created and transferred to the printer over the internet.

Changes in technology have eliminated the need for those many hours I spent in a darkroom developing film and making prints. It’s led to more time in front of computer screens and reduced the number of employees at newspapers across the country.

Yet the same heart goes into the newspapers as is reflected through editions many years ago. In many different newspapers I’ve had a chance to appreciate the wealth of information contained in archival editions. It’s sparked a lifelong interest in the history of communities I’ve served, something I will no doubt pursue further in the future.

While I’ve enjoyed my years of dedication to my craft, there are some things I’ll enjoy more now that I’ve made this change. Weekends without schedules, evenings without lengthy meetings and the lack of pressure necessary to meet weekly deadlines. I’ll have time to pursue some of the hobbies that have been left dormant for far too long.

Farewell and thanks again for your part in my journey.

(Tomorrow, August 22, 2014 is my last day in the office at Sylvan Lake News.)


Just Posted

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Photo Courtesy of the Town of Sylvan Lake
Multiple edible parks found throughout Sylvan Lake

Apple trees, berry bushes and more have been planted in various parks around town

Curtis Labelle. (Photo Submitted)
More exciting music to come from Sylvan Lake’s Curtis Labelle

Curtis Labelle has been called Canadian Elton John or Billy Joel by fans

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Most Read