Leaving with sense of achievement

Sandy Eggleston hopes the community will continue its strong sense of ownership of The Ensign....
Sandy Eggleston hopes the community will continue its strong sense of ownership of The Ensign. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS
Sandy Eggleston handed in her bureau chief’s hat yesterday as she set off to begin a new chapter in her life. Here she reflects on her journey at The Ensign.

It just so happens I have been thinking about leaving The Ensign lately.

Well, since about March 10 when I heard my mother was booked in to have a knee operation.

To be fair, leaving was always the plan.

I was supposed to be here for as long as it took the company to find a replacement for the former chief reporter, the late Margaret Phillips.

No-one put up their hand for the privilege of chief reporting for a newspaper that has been the voice of the community since 1878 and so I stayed.

As I look back on five and a-half years, I remember the first two years being full of steep learning curves and running out of puff on many occasions.

I used to say I was doing the best I could with the resources I had.

I well remember one situation when someone told me my best was not good enough.

While they were right, there is not much more anyone can do if they are giving it their all.

Over the last couple of years there have been different challenges as our staffing levels dropped.

Now the time has come to leave, I am not sure I want to.

However, while I have spent much of the time out of my comfort zone sprinting from deadline to deadline, I leave with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude.

The reason for that is mostly because of the great people I have met along the way.

People who were prepared to trust me with their stories and people who are always grateful for our efforts to attend and cover events.

Every time I was feeling a bit weary, someone would cross my path and tell me how much they enjoy reading The Ensign from cover to cover each week.

I have been critiqued for evading some issues but I have never been a fan of muck-raking for muck’s sake.

Sometimes there are hard topics that need to be discussed but I have tried to avoid stories that involved one party defaming another’s character.

This stint at The Ensign has reminded me of the power of storytelling and the way a community newspaper can help build a sense of pride and identity in its readers as successes are celebrated.

This community has a strong sense of ownership of its newspaper and I hope that continues long into the future.

I officially finished working as the bureau chief yesterday, but maybe my byline will pop up from time to time if I am given stories to cover from afar.