Front page of The Aldergrove Star (then called The Central Fraser Valley Star) featured an Abbotsford Air Show photograph taken by then 13 year old Kurt Langmann. Thus began a five decade career in newspapers…

Aldergrove Star Editor’s Swan Song: It’s been good to know you

…but you can’t miss me because I’m not going away…

It was my 65th birthday earlier this month, and in concert with my dear wife of 45 years, we are both officially retired from our day jobs as of January 31, 2019.

I wasn’t “pushed out the door” by my bosses at Black Press Media — they have been extremely supportive of my career since they took over the former Langmann family business at The Aldergrove Star, 19 years ago this month. And I still enjoy the job.

I’m not “fleeing a burning building” either — The Star has been continuously profitable through all the turmoil that has afflicted traditional news media, and it has a great future as Black Press Media undertakes bold steps to transform itself into a leader in digital news delivery.

And The Star will continue to focus on community “hometown” news, under the newly-appointed editor, Sarah Grochowski, a young woman from Aldergrove with extensive experience in print and digital journalism.

However, after more than 50 years of the Langmann family being involved with The Star, it is the right time for me to bid a fond farewell to a job that I loved — and to move on to new challenges and adventures with my wife and family.

While Sylvia and I still have our health, and it is hoped, a few years left together on this planet.

We have many interests and now will have more time to pursue them all.

My parents, Rudy and Inge, purchased The Star in September of 1966, and we shared many adventures and great stories with our readers over the years before my parents retired in January 2000. Rudy and Inge are still enjoying their retirement in the rural Aldergrove area today, and it’s now my turn too.

I never foresaw a career in newspapers in my youth, but I was brought up in the “culture” and obviously, it stuck with me — and I stuck with it.

I often tagged along with my parents when they covered events in the community, and I met and got to know everyone from the local officials up to the Premiers and Prime Ministers. I even met my hero, Johnny Cash, in this community.

I think my career was kindled by the 1967 Abbotsford Air Show, when I was just 13. My father gave me a Kodak box camera and told me to “go wild,” taking photos at the air show. He liked my photos so much that he used one of them on the front page of The Star the next week.

I was so “chuffed, tickled pink,” as they say, and so began my career as a news photographer/reporter and editor.

The years have sped by, fast and furious, and there have been momentous changes in both the news industry and our personal lives. But we weathered the bad events, adapted to the new ways and all the changes, and thoroughly enjoyed all of the good times and blessings we’ve received. I have absolutely no regrets about any of it.

And now, with four grown children and five grandchildren, we are going to take the time to share our lives and joys with them.

Pursue our hobbies and interests. See some more of the world. We won’t get another chance like this in our lifetimes, so we’re seizing the day.

This does not mean we’re saying adieu to the Aldergrove community, however. We intend to be active in the community, contributing to our community and society in other ways.

As the saying goes, “How can you miss me when I won’t go away?”

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