I first wrote for the Nelson Daily News in the mid-1990s. Bob Hall was a staff reporter; I was a stringer. When I was asked to pinch-hit for Lara Schroeder’s position pending a permanent hire, Bob was kind and helpful, and made me feel welcome.
While I was there I learned the challenge of churning out news stories (in my case, pretty soft news stories), trying to maintain journalistic integrity while accepting kudos and dodging barbs. This community has always been one of strong opinions. I couldn’t imagine doing it day in, day out and keeping an even keel — but Bob always seemed to.
Eventually, Bob became editor and I continued writing columns and submitting press releases for all kinds of community causes in which I was involved. I always felt I had an ally in Bob as another person who cared deeply about the community. Even when we disagreed, it was with a fundamental respect.
I was disappointed at the loss of Nelson’s daily paper but watched as Bob took what could have been a cookie-cutter bi-weekly and worked to make it a newspaper that responded to, and reflected, the community: accessible, inclusive, and honest.
As the Star moves forward as a strong, community-centered paper, we’ll miss you, Bob. Best of luck in the new job! And thanks for two good decades of journalistic friendship.