I’ve worked in factories, in construction and I’ve taught high school.


The only job I’ve loved though is running a weekly newspaper.


You might wonder why. In the past 40 years, I’ve been offered bribes, been threatened with physical harm and harassed by the town cops. It can get stressful if you print things that powerful and not so powerful people object to.


Although the hours are odd and the pay can be poor, being a weekly editor can be most rewarding. I still believe a weekly newspaper should be the voice of the community it serves.


I always figured that if you’re going to work, you might as well do something you have a passion for. That’s why working 60-hour weeks or when others are at play didn’t bother me. Running a weekly is like going to school – you’re always learning and you have some fun.


The newspaper business has been good to me. It allowed me to live and raise a family in Bruce County and to write for a living.


When I started The Independent, I was told it wouldn’t last six weeks.


Things were tough the first few years, but it just meant you had to be innovative. Technology has completely changed the newspaper business since I started – hot lead was just going out as I began. Then came cut and paste and big, heavy typesetters, computers and then everything went digital.


By nature, I’m a rather shy person, but the newspaper business changed that.


Being a reporter has allowed me to meet thousands of people and make many new friends. Bruce County is a great place because it’s full of interesting and sometimes quirky people. There are thousands of stories yet to be told.


I used to say that my last column would be something to remember. But I also thought it might be the last edition and I was going to print all those things I never could. Now that I’m typing it, the words won’t flow.


After writing a weekly column for more than 42 years, it’s going to be difficult to break the habit. Maybe I’ll write a book or two – a chapter a week.


All good things end. I’ve decided to retire as editor so, dear reader, it’s time to bid you adieu.


I thank the many businesses that supported The Independent during my years of ownership – 1975 to 2011.


I thank my loyal readers for their patronage and I thank the many readers who have passed on news tips over the years. You have been wonderful contacts.


I’ve had many fine employees over the years and I thank them for their efforts.


My biggest thank you goes to my wife Dana. She’s been my only editor. She’s also a demanding proofreader and she has a nose for news. And she’s been my biggest supporter.


Many of my employees, while I owned the paper, were relatives – sister Nancy Turcotte, Aunt Betty O’Brien, mother-in-law Annie Sinclair, Dana’s cousins Allan and Gord Thompson, nephews Jon Harding and Tim McKay, Tim’s wife Barb, sons Caleb and Josh and daughter Sarah. That’s quite a collection of very good writers and evidence of an amazing family.


Allan Thompson, by the way, should be our next Member of Parliament.


Having an opinion every week can sometimes get you in trouble and I’ve probably made a few enemies over the years. So in retirement, I’ll make some people happy. You should, after all is said and done, have something for everyone in each week’s paper.


Best wishes to the staff and good luck to London Publishing Corp, which purchased The Independent three years ago.


When I used to pound away on a typewriter, every story ended with a -30-. Well, this is -30- for The Editor’s Notebook.