AT RANDOM: A fond farewell

Time spent at The Morning Star nothing short of a big deal for sports reporter Graeme Corbett, as he says goodbye

I have taken on all manner of jobs during my 18 years in the workforce.

In rough chronological order, I have worked under the guise of a gas jockey, construction lackey, fish monger, hotel bartender/steward, cigar salesman, Starbucks barista, dishwasher, poultry plant minion, photolab technician, landscaper, medical recruitment consultant, yoga instructor, wedding photographer, soap maker, farmers’ market vendor and, of course, a reporter.

When I arrived at the Morning Star nearly eight years ago, it felt like I had finally discovered what I was meant to be doing from a professional standpoint. With the exception of yoga, everything else was simply a job, something to pay the bills.

Which is what makes my decision to leave the Morning Star family a difficult one. As of Sunday, I will be moving on to a new venture with Vernon’s Read Head Copywriting, owned by the illustrious Natalie Appleton.

With the family Omstead Farm operation expanding, plus my wife’s ever-growing home-based business – Om Naturale Herbal Care Products (there’s no harm in a final plug in my farewell column, right?) – and our very busy 15-month-old son Narayan, I needed to incorporate a little more flexibility in my life. With Read Head, I not only found that, I found a way to stay connected to my communications background.

I’ve only been living in the North Okanagan since 2005, so I barely qualify as a local, being a reporter has certainly accelerated my integration into the community. There are so many people I have met along the way that I would like to thank, starting with the people in the newsroom.

From Glenn (Good Newsy Paper) Mitchell bringing me up from The Lake Country Calendar to work at The Star, to sports editor Kevin Mitchell patiently teaching me how to write a half-decent lede, you showed me what it takes to be good at this job.

To Roger, Richard, Lisa, Katherine, Jenny, Kristin and Cara, you are what makes the editorial department tick, and, as deranged as our little family can be at times, you have always been there for me, and you have made my time in our temperature-challenged newsroom enjoyable.

Unless you have experienced the process, it would be difficult to fully appreciate just how much effort it takes from everyone – including our ad salespeople, creative experts, circulation department, pressmen and office support staff – to continually produce a newspaper of substance. I’m obviously biased, but I think you are holding one of the best community newspapers you will find anywhere. That goes back to the dedication of the people who work here.

I also want to thank Jack McCarthy, former owner/publisher/janitor of The Calendar, for taking a chance on me. It was one of the last remaining independent papers in all of B.C. when I joined it, and Jack’s passion for community issues was inspiring. I’m sure he ticked a lot of people off with his boisterous, unapologetic approach, but he always had Lake Country’s best interests at heart.

Of all the things I do as a reporter, I probably spend more time watching Junior A hockey, and subsequently waiting outside of dressing rooms in Kal Tire Place, than anything (sounds exciting, right?).

I have interviewed Vernon Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner more than anyone I can think of. I joked with him that I’ll miss our Saturday morning chats, when his team would have bused in from somewhere like Prince George in the wee hours.

Win, lose or otherwise, Mark was always willing to talk. Sure, he might be a little more abrupt some nights, but he is truly a class act and someone I enjoy working with. The fact that he is an exceptional coach/motivator is a bonus.

People who know me know I’m a fairly low-key individual, and that I don’t seek fanfare. The fact that I have 121 Twitter followers and 481 Facebook friends astounds me.

But in this instance, when I look back at my time at The Morning Star, I will step out of character and paraphrase a line from one of my favourite Will Ferrell movies and say: “It was kind of a big deal.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Vernon Morning Star Boomer Talk columnist says while we must use caution while dealing with COVID-19, we must also take care of the mental health of those who must live either permanently or temporarily in our care. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal/AP file photo)
BOOMER TALK: Long term care is around the corner

Columnist recounts mother’s stay in local medical facility amid pandemic

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Charlie, a chocolate lab/German shorthaired pointer mix, helps announce the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Join The Pack dog licence challenge, which wraps March 5. (Facebook photo)
Celebrity dogs announce North Okanagan licence challenge

Regional District of North Okanagan hopes to licence 1,500 more dogs by March 5

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

A webinar on dealing with dementia will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (Submitted)
Webinar on dementia scheduled for March 10

Okanagan residents invited to event on legal issues surrounding dementia

Most Read