Years at News Bulletin filled with good memories

NANAIMO - Co-workers at News Bulletin more like family

When Merv Unger dropped an off-colour joke on my desk one morning, I knew I’d found my home.

I was just 23, still a kid by some estimations, and living away from family and having moved from my first job up Island, it was a challenge to fit into a new community with quirks that I simply didn’t understand.

A fight with my (ex) boyfriend the night before and the stress from the new job piled on and I can only imagine the frown I wore that day. So Merv printed out an e-mail joke and left it for me, saying he thought I needed a smile.

People here went for drinks after work, they mountain biked together, and attended events together – it says something about a workplace that socializes after the day is done.

So many mornings started with Roy Linder’s booming voice, asking how you were. It wasn’t courtesy – he really wanted to know.

That care couldn’t help but extend to coverage in the community.

Community journalism is something unique to media and it’s also what’s insulated us from factors affecting print publications across Canada.

We’re hyper-local – we focus on the area from Nanoose to Cassidy and on stories that directly affect people who live in these parts.

We tell stories about the accomplishments of our neighbours, their problems and their fears, and offer constructive criticism, guidance and leadership on community issues.

We won awards for writing, photography and are consistently recognized nationally for our opinion section.

Kevin Laird set that standard from the first day I showed up on the job. He established a reputation for excellence at the Bulletin, with a focus on news, features and enterprise journalism – finding the story beyond the story.

He put people in place that held the same level of professionalism – John Kimantas, Catherine Litt, Mitch Wright – and by their example, I learned much more than I ever did in j-school.

That legacy led me to take the job of editor when it was offered – I didn’t want this chair falling into the hands of someone I didn’t know or trust with a paper that I loved.

It’s a huge responsibility that comes with daily challenges, but I have an incredible team dedicated to the same values as me. The quality of work under increasing time and deadline pressure that Rachel Stern, Chris Bush, Chris Hamlyn, Greg Sakaki, Jenn McGarrigle and Toby Gorman perform every day never ceases to amaze.

It’s a pleasure to come to work not knowing where the day will go. Someone might have to bungy jump for charity; you might have to interview someone famous; or Toby might pick your request for Friday Afternoon Song of the Day.

Over the years, there has been more laughter than tears; more compliments than complaints; and more good memories than bad.

And I wouldn’t change one minute of it.

Melissa Fryer

Managing Editor

News Bulletin

Just Posted

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

An artist’s rendering of a proposed student housing complex at 326 Wakesiah Ave. (WA Architects Ltd. image)
Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New residential school healing centre to be built near Duncan

$5-million Indigenous treatment centre will help survivors of residential schools heal

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Most Read