Position at the paper: Photographer, Managing Editor
Years at the North Shore News: 1978-2015
Current position: Retired
I started working for the North Shore News in February 1978. I was hired as a photographer and had no idea that this was going to become my career, which lasted until I retired 37 years later as the managing editor, in May 2015.
In 1978 the News was a small local paper that was changing the way community papers operated with its free distribution model. I was there near the beginning and was able to have a part in its growth. As a photographer I was fortunate enough to have an incredible range of experiences. I met the Queen and Prince Philip, I flew with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, I walked underneath the harbour in the water supply tunnel from North Van to Stanley Park, and many more cool things.
Over the years I photographed hundreds of craft shows, elementary school plays, high school football games, and even Sunshine Girls. The joy of being a newspaper photographer is the access you are given. It doesn’t matter whether you are walking under the stage to pop up at the front to photograph the Rolling Stones or you are heading into a seniors centre (which coincidentally the Rolling Stones now belong in), you are given a glimpse behind the scenes and invited to tell a story of what you saw. I have always thought of my role as a storyteller and was grateful that over the years I was allowed to share so many stories. Later as managing editor I was able to work with a group of incredibly talented writers and photographers and guide the direction of the paper’s content.
The News has always excelled at telling those stories that make up the rich landscape of this amazing community. I worked with a wide range of characters, from the well-loved like Bob Hunter and Ellsworth Dickson, to the frequently despised Doug Collins. They each brought a different perspective.
As a team, the News could not be beaten and no greater proof of that was the attempt to shut us down by the arsonist who soon discovered he’d only destroyed a building and not the idea. We rose above that and never missed publishing a single paper. It was my greatest reward to be able to lead the editorial department through that time.
From humble beginnings to the best community newspaper in Canada, the News has grown with the community it has represented for 50 years. ◆