Tom Hodgson has recently published a book about his life and his family called Remembering My Journey. It covers the history of not only the Hodgsons Darts and Moons but also of the early days in the Haliburton Highlands as well as Hodgson's life after Haliburton. He retired with his wife Marie in Oshawa after a career in education. /JENN WATT Staff

To those who help

T his is our last paper in 2019. We at the Haliburton Echo will be taking a week off to enjoy the holidays with our family and friends. As the year comes to a close it seems appropriate to take a moment to thank those who made Haliburton better over the last 357 days. We are truly lucky to have so many people all guiding the community in the same direction.

To those who gave back – thank you to the food banks and the community kitchen volunteers those who attend the schools in the morning to feed kids breakfast. To those who this month are planning free dinners at their restaurants and stores for people who need a little holiday cheer. To the volunteers at HHHS who make time in their day to sing patients and residents a tune to deliver a meal or hold someone’s hand when they need companionship.

To those who help – thank you to the first responders who put their personal lives aside to rush to the aid of others. To those who show up in the hardest times often finding their own neighbours in crisis. To the doctors and nurses who work long shifts during holidays and weekends even when it would be much easier to do something else.

To the organizers – thank you to the people who made things happen. To those who dreamed big dreams launched new events maintained long-standing traditions and gave us all something to look forward to. We danced and sang laughed and cheered because of the concerts sporting events performances and fairs you helped to create. You put together displays and encouraged us to get out and experience the Highlands.

To the kind-hearted people – thank you for your small acts of generosity and selflessness throughout the year. To the people whose actions aren’t always noted in the newspaper but who do it anyway. To the neighbours who check in with each other to the Good Samaritan who stops when a stranger has a flat tire to the person who “pays it forward” at the doughnut shop. Those small acts can also make a big difference.

On a personal note I am thankful to all of the wonderful people at the Haliburton Echo and Minden Times I get to work with each day. Hardworking dedicated and passionate about the Haliburton Highlands they’re the ones who keep our newspapers going and it’s a privilege to work with them.

This past year we said goodbye to two of our regular contributors Hilda Clark and George Farrell who passed away. Their contributions made us better and they won’t be forgotten.

And thank you readers for supporting our paper commenting on our stories and giving us news tips. We love to hear from you and look forward to bringing you more stories in 2020.

(The next edition of the Echo comes out Jan. 7.)