A year ago, I was preparing for my first excursion into Agassiz as a local journalist.
I hadn’t started working at the Observer yet — I was simply getting ready to know the town and people by joining in the CP Holiday Train crowd.
That night, I unknowingly parked in the municipal hall parking lot, took a leisurely stroll through town (and got thoroughly confused by what kind of store the Red Apple was) and picked my way through the increasing crowds by the Agricultural Hall.
There, I stood out in the dark, damp night with hundreds of others as we waited, and waited, and waited for the holiday train to appear. The train was late. It was raining. Everyone was, surprisingly, happy.
Over my last year at the Observer, I’ve come to know not only Agassiz, but also Harrison Hot Springs, Seabird Island and Sts’ailes much better.
I’ve become acquainted with the people, the issues and the history of the area — and I’ve gotten a chance to learn more about the struggles of communities built on agriculture, tourism and nature.
Some things about my first impression were accurate — it always seems to rain during outdoor events, for example.
Others have changed — I now know of a few better places to park for this year’s CP Holiday Train, for instance.
And now, this is my last paper as editor before I head out for a year of maternity leave.
(You will still see my byline in our special edition coming out Jan. 2, 2020; you’re not free of me that easily.)
It’s been an honour to be included in this community for the past year — and don’t expect me to disappear completely. I plan to get my byline back in the paper for January 2021, and until then, you’ll likely see me around.
I’ve loved covering events like the Agassiz Fall Fair, Reading in the Pool and Sasquatch Days; I’m quite ready to take them on as a visitor and participant instead of a storyteller.
-Grace Kennedy, editor