Chinese are rumoured to have a saying, which goes: ”May you live in interesting times!“
It is meant as a good wish for someone who is about to set out for a journey or start a new chapter in life.
Personally, I could not have started the new chapter of my life in Ponoka at any time more interesting than this October, just as the campaign for the municipal elections begins to get exciting with all candidates using their powers of persuasion to convince the voters that they are the right candidates deserving the support at the ballot box.
As the new editor of Ponoka News, I am well aware that I am taking on a big challenge.
A town at the junction of two major highways with a lively agricultural sector and a major healthcare facility promises to offer a lot to a newcomer, particularly if you are in the business of observing and writing how communities evolve over time.
In my previous assignment with the Prairie News Group of Black Press as the editor of the Stettler Independent, Bashaw Star, Castor Advance and the Regional Weekender, I had the opportunity to monitor and report on the developments in those communities for more than two years, a period full of enriching experiences.
As I accepted the offer to edit Ponoka News and its sister newspaper, The Rimbey Review, I felt the same excitement as I was returning from Europe, having completed a two-year project in support of a broadcast digitalization program in southeastern Europe.
Yes, that is just another swing in my 30-odd year career, which went from practicing journalism to preaching journalism and back several times.
In both aspects of my professional career, however, I have always taught and remained loyal to the principle that journalism, as the Fourth Estate as it has come be known, must stand guard for the good of the public.
I promise to stand by the same principle as I try to fill the seat I am entrusted with. In that process, I will rely on the guidance of the community and will expect to hear from those who read this paper, as well as from those who don’t, what they think is right and what they think is wrong.
This newspaper and this community can only get better if both sides show a willingness to engage each other with mutual enthusiasm.
At Ponoka News, our door is always open and we are ready and willing to listen. Please stop by.