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Editorial: Editor Kate bids farewell to Fernie

The Free Press editor, Katelyn Dingman, is leaving the paper and returning to her home in the east.
Editor Katelyn Dingman says goodbye to Fernie.

A lot is changing here at The Free Press. I’ll be leaving for Ontario tomorrow morning and our reporter Sarah is travelling back to Vancouver at the end of the month.

After spending nearly a year and a half in Fernie, I am definitely going to miss this quaint town.

Working for The Free Press, I’ve come to recognize a lot of names and faces around the valley.

In fact, last week while I was covering the Tony Servello Senior Open, I began writing down the names of a group of women I had taken a photo of only to realize I had spoken with several of them previously.

Getting to know and recognize those familiar faces is something I’m definitely going to miss moving back to the big city. It’s common to bump into someone you know while you’re cruising around Fernie. Most of the time, while I’m out running errands, I’ll run into several familiar faces. I get the chance to stop and chat with locals on a regular basis and that’s one thing I’ve come to love about living in a small town.

Working for a newspaper in a small town, you quickly familiarize yourself with individuals. You know exactly the right person to call when something happens and they seem to expect your phone call and welcome the chance to chat with you.

Things here seem slower than they are in the big city. People actually communicate with their neighbours. They chat with acquaintances. People here actually stop to smell the roses.

Even looking back at my coverage of council, I feel as though I developed some great relationships, and I know Sarah feels the same way about her coverage of Sparwood council.

And with so many 20-30 year olds moving to Fernie on their own, individuals begin to establish their own families, welcoming friends as if they were a brother or sister.

Here at The Free Press, my co-workers have taken on the role of a family. From the concerned, motherly co-worker to the bratty older sister (me), we’ve established a wonderful dynamic here, both in and out of the workplace. It’s going to be very difficult to leave these lovely ladies.

At the same time, I know our new editor Katie Smith and our new reporter Leah Scheitel will be welcomed to The Free Press with open arms.