Since I started at the Stettler Independent nearly one year ago, I have been continually amazed by this community.
Over the years, I have lived in several smaller towns – and had various kinds of experiences in doing so. Some have a ‘transitory’ feel. Others really lack any enduring sense of community spirit. People kind of drift in and out of each other’s lives without a whole lot of concern or empathy. I’m not sure why this is sometimes the case, but it is. And it is, frankly, sad to see.
Well, I’m happy to report that in Stettler, it’s a different story.
Time and again, I have seen how this community really comes together to support any number of causes. If someone is in some kind of trouble, there are folks who are ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work to help out. Perhaps someone will start up a fund to help, or plan a community function.
Whatever the need, it doesn’t take long before there are local residents who are working together to make a real difference.
That support extends to a very personal level, too.
As some of you might know, I lost my beloved mom in late January. Since then, I have received several sympathy cards from local readers – I was even given a plate of delicious cookies and a lovely card with them as well. I’ve had people come up to me and tell me how sincerely sorry they are to hear the news, and of course my colleagues here at the Independent office have been nothing but kind and supportive through this very sad chapter in my life.
I point these things out to remind our readers that at the end of the day, it’s really all about community.
About that sense of belonging. Since last April when I started working here, I have tried to tap into that sense of what makes Stettler special.
I hope that over the months, you have enjoyed at least some of what we’ve had to offer. Chronicling the life of a town is really a joy and it’s a privilege. And it’s also something that I need your help to do.
As always, I would encourage our readers and hopefully potential new readers to get in touch if they have a story to tell. I’m pretty open to lots of things, and most of all, I just like to meet new people and learn about them. I like to find out who is behind a community organization; who helps to make it ‘tick’. That being said, I just need readers’ help to stay in touch with the ‘pulse’ of this community.
Thanks for taking the time to read my column, and as we begin our second year together, I want you all to know how much I appreciate your help these past 12 months. Thanks for sharing your stories, your ideas and your encouragement. It’s been a challenging year to be sure, but it’s good to know I am surrounded by a community that certainly sticks together.
So let’s talk. Drop in, send me an email or give me a call.
Mark Weber is the editor of the Stettler Independent.