The Martha effect

By Angelica Ingram

Published Aug. 28 2018

In the fall of 2009 Martha Perkins made a decision that changed my life forever.
The former editor of the Haliburton County Echo and Minden Times decided that after spending decades at the paper a change was in order.
This decision which led her to British Columbia spurred a ripple effect of changes in Haliburton one of the first being the appointment of Jenn Watt to the position of editor.
That change meant there was an opening in the editorial department for a new reporter to join the team.
Enter me.

At the time I was 24 a recent graduate of journalism school and a newbie to the Haliburton Highlands.
I was full of energy (some would say I still am) optimism and ready to start a new chapter in my life.
I never imagined what that chapter would include.
Now nearly nine years later I am unplugging my recorder hanging up my camera and putting down my pen for the paper. I am saying goodbye to the Haliburton Echo and Minden Times with a full heart as I move on to start a new opportunity with SIRCH Community Services.
I never worked with Martha and I’ve only met her a handful of times but I am grateful for the legacy she left behind at the paper one built on tradition excellence quality and community.
It is a legacy Jenn Watt has striven to uphold during the past nine years and one I am so fortunate to have been a part of.

I have personally watched Jenn work long hours sacrifice weekends answer every email and phone call and above all else always do what was best for the paper. She puts the paper and the staff before herself and it has been a joy to work for her. I couldn’t have learned from a better editor or met such a good friend.
Every week the staff of the Echo and Times work diligently to bring you the stories that matter. The stories about high school athletes municipal decisions hospital expansions environmental issues and much more.
Even apple pie fundraisers and knitting projects make it into the pages. That’s the beauty of a community newspaper; nothing is too small or too big and it is always important news. We try to give people of Haliburton the best newspaper and in return you give us your support your trust and your loyalty.

I have done my best to serve the readers of this community well and have always felt welcomed in return. Welcomed into your homes your lives and your hearts. And I could not have asked for more.
I will never forget the people I have met the stories I have heard and the hope you all gave me.
I say goodbye with a heart full of gratitude and love and look forward to continuing to be part of such an engaged community and reading the stories that matter every week.
Martha’s departure set off a ripple of change in this community and in my life.
And for that I am truly thankful.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie The Pooh