Our local newspaper, the Agassiz-Harrison Observer, is expanding to Hope and congratulations are in order! Actually, they are long overdue for quite a while now. I have seen our newspaper getting bigger, bolder and better. And now, there is even “Hope for more”!
Jessica Peters and her staff are doing an excellent job. Local newspapers are the pulse of a community and ideally should be situated in the heart of it. So, when they moved their office to the new place, a replica of the old Aberdeen Hotel situated in the Pioneer Park, I thought it was perfect.
Local newspapers are extremely important. While provincial, national and international news can be seen on television and read about in a myriad of larger newspapers, we would be in dire straights without local “observers”! I myself, for instance, watch most news on T.V. and I also read editorials and contributions of some of the larger newspapers but, I have to admit that I am really looking forward to our own local newspaper. This is about our own life, about happenings around here – it is about us! Where else can we get this news? But, to put together a newspaper week after week, ready for printing and delivery at certain times, cannot be an easy task. As the saying goes, “yesterday’s news is today’s old shoes”, so time is of the essence. And if, lo and behold, the newspaper is not delivered on time, they surely get to hear about it! After all, we appreciate things the most when we miss it.
I had my first encounter with a newspaper when I was a child. My grandmother, who lived with us, was totally bedridden for sixteen years. Her room was on the second floor of our house and, luckily, she could see the sky through her window and smell the garden. But her life-line to the world was the daily newspaper which arrived at 5 pm sharp. It was my job to fetch it for her so she could read it first, before she passed it on to other family members. She also designed crossword puzzles which she contributed to the newspaper. Small pleasures for others, these were immense pleasures for her. It was this very grandmother, a former teacher, who gave me a headstart in reading, writing and arithmetic – which all proved invaluable throughout my life.
But, back to the Agassiz-Harrison Observer. Actually, I have been writing for this newspaper for a long time. When it opened, Rick Froese, the editor at the time, asked “do you have a story for me?” and that was it. I enjoy doing this — it gives me great pleasure to “talk” to so many people all at once. In a small town you know all the familiar faces and what would, perhaps, be hard to write for one of the larger papers seems to come easy for a local one. You know the people you write for and it’s fun!