By Chad Ingram
“All good things must come to an end sometime, so don’t burn the day.”
That’s a line by Dave Matthews, a favourite musician of mine.
This will be my final column for the Minden Times, something that is strange to write and to think about. I’ve been at this for nearly 13 years. That’s roughly 650 editorials, and thousands upon thousands of news stories. While we are all so much more than our jobs, our vocations can often become part of our identity, and in my case, I’ve been the guy from the Minden Times for exactly one third of my life. After many years of covering the municipal governments of Haliburton County, I’m going to try my hand at working for one. I’ve accepted a communications contract with the Township of Algonquin Highlands, which will commence in early August.
The brilliant and beloved Sue Tiffin will become the new editor of the Times when she returns from a summer leave.
When a former Minden Hills fire chief resigned a few years ago, I wrote that change is life’s only constant, and that it is sometimes necessary for growth. I wrote that we all innately know what is right for ourselves, and for our families. Those things are now true for myself. It’s time for me to make a change. It’s time for me to leave this chair.
It hasn’t been an easy decision, and one weighted with emotion. I’ll miss the job. I’ll miss the venues I’ve haunted for so long. I’ll miss the buzz of covering election nights.
My time at the paper is a flood of memories, including memories of floods. The flood of 2013 in particular stands out. I remember walking Water Street every morning, taking photos and wondering if the Gull River was going to overtake the Sunnybrook Bridge. I remember the fear, unease and anxiety in town. I also remember the community binding quickly together, volunteers filling sandbags endlessly, neighbours taking food to neighbours, and county residents raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to access provincial funding, as was required at the time. It was the ultimate display of the strength and resilience of this community, which is the reason I love it so much.
In a world rife with the proliferation of misinformation, sources of researched, verified fact are more and more important. Local newspapers are uniquely positioned to tell the stories of their communities, giving people information critical to their day-to-day lives. Cherish them. Support them. When they disappear, they seldom return.
Producing local newspapers is a huge undertaking, bigger than most probably realize, and I want to acknowledge and thank my incredible coworkers at the Times and Echo, who do a ton of work to keep Haliburton County residents informed every week.
There’s a saying that journalism is the first draft of history, and it’s been my honour and privilege to write the first draft of the history of this place for so long. Over the years, I’ve met hundreds and hundreds of you, many of whom have become acquaintances, and some friends.
Thank you for welcoming me into your homes, businesses and cottages as I’ve strived to tell the stories of this community as best I could.
Most of all, thank you for reading.