Ladysmith has already made an impression on new reporter

The Chronicle welcomes new reporter Nick Bekolay, who is looking forward to expanding on the paper's multimedia work.

It’s an odd sort of thing to be caught off guard by. Rarely do complete strangers ask, in friendly and familiar ways, how my day’s been.

After living in Gyeongnam, South Korea, for the better part of the last four years, where the language barrier often limits a typical conversation to “hello,” amiable greetings from shop keepers and random passersby seem almost strange.

But this friendly, small-town manner of greeting nearly anyone I cross paths with is a welcome change. I have to admit that Ladysmith’s made quite an endearing first impression on me. I hope I make a first impression on our readers that’s equally positive.

I moved to Victoria from Saskatoon a decade ago to study biology at the University of Victoria, and it wasn’t long before I started to think of the Island as home. I spent the next six years living and working in Victoria before moving to Korea to teach English in 2008. I’d intended to spend no more than a year abroad to save money for graduate school, but teaching turned out to be more fun that I’d anticipated and I wound up spending three and a half years in the Republic of Korea. But for the duration of my Korean sojourn, I remained an Islander at heart.

When an offer came through to write for the Chronicle, I couldn’t have been happier. Launching a journalism career after my return from Korea was guaranteed to involve a lengthy stint at a small-town paper in the Interior. Not for this very lucky reporter, though. Instead, I can look forward to spending the next few years here in Ladysmith while I help expand the Chronicle’s portfolio to include a variety of multimedia work. I look forward to expanding our coverage of local sporting and community events by incorporating video alongside our traditional print stories. Before long, readers can expect to visit our website and find short video features and slideshows. I hope you’ll enjoy the show.

— Nick Bekolay

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