Today is a momentous day: it was Raymond’s last day at the Montreal Gazette, and as I write this post this evening, he is officially retired. It is a whole new chapter in our lives, and one in which the Manse is sure to play a big role.
(Which, by the way, was frequently made mention of at last night’s really lovely party in his honour, at which Gazette staffers present and past gathered to honour the outgoing executive editor for his 30 years of distinguished work. So many people asked us both about the Manse! It seems Queensborough is becoming quite well-known in our Montreal circles. And our Queensborough friends will probably find it quite amusing to know that the humorous special-edition front page of The Gazette that is traditionally presented to departing staffers featured a story suggesting that Raymond is mulling a run for mayor of Queensborough!)
The closing of a chapter in one’s life inevitably brings some sadness. It has felt so odd this week to see Raymond in his final few days in his office, cleaning out files and tossing (or sending for shredding if they were sensitive) documents that sometime in the past 30 years were vitally important to Gazette operations. But I have to say that he seemed to be doing it most of the time with a smile on his face. He seemed, in fact, to be exhibiting the early symptoms of the “post-Gazette glow” that staffers who have retired after a long and satisfying career tend to exude.
And it is truly exciting that he will now have time for so many other projects. For one thing, there are several thousand books to organize. And Raymond’s got some pretty interesting Queenborough-area projects in mind, of a historical-research bent, as he wrote in a Facebook post (his page is here) this afternoon. And also, amid all that work, there will have to be lots of time to follow his beloved Boston Red Sox!
Then again, there is the not-so-small matter of the long-delayed renovation of the Manse to attend to. I kind of think this little sign, a recent gift to Raymond from his sister Jeannie and shown hanging on the screen door of the Manse, kind of says it all – don’t you?
Anyway, please join me in saying: Happy retirement, dear Raymond!