Parkes' warm welcoming | Opinion

It’s true, Parkes really does know how to welcome people home, and people who didn’t grow up here but at one point lived here.

I may have only started in this new role as editor of the Parkes Champion Post two and a half months ago, but I never expected such a lovely welcome back.

Of course I remember how laid back and so friendly Parkes people are – it was one of the main reasons why I so desperately wanted to return. I’ve been gone for four and a half years – beginning my career here at the Post in October 2009 – and within my first week back in town, there were people walking into our office to welcome me and congratulate me on my new appointment.

It wasn’t long before familiar faces began popping up – while I’m covering a story, in the street and at the Parkes Show – and saying hello and how happy they were to see me back.

Being part of this nation-wide restructure of Fairfax and one of the Champion Post’s most historic, the job has been very exciting, challenging and at times a little nerve-racking. But there isn’t a moment where I don’t appreciate when someone smiles at me and says “I remember you”. I’m actually quite blown away by it – I didn’t think two years was all that long for me to make an impression. But in all honesty it says more about the people in this town than it does about the job I was doing as a cadet journalist.

It’s showed me how much people value their local newspaper and those who are involved in its reporting.

And I’d really love to thank everyone for their support during the Champion Post’s transition and their feedback on the paper’s new design. We’re really proud of our newspaper and it’s new look.

Speaking of welcomings, Parkes Shire Council hosted quite the welcome home party for Rio Olympian Hockeyroo Mariah Williams on Friday. Mariah said the schools she visited during the day went “crazy” when they met her and those who turned out for the civic reception at the Council Chambers that evening was very impressive.

There were a number of familiar faces for Mariah and I thought it was great so many people from the hockey fraternity, including life members, came to see her. Even the woman who was Middleton Public School’s – Mariah’s former school – canteen manager for 40 years and the hockey canteen lady for just as long, came to see Mariah. What a perfect reflection of this town’s personality.      

Christine Speelman, Champion Post editor

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