Thank you, Ladysmith. As many people may have already learned, I will be leaving the Chronicle and Vancouver Island this week to pursue a new opportunity.
I have been telling many people over the last few weeks that part of it is Ladysmith’s fault.
During my time here, I have had the chance to meet a lot of incredible people with a deep passion for their hometown — a place they value, honour and want to make the best place possible.
It made me realize I still feel that way about my hometown. And while I am sad about leaving Ladysmith, I am pleased to report I am going home.
Being in Ladysmith gave me something I have never had in all the newsrooms I’ve worked. It gave me the chance to get out and meet people in the community.
As an editor, I have been given the opportunity to be invited into people’s lives during times of great anguish and triumph. My favourite stories, by far, have been the ones where people work together to fix problems. For instance, watching the Leadership Vancouver Island team work with local youth to help rebuild their skatepark was a rewarding story to cover because of the camaraderie and understanding it created and gaps it bridged.
And it was not alone, just an example. Over this last year of covering life in Ladysmith, if a problem came up, the people found a way to solve it.
That is the impression I will take away from here, that Ladysmith is a place of solutions.
Sure there have been challenges and disagreements, but many of them arise because different groups of people clashed over how to make something better.
And whenever people are working towards making the town a better place to be, good things will happen.
I have high hopes for Ladysmith and expect to see great things — and make sure to include the Chronicle.
Remember it is your community paper and here to cover you, in good times, bad times and while you’re working it out.
— Matthew Peterson