Goodbye Orangeville, and thank you

February 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Well Orangeville, and Dufferin County, if you haven’t guessed by the title, you’ll know now. 

My time as a freelance reporter for the Orangeville Citizen has come to an end.

I want to take this time, this opportunity in my final column, to dedicate it to you.

Though I don’t live in Orangeville, I’ve always associated myself with the town, being so close to where I live, it’s the go-to place my family and I use. 

But I’m sure some of you may be wondering how I got my start here.

Just as summer 2016 began, I was thinking of where to take my internship. I studied at the University of Guelph-Humber for Media Studies, with an emphasis in journalism. I sent resumes to several papers in the surrounding area, and immediately, the Citizen’s editor Tom Claridge, called me up for an interview. The following day, I landed my internship. 

I still remember my first day going into the office, how nervous I was, but that feeling was slowly eased away by the staff . Carolyn, Judy, Brian, and everyone else welcomed me in with open arms and happily accepted me. Really, the rest is pretty much history.

As my internship ended, I gladly accepted a position as a freelancer. Over time, I began to establish contacts in town, and soon, I was able to come up and pitch my own story ideas. Soon, people began contacting me to do a story. 

Eventually, my role began to increase, as I began covering stories in Shelburne and Caledon. At times I even served as the temporary editor of the Orangeville and Caledon Citizen. I began covering Mono and Dufferin County council, and have had the wonderful opportunity to interview some famous former Maple Leafs players in Curtis Joseph and Doug Gilmour, and I’ll never forget the time I interviewed George Stroumboulopoulos. 

Though it wasn’t required of me, I usually went to the office to work on my stories, as it was quiet and I wouldn’t be distracted by my recreational habits at home. It was also for the interaction, as the Citizen’s staff have been amazing with me.

I want to give a personal shout out to the two news editors during my time, Tabitha Wells and Mike Baker. They both showed me the ropes of community reporting, and gave me the opportunity to grow – particularly in writing columns – and having the confidence in me to show them what I’m capable of. Thank you both, it was a real pleasure. 

Not going to lie though, being a freelancer is tough. You have to really hustle and bustle, but that’s where you come in Orangeville. Having such a busy town with so many organizations, events, and individuals kept me busy.

You showed me what it means to live in a community, how important everyone is, whether they realize it or not. 

You made me realize how important I am. I helped form the voice of the town for nearly three years, and it was truly a rollercoaster ride experience. 

Every Thursday I looked forward to getting the paper, showing my always-supportive family and friends. Of course, hearing from extended family they’ve read some of my work was always appreciated, and those in town, from just regular readers, to those I interviewed give me such wonderful compliments, it truly put a smile on my face, at times when I needed it most. 

I look on my computer at the 363 stories and columns I wrote (that’s right, I kept track) and I can pretty much remember each and every individual one I wrote. I guess I should properly laminate or display my work somehow, 15 pounds of articles is not easy to carry around. 

Though you may see my name pop up a bit in the future, for now, When I go into Orangeville, it will be to buy some groceries, go watch a movie, to the bank, get something to eat, and everything else I’ve always been doing. 

I would love to hear what some of your favourite stories or columns were. Contact me at my email:

Again, thank you Orangeville. All of you. I don’t know what the future the holds, but that’s part of life. No matter what though, I’ll be ready and set to report. 

Reporting live from my bedroom on my computer, Jasen Obermeyer with the Orangeville Citizen, signing off. Take care Orangeville. 

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