Enjoy Every Sandwich

Share Adjust Comment Print

Well after 12 years and countless events, hockey games and seeing the lives of the people of Melfort the time has come to move on. I recently accepted a position as the new regional civic affairs reporter at the Prince Albert Daily Herald and the February 21 issue marks the last time you will see my work in the Journal.

A lot can happen over 12 years I have covered so many things and written so many stories that it is hard to remember them all. Since I was initially hired as a sports reporter those stories stuck out. However there is stories from every part of the job when I became the lone reporter and before.

There are some that stick out in my mind like the Melfort Mustangs winning their first championship in 20 years and then repeating. Like I wrote at the time not every reporter gets to cover a league champion let alone two. The people involved with the Melfort Mustangs were always good to me from the start. From Darrell Mann to Trevor Blevins to all of the presidents and people involved they made it feel like less of a job. By my calculations I attended about 400 Melfort Mustangs’ games, along with 11 awards banquets.

The Mustangs also deserve recognition for recognizing me at my last game as a reporter on Wednesday, February 11 by having a thank you announcement.  I lead with the Mustangs because I am constantly stopped for my opinion on the team. Covering them also led to me being the SJHL Insider on the Bagskate Hockey Podcast which showed me that I can do more than write about hockey but also talk SJHL with no notes for up to an hour.

From the start I was always covering stuff at MUCC. I saw countless championships by Comets’ teams including the recent senior girls’ basketball dynasty and the always strong Comets’ football program. That expanded into covering other events and the recent addition of Team Drama.  Principal Jerry Heffernan and all of the teachers who coached or helped me out in any way will always be special. When I was in a bind I could always do things by email if necessary which was a lifesaver. And Mavis Peters and the whole front staff were always helpful and appreciated that I followed the check in rules.

I can’t leave without mentioning Maude Burke School, they adopted me and I have always loved my visits at the school. As well they made the “Water Fun Activity” (water fight) something to look forward to each year. When I missed it I knew I was in trouble with Kendra Tegstrom for that or something at all times.

All of the elementary schools were good to me but Maude Burke was special.

Early in my time at the Journal I moved on to covering the North East School Division board meetings and therefore education. Coming from a long line of teachers I thought it would be an interesting topic. It was more than that as over time I have become a bit of a walking encyclopedia of history at the board table. I have to miss the February meeting but board chair Luke Perkins met me recently and acknowledged that they will miss me. Now I will be Prince Albert Catholic and Sask Rivers School Division’s problem.

Over the years the editorial department went through many changes. We started out publishing the Melfort Journal, Northeast Sun and Kinistino-Birch Hills Post-Gazette. Over the years it has gradually dwindled down to what is now the Journal. We have lost our office and our printing press and now as I leave I work from my apartment as the lone employee in Melfort.

I want to thank Greg Wiseman for taking a chance on me in 2007 and always being a great editor and guide as I figured things out. The editorial staff has seen great reporters such as Shelley Tomlinson, Kirby Hardwick, Byron Hackett and Joshua Santos. Everybody in the group helped me grow as a writer because of what they brought. I wouldn’t have become an award winning photographer after having no experience before I came without everything.

As well with the recent transitions I wouldn’t have survived without current editor Susan McNeil and Heather Persson at the Star Phoenix.

There are too many people to thank from when the Melfort Journal office existed from Ken Sorenson to everyone in the back they made the job a fun one.

If I forgot anyone it was not on purpose this is a hard thing to write.

“Enjoy Every Sandwich”-Warren Zevon

 

-Michael Oleksyn was a reporter for the Melfort Journal and then The Journal

Comments