I don’t write opinion pieces anymore. I haven’t had to since Pat Kelly took over the reigns of writer at the Boundary Creek Times. And he has done a terrific job at it—far better than I ever would have.
However, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed it on that first day that I met Pat. The story of how I met Pat and how he came to be the new reporter at the Boundary Creek Times is one of my favourites because quite literally Pat hired himself into this job.
We had an opening for a new reporter and Pat applied. We decided to meet for a coffee in Midway. I had assumed it was for me to interview him. In the end, it turned out to be the other way around.
We met in Midway because being short a reporter meant I was going to cover the council meeting that night and Pat was still on council so we walked over together. It was at this meeting that Pat actually hired himself.
“I just want to make sure the rest of council is okay with me taking the reporter’s job at the Boundary Creek Times.” Everyone in the room said it was okay. Pat then looked over at me and nodded to let me know we were good to go. After the meeting he asked what would be a good day to start? I don’t remember what I said, but I do remember being a bit startled. I had only just met him and to be completely honest, Pat wasn’t exactly the stereotype of a cub reporter. He wasn’t young, didn’t look super energetic and had no experience. In fact, after the interview I hadn’t actually planned to hire him. But I also admired what he had just done so I went along with it. I don’t think I ever actually offered him the position. He just started working.
And thank goodness for all of us that he did. Pat is a rare gem in our industry—a guy who cares about everyone else and gives more than he receives—always. From a guy who knew nothing about being a reporter, he has taught me more about community journalism than all of my years in this business. I am so grateful that he chose to give himself this job.
But today Pat is the one that needs us to give to him. Pat lost his Special K this week. Pat’s wife Pam died on Sunday morning and we are all mourning her loss. It is also why I have to write the opinion piece this week and I apologize that it isn’t up to Pat’s usual standards. But we are going to need some patience to help support Pat through this tragedy. Please understand that there may be some events that we won’t be able to attend and stories that won’t get written for the next little while. We hope you all understand and will help us support Pat through this sad time. I know you will and I just wanted to say thank you in advance.
Chuck Bennett, Publisher
Boundary Creek Times