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COMMENTARY · 27th October 2011
Walter McFarlane
I would like to take a second to thank the people of Kitimat for all the support this online news paper has received over the last four years. On October 27th, 2007, I posted my first article on the Kitimat Daily Webpage.

The article, found here, concerned an open house for KSL but it is not, by far the part of the story.

In 2004, I moved back to Kitimat in hopes of finding employment in my home town. I had just finished 4 years of post secondary education in UNBC and emerged with a Bachelor of Arts in English. My goal was to become a writer, a novelist in particular, but I was looking for employment to build up to this goal.

The first thing I learned in the real world is: To get a job, you need experience, to get experience, you need a job. With a good 400 hours of volunteer experience, through Scouting and volunteer jobs I have done for organizations in the past, I thought I had the experience. I found it meant nothing in the real world.

2004 was also the time where the joke on the street was: To get a job in one of the industries in Kitimat, use a Terrace address.

I stuck around into 2005, freelancing a few articles for the Northwest Weekly before it concluded. However, I was starting to make plans to move to the ‘land of milk and honey’ often referred to as Alberta.

At the Kitimat Public Library, I ran into an old friend of mine from High School, Danny Nunes. Nunes had returned to Kitimat hoping to start a television show which combined pop culture with Tom Green style humour. As a writer, it was an opportunity I could not ignore.

During the filming, we did many things for Kitimat, many of which we never received credit for. The videos themselves highlighted areas of Kitimat, our forests, businesses, our scenic beauty. We also submitted an idea to the Chamber of Commerce, who, at the time, was looking for ideas to promote the community. Our idea: Why not create a video promoting Kitimat.

In 2007, we promoted the community when an article appeared trashing it by Dirk Miessner. That year, we also published ideas for businesses to attract to Kitimat, several of which are being cribbed by the current Council.

Also in 2007, people were moving away from the show. Several of the cast members, when we started, were in high school and now, they were moving on to college. I was handing out resumes once more, at the local newspaper who was looking to fill several positions. They expressed interest.

In September, the reporter position was filled from out of town and I was finally starting to give up on Kitimat, looking at Prince George. I contemplated contacting a reporter I had met to see if he was willing to take an apprentice under his wing in hopes he could provide me with experience I felt I was lacking. After all, you needed the experience to get the job and the job to get experience. I had no problem with tacking more volunteer experience onto my resume.

Ironically, it was the reporter I had met in the Artful Cup during the Riverboat Days Film Festival, Merv Ritchie, who contacted me first. Before I could write him, my friend Danny found the Kitimat Daily website and had contributed several items to it.

I decided to contribute a few as well and we were contacted by Ritchie, who was looking to create a network of online news papers accross the region.

There were several people who also helped keep me in town. Notably, my parents, Geoff and Fayellen McFarlane, who advised me to try taking a few courses at the college before leaving, Merv Ritchie, who offered me the position of reporter at the Kitimat Daily, and Joe Iannarelli, who suggested I stay in Kitimat over the winter.

The moral of this story? Anyone can contribute to their community if provided the oppertunity to do so.

Today marks my fourth year of providing content to the Kitimat Daily for the people of Kitimat to read. Thank you for making the last four years as interesting as you have and lets hope the next four years are just as interesting.
4 years
Comment by Danny Nunes on 27th October 2011
Sometimes I forget just how many years its been and what has been done since those early days
and whats happened since then but I am glad you mentioned Joe in this piece.

Joe was an awesome guy who never looked at the black clothing and skulls on them I like to wear and judged me....in fact he was always there with advice and ofering us opportunity and for that I will always remember him.

People should realize all it takes is one person opening a door or offering an opportunity and that act alone can create so many new opportunitys and spin off work from that.

Merv Ritchie has already been acknowledged but theres one person who really also deserves thanks and doesnt get the credit he deserves and that man Is Chris Cain from City West Cable.

Chris offered me the chance to produce Tv locally and from there it led to so many opportunitys not just for myself but those who came along on the ride with me.

I should also point out that Cain is the reason each year that the Telethon is made available on local tv each year and this in turn helped raise so many thousands of dollars each year for Kitimat...sure he has plenty of help but dont forget the contribution us video guys make.

Heres to a lot more years.