For Raymond, a little less time for pacing the acreage

Keep Calm and Let Raymond Handle It

This is my dear husband, Raymond, while we were on a family vacation at the seaside in Maine this past summer – trying on a new hoodie bearing a motto that I think is perfect for his brand-new National Newspaper Awards gig. I am very proud!

A good friend of Raymond’s and mine likes to describe what one does when one lives in the country as “pacing the acreage.” In other words, putting on your sandals, or rubber boots, or galoshes, as the season dictates, and surveying what’s doing – what’s growing, what trees need to be thinned out, what fences need mending – out there on your property in the wilds. I know that Raymond likes that idea.

But because the Manse is not situated on a very large parcel of land, there’s really not all that much acreage to pace. You can pretty much cover our yard here at the Manse in less than five minutes, unless the condition of the lilac bush or the day lilies requires some particularly close examination.

One of the consequences of that lack of acreage is that, whenever we drive around rural Hastings County, Raymond eyes with interest any large parcel of woodland that has a For Sale sign on it. “What would you do with 100 (or 200, or 500) acres of woodland?” I ask him. To which he generally responds with something along the lines of, “Well, there would be the acreage to pace!”

And someday, I am sure, he will acquire a nice little (or not-so-little) local acreage to pace to his heart’s content. Hey, maybe he could purchase a sugar bush and start making maple syrup!

But for now, that country-gentleman routine will totally have to wait. Because Raymond has just taken on a position that puts him right smack back into the middle of the Canadian news-media milieu, the one he left behind not very long ago when he retired after a long and universally respected career as executive editor (and before that, managing editor, and before that, city editor, and so on) of the Montreal Gazette.

Here is the text of the announcement made today on the website of Canada’s National Newspaper Awards:

New Editorial Consultant for National Newspaper Awards

Raymond Brassard has joined the NNA administrative team as Editorial Consultant. He replaces Paul Woods, who has joined the Toronto Star.

Brassard worked as an editor at the Montreal Gazette for 30 years, including stints as news editor, life editor and city editor. He was appointed managing editor in 1995 and executive editor in 2010, before retiring in 2013.

He will be responsible for the recruitment and assignment of judges to the 22 categories, rule compliance for entries, external communications and the creation of materials for the annual awards gala.

So there you go! Something to keep Raymond from pining for that large acreage he does not yet have to pace, as he renews ties with all the good and interesting people from the Canadian media world with whom he’s worked and rubbed shoulders for so many years. I know I am wildly biased, but: there is no better person for this job, which is all about recognizing excellence in journalism. That is something to which Raymond has dedicated a large part of his life.

Now, this new role is obviously going to take away from his time for checking out auctions and making dump runs and, yes, pacing the acreage. But personally, I think Raymond is going to thrive on the mix of fast-paced, big-city-based journalism stuff and his country-gentleman existence (pining for the acreage to pace) in Queensborough.

So – would you like to join me in congratulating my husband on his cool new gig? Oh yes, and also – if you happen to know of an interesting woodlot for sale…

26 thoughts on “For Raymond, a little less time for pacing the acreage

  1. Way to go Raymond!!!
    Hope that you still will be able to carry on your roles as expert Queensborough food preparer and cleaner-up specialist.
    Gerry and Bev

    • Thank you (on Raymond’s behalf) for your kind wishes, Gerry and Bev! And speaking strictly for me, you can be sure that he will still be kept busy in those other important roles that you mention!

  2. Congrats to you Raymond. Just another famous person Queensborough can add to its Who’s Who list. How does this amazing little hamlet do it?

  3. Congratulations Raymond. I think you will find it fun and a pleasant way (and an excuse) to keep in touch with many of your old buddies. But watch out — if you do a good job I am sure they will also put you in charge of fund-raising for the NNAs. lol

    Keith Kincaid

    • Hey, thank you (speaking for Raymond), Keith! I think he’s really going to enjoy this gig – and, as you say, it’s a great way for him to stay in touch with his many friends and former colleagues from our industry.

  4. I’m the lucky person who gets to work with Raymond now. I agree with all of you that he will be a wonderful for the job. Now that I’ve seen the sweatshirt, I am beyond convinced. But he doesn’t have to worry about fund-raising, Keith. We’ve got that covered.

    • Hey, thanks, Lauraine! And good to know the fundraising angle’s under control, though I would have expected no less from such a well-run operation. I know Raymond is really looking forward to working with you!

  5. Congratulations, Raymond. This will be a worthwhile and interesting way to spend some time until you find that acreage with sugar bush.

  6. Congratulations Raymond! An active mind and body will keep you healthy. Acreage will wear you down. Trees to prune branches to shred and firewood to chop; It never ends but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
    Don’t give up your dreams!

  7. He’s a perfect choice for the job–congratulations! What a great way to stay in touch with the industry while not having to deal with the day to day…stuff.

  8. Congrats Raymond !! Sounds like an interesting challenge for you. Don’t give up on pouring tea at Church suppers, you do a good job there too !! Bob McKeown

    • Hey, thanks (on behalf of Raymond), Bob! We both totally loved your comment. Brings Raymond right back down to earth (okay, St. Andrew’s in Queensborough), which is exactly where he belongs. Pouring tea!

  9. So proud of my brother – they surely have the right person for the job! We can’t wait to hear more about it when you come for U.S. Thanksgiving next month. Love to both.

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