Well hello there Kimberley!
My name is Paul Rodgers and, as of last Monday, I am the newest reporter at the Kimberley Bulletin. For the past two and half years or so, I’ve been working down at the Cranbrook Townsman, but living in Kimberley.
I first lived on Halpin Street, then spent a brief period subletting in Townsite while house shopping, before settling down in Marysville.
The reason for this change in professional scenery is geographical. I’ve lived in Kimberley for the entirety of my tenure at the Townsman and Corey Bullock, who’s been at the Bulletin since around the time I started in Cranbrook, moved from Kimberley to a farm near Fort Steele, as readers will know from her wonderful Farm Life columns.
By us changing places we are both drastically cutting down on our daily commuting times.
An interesting aspect to this move is that I am now working in the job I originally applied for. When I was finishing up my Bachelors of Communication in Journalism from Mount Royal University in Calgary, I started sending out resumes all over Canada, from North Battleford Sask. to Whitehorse, Yukon. When I saw a posting on Indeed for the Kimberley Bulletin, I eagerly sent along my CV.
Before too long, I received a call from Barry Coulter at the Townsman, offering me a position there. After Carolyn hired Corey, she sent along my resume to Cranbrook, and so even though that position hadn’t been posted online yet, that’s how I was hired there.
My girlfriend, a registered nurse, has a much easier time finding employment than myself, an entry-level journalist. She was on board with moving away from Calgary, though was relieved I never heard back from the northern-Saskatchewan-based paper. When I told her I was offered a job in Cranbrook, she said let’s do it, but requested we live in Kimberley to be closer to the ski hill.
I had never actually even been to Kimberley before we moved here. My girlfriend’s sister looked at the two available places to rent on our behalf, advised us to go with the one on Halpin and we managed to secure a place to live.
Another fun fact; one I’m not exactly proud of, but in my efforts to be a transparent, personable storyteller, one that I’m happy to share, is that I got my drivers license two days before we moved, at the tender age of 27.
If memory serves me correctly it went like this: finish exams, apply/get offered/accept job in Cranbrook, sign up for drivers’ ed., fail driver’s test on Tuesday, take it again and pass Thursday, walk the stage for convocation Friday, drive to Kimberley for the first time Saturday.
A bit of a whirlwind week to be sure, but since then I have been thoroughly enjoying our pleasant existence here in the East Kootenay, and I feel fortunate to have begun my career in Cranbrook.
Barry was an excellent mentor — deeply engaged in the community of Cranbrook, particularly with the arts, which I too value greatly and hope to immerse myself in more here in B.C.
As I left the Townsman, my colleague Trevor was publishing an investigative story about City Hall many months in the making. My last work, and two of my most engaged-with pieces, were about the Sacred Sons men’s movement, and the Anglican Church receiving permission to conduct same-gender marriage.
These are the sorts of pieces I love writing the most — positive things that connect people, and what I’ll remember most about Cranbrook is its tremendous spirit of generosity. Whether it was a fundraiser for a person in need, a new business opening its doors or anything in between, my time spent sharing Cranbrook’s stories revealed to me how much its people tend to care for one another.
I’m sure many Bulletin readers are sad to see Corey go, and I hope that I can forge the same strong connection with the community that she was able to, and always be available to share the stories of the people of this town I’ve grown to love.