By Sue Tiffin
When I first returned to the Haliburton County Echo and Minden Times as a reporter in 2017, it had been 21 years since I had been a co-op student at the Echo and a student reporter at the Times as a high school student. A lifetime had passed in the years since my byline first appeared in these papers – I’d pursued post-secondary education, gotten married, travelled and lived overseas, had children, and returned home.
I was asked to join the Echo/Times team to help cover a colleague’s maternity leave for a child who is this year graduating junior kindergarten. My, how time flies.
In that time, the experiences I’ve had as a reporter, and now an editor have been, well, something to write home about, of course. I’ve covered births, deaths, and everything in between. It is, as I’ve said many times, an honour and a privilege to have this role, being able to listen and learn and share what matters to others, here.
Last week’s Times and Echo was my last. It wasn’t an easy decision to decide to try something new – there are still so many of your stories to tell – but the time was right for a change. I hope to continue to do something meaningful to contribute in this community in the future.
When I took on the role of editor of the Minden Times last fall, I wrote of the archives of the Times and Echo, how all of those individual stories and snapshots capture moments in time in one place and become very powerful as a reflection of ourselves – where we came from and where we’re going. While my name has been on thousands of stories in our local papers over the years, it has always been you – the people of this community – that made those stories happen, through your work and passion and sometimes just in living your life the way you’ve lived your life. These are the stories that matter, and the stories to tell.
The Times is so special to me, especially because of the team that puts it together. Not just our diligent and caring Times/Echo staff, but the whole team from contributors, from columnists, to cartoonist who work on a weekly basis to share. We are more fortunate than most of us know in this small community to still have a longstanding newspaper to call our very own in this time of change, when local journalism in rural towns is more critical than ever.
Thank you, always dear readers for your support of our work, and for your appreciation of your community papers. Every time you sent a press release, typed a note of encouragement, wrote a letter to the editor, offered patience, brought by a sweet token of kindness, shared an article with a friend, and thought to share a photo of the creature you’d spotted on your front lawn has mattered so much, to those who work on these pages, and to those readers who always make a point of taking it all in.
Thank you for sharing, thank you for reading, and thank you always for your spirit in making this community something to write about. While I carry the stories you’ve taken the time to share with me, I look forward to reading what comes next.