I am writing my editor’s note on a patio overlooking the Brisbane River, in Brisbane, Australia. And while I am far from home geographically, the internet keeps me in the loop of everything happening at home.
My favourite part of working from here is that my emails back to Airdrie all come from the future. Being 16 hours ahead made for fun email conversations with this issue’s collaborators. The future of Airdrie is very much on my mind. Economic Development is working on a 10-year strategy, 2017 is an election year, and this city needs to stay ahead of the curve and show initiative and backbone on everything from instituting blue bins to building the desperately needed new space for the library and preparing our city for a future population of 100,000. (Yes, really!)
As our city grows so does the opportunity to share even more stories with you. This issue is always a fave because we get to focus on people who have incredible stories of courage, commitment, creativity, passion and spirit. From the brave little Kaley Biggar to the exhausting energy of Ian Aman, it is a privilege to share these stories. How many heroes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Ask the Airdrie Festival of Lights – they are able to glow this year because so many people in the community stepped forward to help restring and re-bulb all the displays. Thousands of volunteer hours were involved. Every one of those people is a glowing hero to me!
Anne Beaty, our former editor (who retired in early 2016), loved the hero theme. Anne passed away suddenly this past September and the shock is still there for me. I keep wanting to drop her an email about an idea or person we should profile and then my fingers hover over the keyboard, lost.
Anne was a story hero; she worked behind the scenes for seven years with airdrielife and almost twice that with the Airdrie Echo newspaper. She was passionate about literacy and loved her job at the library. Her passing is felt very deeply by everyone involved in this magazine as well as in our community. I am pleased to announce that airdrielife is launching a scholarship fund for Airdrie high school journalism students in 2017, in Anne’s memory.
To heroes big and small, airdrielife is proud to share your stories and in light of world events and politics near and far, we ask for one simple thing: be kind. It will make you a hero in someone’s eyes, guaranteed.
This issue of airdrielife is dedicated to the memory of Anne Beaty, 1958 – 2016.