Editorial from The Free Press

This week there are a couple of farewells to be made to very important people in town of Fernie.

This week there are a couple of farewells to be made to very important people in town.

First, Major Joan Shayler will be leaving the Fernie Salvation Army after dedicating 10 years of her life to helping people in this community in need of help.

What I will remember most about Joan’s work is her dedication to the annual Christmas food bank. If she hadn’t given so much of her time and effort into fundraising and organising every year, many families in the Elk Valley would not have been able to enjoy a Christmas dinner, and many kids would have gone without a present to open on Christmas morning.

But it wasn’t just about Christmas. All year round the Major helped run the Salvation Army store with the other volunteers, and helped those families and members of the community when they needed it most. Those that attend the church will no doubt miss their pastor.

I’m sure she will be missed by all those at the Salvation Army in Fernie, and I will certainly miss chatting with her every time I have seen her in the last few years at different fundraising events.

She is moving to Oyama in the Okanagan where she tells me she is going to enjoy relaxing in the warmer climate. All the best Joan!

Even closer to home, this week I am heartbroken to say goodbye to my reporter, and very good friend, Megan, who is moving to Nelson to take up a position at the Nelson Star.

It amazed me how quickly Megan settled into the community when she moved here eight months ago. It seemed like it took no time before people knew her name, and were calling her at the office with their stories.

Here at the office, as much of a cliche as it sounds, she was a ray of sunshine, full of great ideas, hard working and an excellent writer, as well as having a sense of humour that made us all laugh until our stomachs hurt every day.

Her enthusiasm for both the job and the community was infectious, and she had me out around town trying new hobbies and meeting new people every day. We will also all miss her baking, particularly the peanut butter cookies, and every time I put on my beanie she knitted for me I will think of all the good times we had over last winter.

The one good aspect of her not working here anymore is that we will now be able to take vacation at the same time!

I’m glad she isn’t moving too far – and I’m sure she’ll be back to visit.

Good luck Megan!

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