Thank you and farewell

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Melissa Jenk­ins

I never imag­ined I’d be writ­ing this col­umn. It’ll be my fi­nal one as a reporter and pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass.

For the past three years I had the op­por­tu­nity to travel around the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia re­gion and meet hun­dreds, if not more, peo­ple on my jour­ney.

It has been three years of ups and downs, both emo­tion­ally and men­tally. It has pushed me near my break­ing point, taught me many lessons and helped de­velop me into a bet­ter jour­nal­ist.

When I wrote my first col­umn back in 2013, I did it with en­cour­age­ment from both my for­mer editor and men­tor Terry Roberts and my col­league Nick Mercer. Both said it would be in­ter­est­ing to share my ex­pe­ri­ence as some­one new to the in­dus­try.

Fi­nally, I got the nerve to write it. And I en­joyed hav­ing the chance to share my jour­ney with Com­pass read­ers.

Al­though I will no longer be writ­ing for this area, I will be con­tinue to write.

My jour­ney is tak­ing me up north, to the tip of New­found­land to St. An­thony. I will be­gin my po­si­tion as the editor of the North­ern Pen news­pa­per later this week.

But I will al­ways re­mem­ber where I be­gan. The day I walked in through the door at the Com­pass, I was a lit­tle over­whelmed. I was a 26-year-old girl with a gift for writ­ing, but no ex­pe­ri­ence. My editor took a chance on me.

Through my con­nec­tions in Car­bon­ear — be­ing my home­town and all — I be­gan to cre­ate roots again af­ter al­most a decade away.

The first time I trav­elled to the Trin­ity side of the re­gion, I was at­tend­ing the an­nual Green’s Har­bour-Ho­peall Fire­fighter’s Din­ner and Dance. To this day, the three times I have at­tended have been my favourite events. The at­mos­phere is raw, real and wel­com­ing. I will miss the 40th an­niver­sary of the depart­ment this year, but I have cre­ated friend­ships with mem­bers of the depart­ment that I hope will last a life­time.

My first trip to Pla­cen­tia was to meet the out­spo­ken and re­tired politi­cian Wil­liam “Bill” Ho­gan. The for­mer MHA and Pla­cen­tia mayor was blunt in his words about cur­rent coun­cil mat­ters. I knew we would get along great. I vis­ited him last week to say good­bye. He’s still as sharp and quick­wit­ted as ever.

Last week I re­ceived a per­sonal let­ter from the Town of Car­bon­ear signed by Mayor Ge­orge Butt Jr. him­self, thank­ing me for all the hard work and time I’ve put into cov­er­ing events in the town. It is the first time I have re­ceived some­thing so per­sonal and heart­felt.

There are some events and peo­ple that will al­ways be a part of de­vel­op­ing a per­son’s ca­reer. Meet­ing peo­ple like Bill and Ge­orge, and work­ing with or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Green’s Har­bourHo­peall Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment have helped mould me into the com­mu­nity-minded jour­nal­ist I have be­come.

I will be proud to walk into St. An­thony and meet all the out­stand­ing and amaz­ing peo­ple there. I will be proud to call it home. And I will be proud to be able to share the sto­ries from that re­gion, just like I have in Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia for the past three years.

Thank you Com­pass read­ers for mak­ing me a part of your events, wel­com­ing me into your homes and busi­nesses and for be­ing a big part of my life.

You can con­tinue to fol­low my ad­ventues through Face­book and my Twit­ter ac­count (@Mel_J_Com­pass). Melissa Jenk­ins is for­merly a reporter/ pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass news­pa­per in Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia. She be­gins her new po­si­tion as

the editor of the North­ern Pen in St. An­thony later this week and can be

reached at melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc.

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