Undercurrent editor is closing a chapter

Meribeth Deen looks back on her years sitting in Bowen Island's hot seat

Dear readers,

 

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As most of you have figured out by now, my time sitting in the hot-seat as newspaper editor in this incredibly engaged community is at an end. I’ve had a sense, for some time, that this job shares some similarity to sitting on council. There are a few differences, of course, one being that it is totally okay when you are editor to admit that you are clueless as to what’s going on, as long as you are willing to dig for answers...

Another difference, of course, is that no one runs for “editor of The Undercurrent.” That said, without a boatload of community support, it would be hard for even the most hard-boiled of journalists to stick it out here, week after week.

Which brings me to the enormous THANK YOU, to this community. When Thursday hits and the deadline stress is over, it feels pretty great to see people’s heads stuck in the paper. To hear people actually talking about what they’ve read in the paper is even better. In typical Bowen-fashion, the community support that’s got me through has really gone over the top.

Instead of just griping about typos, there are a few of you who have habitually popped by the office to help read the copy before it goes off to press. Many of you have sent in articles, and photography. Others have sent me pages of research, and bothered even to come in and explain what it all means. All of this puts the “community” into “community newspaper.”

I have also been taken aback, in a good way, at the thank yous. Yes its true, this is a thankless job in many ways, until someone stops you in the frozen food aisle of the General Store to tell you how much they appreciate what you do.

From my perspective, this role has been an unbelievable growing and learning experience. Part of me wishes I had taken a job on like this when I was 25, on the other hand I’m not sure my 25 year-old self could’ve handled it.

The absolute best part of the job has been getting to know all kinds of people who I otherwise wouldn’t have. I won’t miss the deadlines, but I will miss this office with its view on Trunk Road and its door swinging open with a constant stream of visitors.

Now, I could really go all “Bowen” here and launch into a very long list of thank yous, but I think I would rather take my time and put letters in the mail.

There are a few obvious ones that need, absolutely to be stated: there are the best side-kicks I could ask for, Tracey Wait and Maureen Sawasy, who have helped me make a million judgement calls, who have shared the burden of deadline with me. There’s the community icon, Ron Woodall - how could any of us even function without your weekly take on things? Thanks of course to publisher Peter Kvarnstrom for keeping this ship afloat, and also to the colleagues we don’t see much, at the North Shore News, Squamish Chief and Courier, who let us run their stories.

Oh, and to all the people who have helped with my kids over the years! I love you! You’ve saved many a paper. And to my husband, who has made countless lunches, who keeps dragging me out of bed (with coffee) and who made me take the job in the first place. I love you too!

In four and a half years, I’ve seen one council wrap up its business and another take over. It’s been a wild ride, one I will no-doubt long for, but I can safely say my term is done. Civilian life awaits.

All the best and thanks for everything,

 

Meribeth

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