And so to my final editorial … many of you will be aware by now that this particular reporter is moving on.
With my visa due to run out shortly it has become clear that I need to return to the UK a little sooner than I had anticipated if I am to put myself in the best position to reapply. That is certainly what I want to do. I very much hope to come back in due course to Canada – if you will have me. It certainly feels already like my adopted home. There is no finer place to live.
I am going back to a United Kingdom and a Europe in the midst of a massive economic crisis. I look forward to seeing family and friends but finding work is not going to be easy. And certainly to find work as satsifying as that of creating your weekly paper will be almost impossibIe.
I depart with a great deal of sadness and amazing memories of my 18 months here in Vanderhoof. I have made so many friends and have received so much help and support. It has been an absolute privilege to have been able to report on this remarkable community and its remarkable people.
It is an honour for any journalist, and one I have not taken for granted, to be allowed access to the lives of so many families and individuals. I have been able to report on the triumphs and tragedies, the hopes and fears, the courage and the creativity of all who live with within the orbit of the Omineca Express. Much that I have seen has inspired me. I leave the area having learnt so much and I know I will look back on this period as one of the great formative times in my life.
I leave something of a different person than the one who arrived here!
Above his desk my father used to have this quote,
“As time is the most valuable thing that we have, because it is the most irrevocable, the thought of any time lost troubles us whenever we look back. Time lost is time in which we have failed to live a full human life, gain experience, learn, create, enjoy and suffer; it is time that has not been filled up but left empty.” My time in Vanderhoof has certainly not been time wasted. This is perhaps a good quote to leave you with at the end of one year and the beginning of another. So to you all, farewell and a million thanks. You have been good to me.
And, oh yes, may you all have the happiest Christmas and the best possible 2012. I will never forget you.