A new chapter!

Raymond with Aislin cartoon

My dear Raymond last night, home from the retirement party that the Gazette newsroom held in his honour and happily showing the cartoon by The Gazette’s legendary editorial cartoonist (and our friend) Aislin (Terry Mosher) presented to him to celebrate the occasion. Note the Boston Red Sox cap!

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!)

Raymond in his Gazette office

One of Raymond’s final days at work, clearing stuff out of his office and taking calls from colleagues and well-wishers from across the country.

-30- on a 30-year career at The Gazette

-30- is the way typewritten news stories used to end; it was the indicator to the editor that the reporter’s text was done. (I’ve been in the news business so long that I remember using that symbol!) And it’s how Raymond marked the wall calendar in his office for his last day: -30- on 30 years at The Gazette, on Aug. 30, 2013.

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?

Raymond is retired and "under new management."

Anyway, please join me in saying: Happy retirement, dear Raymond!

26 thoughts on “A new chapter!

  1. Congratulations, Raymond!
    Dr. Seuss said it best:
    “Congratulations!
    Today is your day.
    You’re off to Great Places!
    You’re off and away!

    You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes.
    You can steer yourself
    any direction you choose.
    You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
    And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

    You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
    About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
    With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
    you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

    And you may not find any
    you’ll want to go down.
    In that case, of course,
    you’ll head straight out of town.

    It’s opener there
    in the wide open air.

    Out there things can happen
    and frequently do
    to people as brainy
    and footsy as you.

    And then things start to happen,
    don’t worry. Don’t stew.
    Just go right along.
    You’ll start happening too.

    OH!
    THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

    You’ll be on y our way up!
    You’ll be seeing great sights!
    You’ll join the high fliers
    who soar to high heights.”

    • Pauline, this is absolutely great! (And thanks for it from both Raymond and me.) You know what’s funny? I used to be co-owner of a bookstore, and every year at graduation time we were deluged with orders for copies of Oh, The Places You’ll Go! But despite my lifelong love of Dr. Seuss (which started – of course – during my childhood at the Manse) that is one that I never did read. So your lovely and generous sharing of the poem was the first time I’d ever read it, and it is so great! And funny! And it is the best advice ever. For people of any age, starting on something new. Thank you again, from Katherine and especially Raymond!

      • Bookstore owner – what a dream job! I used to read this to my teacher-students on the last day of their teacher librarian additional qualifications courses. There’s more to it than I copied, so check out the full text online.

  2. Raymond, many congratulations from me and Peter! If you enjoy retirement half as much as we do, you’ll never get the smile off your face. We’ll toast this momentous event later this month when we get together for dinner Chez Lester.

  3. Congratulations to you both on this great milestone. I look forward to hearing of Raymond’s latest projects in the Greater Madoc Area!

    • Thank you so much, Sarah! I think you (and your parents) will approve of Raymond’s historical-research projects in the GMA. We hope we’ll see you and your family again soon in that lovely part of the world!

  4. Congratulations Raymond
    Certainly a great Aislin cartoon to send you off.
    And literature too.
    All the best from the Boyces

    P.S. More information on locations for “Historic Hastings” coming soon.

    • Thank you so much from both of us, Gerry and Bev! Clearly it’s been a momentous week for both the Boyce and the Brassard/Sedgwick households. Looking forward to getting and sharing the info on the new edition of Historic Hastings!

  5. Wishing you relaxation, contentment and fulfilment, Raymond! Just try not to rub it in when Katherine still has to get up and go to work…

  6. That is great news. What an exciting new chapter of your life together. I am sure the Manse will get some of the attention but not until the 1,000 books have been sorted and read.

    Congrats on your retirement Raymond from Steve and Jo-Ann

    Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
    Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

    • Jo-Ann and Steve, you have got that right! (Re: the books need to be sorted out before anything else happens. Those books have got to be sorted out! Now, reading them all may be another matter…) We look forward to seeing more of you folks in Queensborough!

  7. Congratulations Raymond. I think running for mayor is an excellent idea. Enjoy this new chapter in your life. O and don’t forget to dance in the rain! 😉

  8. Much as I would like to take credit for the retirement sign hanging on the door of the manse, it didn’t come from me, Katherine. Perhaps another of Raymond’s siblings??

    • Oh my gracious! I was sure it came from you, Jeannie! It definitely was a gift at the family cookout at Goose Rocks Beach. So it must have come from either Eloise and Rick or Ron and Karen. Whoever was the giver, it was a great gift, one that continues to make us smile!

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