After many years based out of the West Shore, it’s with mixed emotions I move on from a position as a photojournalist for your local Goldstream News Gazette newspaper.
My time here has been memorable, sprinkled with career highlights, interspersed with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like riding the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock in 2013, the ALS Cycle of Hope in 2014 and participating as photography manager for the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015.
I’ve also had the opportunity to meet talented, passionate and genuine individuals right here on the West Shore, including politicians, principals, teachers, community leaders, first responders and of course my co-workers at Black Press past and present.
I thank you all for not screening my calls, many of you are amongst the most dedicated individuals and role models for everyone, including me.
While there have been too many impressive stories to list all those I’ve had the pleasure of covering over the years, I wanted to share a few that continue to have an impact on me today.
One such story is of national women’s sevens rugby player Sara Kaljuvee, who taught me the mantra “What got you here, won’t get you there.”
She was in Grade 7 when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, but she was able to battle alongside her mother long enough to win a gold medal at those same Pan Am Games in front of a home crowd that included her mother, who eventually succumbed to the disease.
I still think of Kaljuvee’s mantra when things are challenging for me and it reminds me greatness can be achieved through adversity, if you are willing to work harder the further you climb.
Another such story is of Jeremy Cheverie, who also represented Canada on the world stage helping his soccer team earn fourth place at the Special Olympics World Games. He is proof there are sources of national and international pride; people who achieve greatness with little or no fanfare whatsoever.
A story on youth homelessness introduced me to Camelia Lawson, who has faced and overcome some of the most challenging curveballs life can throw. This young woman was taken from her biological parents, was in and out of foster homes, was adopted then given up by her adoptive family, and finally checked into a mental hospital – all by the time she was 16. Her strength and success is an inspiration to me and others.
In addition to these individuals, I would like to thank the countless others that make up the heart of the West Shore. It’s been an amazing opportunity for me to learn, grow and spend time with you while documenting the indelible stories from your lives.
While my job description is changing, one thing that hasn’t changed is that I’m still a visual journalist and still want to share your stories. It will just be in a different position, as multimedia editor for Black Press Vancouver Island.
Essentially I am adding a video camera, in addition to my stills camera and my pen, to document your stories, so if you have something you think the public needs or wants to know, I would still love to hear from you.
I am forever grateful to you all, my co-workers, those that helped me with my stories and of course all the Gazette readers for having me for as long as you did. The West Shore feels like my second home and I will always appreciate you welcoming me here.
Arnold Lim is now working out of the Victoria office and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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