Tyler Hay worked his last day as editor of the Ladysmith Chronicle on March 25. (File photo)

Tyler Hay worked his last day as editor of the Ladysmith Chronicle on March 25. (File photo)

Column: Goodbye Ladysmith, wish I could have stayed longer

Editor reflects on his time at The Chronicle

Goodbye Ladysmith. It has been great to serve as your community editor for this short time but I have to move on. My head and heart are in two different places and its time for me to bring them together.

In January, I wrote a column about losing my brother and ended it with, “the difference between fear and hope is focus — so I will focus on holding my loved ones close and making memories powerful enough to never be shadowed by a final goodbye.”

This is why I am leaving the Chronicle. I did not intend to work here for less than a year, but life has a way of testing a person; it kicks you when you are down, throws curveballs and forces you to constantly reevaluate your priorities.

I have decided it’s time to go home. Coming to this decision wasn’t easy, but feels right. I have often struggled with the idea of home — it is a feeling and I have felt it on the island. I have felt it in many places, but for now the home I want is back on the prairies where I started.

Ladysmith has been good to me and I will miss being editor here, but I have been struggling keeping focused being far from the people I love. I will work as a reporter in Lethbridge, AB so I can continue sharing stories, but I need to stand by my word and spend my spare time with the people who love me there.

I want to thank everyone who trusted me to tell their stories. I met some incredible people and learned a lot here. I was trusted to tell stories of great success, such as the Ladysmith Arts Council leading a big research project, and I got to highlight Ladysmith locals and show them off across the island and province.

I also covered stories of tragedy — these are always hard stories to tell, but they are important. I covered big issues that matter to Ladysmith, such as the housing crisis, and watched many stories unfold start to finish.

But I know there are many stories I did not see to the end and many Ladysmith events I missed out on because of the pandemic. I feel like I only dipped my toes into the stories Ladysmith has to offer and if circumstances were different, I would be happy to stay and keep telling them.

No matter what kind of story you trusted me with, whether it was a tragedy, success or anything else — thank you for trusting me. A journalist is nothing without the community.

Thank you to everyone who sent a story tip, a letter to the editor (even thanks for the mean ones) and to all who rely on The Chronicle for their local news. It was great being able to connect with people in the community and be your trusted source for community news.

This will be my last edition of the paper and perhaps my last week on the island for a long time. My time here has taught me alot, both in journalism and life — I learned how to sail and skippered my own boat, covered news in two different island communities and had a lot of fun.

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from living on the island the past couple years is that where you are matters much less than who you are with when it comes to being happy. Work is great, but the time after work matters just as much My love of adventure is ultimately what brought me here and now it is time for a new adventure.

I trust a new editor will pick up where I left off and continue telling your stories and showing Ladysmith off. I hope my reporting did good for the community — I know it did good for me and I will always carry a little piece of Ladysmith’s community spirit with me wherever I go.



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