Goodbye, good friend
By Jenn Watt
Published Sept. 4, 2018
Angelica Ingram came to work as a reporter at the Haliburton Echo and Minden Times during a time of flux. As readers will remember from her column last week, her arrival came just about a month after the departure of longtime editor Martha Perkins as well as Echo reporter Matt James. Within a month of her arriving, David Zilstra announced he, too, was leaving for a job in Barrie. (David later decided to return to the Echo to become publisher once again.)
Most people would find this scenario unsettling if not overwhelming.
But Angelica was unfazed. New to Haliburton, new to the newspaper and new to rural life, she grabbed hold of the opportunity and made it her own.
Friday, Aug. 31 was Angelica’s last day at the Echo and Times as a reporter. This week she starts a new chapter at SIRCH Community Services.
In nearly nine years at the paper, she’s more than made her mark.
Her work has earned her several awards from the provincial Better Newspapers Competition, including stories on post-traumatic stress disorder among emergency responders, male teachers in elementary education, a rare butterfly found in the Highlands and a house explosion in Highlands East.
She’s covered everything from controversial council decisions to international entertainers. She struck up a friendship with Dan Hill, chatted on the dock with pop singer Shawn Desmond and photographed Blue Rodeo.
Those are some of the accomplishments. But really, what most of us at the paper and those who have met her in the community – and there must be thousands who have met her – know her for is her way with people.
When I first interviewed Angelica for the job back in fall of 2009, her enthusiasm for a new challenge was clear in her voice. No matter how I tried to scare her off, she just laughed. There are no shopping malls here, I said. Not a problem. The demographics skew older. She said she’d find friends. She embraced the Highlands from her first day here and has never wavered.
She’s as comfortable interviewing an international recording artist as she is at the fur harvesters’ workshop. A coveted trait in a reporter – or anyone, for that matter.
On a personal level, Angelica’s arrival came at just the right time for me. I was learning the ropes at a job I’d never done before and I needed someone to lean on. I got that and much more. She caught my typos and helped me laugh at my missteps. She gave me ideas for the paper and was willing to step in whenever I needed an extra hand.
We’ve got an incredible staff here at the papers. I don’t think we say that enough. Angelica’s warm presence has been an integral part of the whole, which includes smart, hard-working, dedicated people who put themselves into their work every week.
She always brought her best to the office, to her reporting and to the paper. Although we will miss her incredibly, we also all wish her the very best. Lucky for all of us, she’s staying right here in the community where we can continue to enjoy her joyful nature and infectious enthusiasm.