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

Vernon Vipers waiting on playoff foe

BCHL: Snakes won’t play Victoria, but will play either Wenatchee or Salmon Arm

Star Quebecois pianist to take the stage in Vernon

Charles Richard-Hamelin will play on Feb. 29, with opening act by local Grade 11 student

West Kelowna Warriors edge Vernon Vipers 6-4

The teams meet again on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. for the final game of regular season

North Okanagan Knights take on Kelowna Chiefs in playoff preview

The teams will square off for last game of regular season, Round 1 of KIJHL playoffs

Enderby announces plans for $150K ParticipACTION prize money

The city was crowned Canada’s most active community in June 2019

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Dale family was prominent in Summerland’s past

Ruth Dale taught for many years

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase from Kelowna to Abbotsford

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

Most Read