And that, my friends, is 2011.
It’s hard to believe that yet another year is gone, thrown into the history books with the usual highlights, lowlights and roller coaster ride.
I’d like to use my final column for the year to pay tribute to the people who all come together to make the Weekender what it is each and every week.
As we enter our 21st year, the Weekender sits in a very special position and we are exceptionally proud of the product that we deliver to you each week and of the achievements of 2011.
This year, the Weekender has indeed broken new ground – a new masthead was launched in February, we launched the Extra Time rugby league magazine, grew our entertainment magazine FYI to a new level and produced a year of stories amongst the best in our history.
I’d like to firstly thank the team here at Weekender HQ who work hard every day of the week to produce a publication of the highest possible quality.
To my team of journalists – Emily Crane, Cassandra O’Connor, Stacey Moseley, Nathan Taylor and Adam Scroggy – thank you for a year in which we laughed, cried and shared a whole spectrum of stories with our readers.
I’d also like to thank all of our weekly columnists, who had a unique view on various subjects – Peter Overton, Tom Steinfort, Damian Smith, Michael Todd, Michelle Grice, Francis Bevan, Sandra Cabot, Anthony Walker, John Lavender, David Stein, Trent Baker, Martin Cominotto, Mick Gilfoyle, Darryl Brohman, Monty Panesar and Lorraine Pozza.
Thanks to all of the people who contribute to our stories, too, whether it be local politicians, media advisors, local business people or just local people who are commenting about certain issues as a one-off – we do really appreciate your help.
I’d like to say thanks to our sales team – Simon Gould, James Miller, Sergio Carrasco, Linda Lewis, Paulette Adams, Ali Elali, Emily Larkham and Tracey Nelms – for a year in which new ground was broken. You are the backbone of our business.
On that note, a huge thank you to the many advertisers who promote their brand and products through the Weekender. Your support is valued and very much appreciated.
To our production team – Irene Adams, Andrew Komoder, Kate Stanford and Alana Christanga – thank you for all the work you do each week to ensure the paper looks as it should.
A special thanks too to our photographer, Melinda Jenkins, for her work in capturing the moments of 2011.
Thanks to the print team at Spot Press, our distribution team, Mona in accounts and all of our suppliers, resource providers and others who play a part in what we do. The Weekender truly is a group effort.
And most of all, a huge thank you to all of you.
Without our readers, we are nothing, and the enormous amount of positive feedback we get is so very much appreciated.
And yes, even the not-so-positive feedback is welcome as well – varying opinions is what makes the world go around.
2011 will be remembered for many things.
On an international scale, it’ll be remembered for disasters in Japan and New Zealand.
Nationally, the tragic Queensland floods will forever be an historical landmark of 2011.
And locally, many issues raged, ranging from dumps and toxic waste to new State MPs, a changing of the guard over at the Penrith Panthers and the constant battle with crime and drugs.
Penrith is an amazing city.
Very rarely in another region will you find such a dedicated and thriving business community, the huge number of achievements recorded by individuals and groups or the level of passion for certain issues and events.
We bask in the joy of suburbia, with a touch of rural lifestyle and splash of city living. It is indeed a unique and special place to live and to do business in.
On behalf of our owners and the entire team at the Western Weekender, I would like to wish yourself and your family a very Merry Christmas and a bright, prosperous 2012.
Our first edition of 2012 is on January 13. We’ll see you then.