Well, 66 years is a long time.
That’s the combined years of service reporters Cindy Males and Linda Holmes have put in at CTV here in North Bay.
The two veteran journalists have hung up their microphones for the last time carrying with them a multitude of tremendous memories in more than six decades of hard work.
“It was busy, it was fun, we were going all the time, we had a really good group of people that we worked with,” said Cindy Males.
The two have seen a lot of faces come and go from the building on Oak Street. They recall the early years when a typewriter loaded with carbon paper was their computer.
Holmes covered many amazing events, including Prime Ministers Harper, Martin, and Chretien, but her career highlight was doing a half hour special on the demise of her hometown of Creighton Mines near Sudbury.
“I lived there my whole life, my parents raised four children there,” recalled Holmes.
“INCO decided it didn’t want to be in the real estate business anymore basically. You didn’t own your home, you rented it because it was a company town so I got a chance to talk to people who had been there their entire lives about what it meant to them. And it was personal to me because I knew these people too. Some people say you can’t go back home again and in my case it’s true. I couldn’t bring my kids back to see where I grew up because they tore all the houses down.”
For Males, politics were the best.
Her career highlight was covering Mike Harris becoming the Premier of Ontario back in June of 1995.
“That night was a blast,” Males recalled.
“It was just so busy and go, go go. It was everything I really enjoyed about my job. It was fast paced, there were always interesting people to talk to.”
But the job wasn’t easy and neither was trying to evolve with the changes, as back in 1980’s more than 60 people worked in the Oak Street building.
Now that’s down to less than 10.
Both journalists also had to become videographers, as they learned how to use a video camera while out in the field reporting.
“In the beginning, you would have a camera person, you would have an editor, and all we would have to concentrate on was the story,” said Holmes.
“So the evolution was, all of a sudden we are shooting meetings and you are listening to the speaker and you have to remember to ask that question while you are getting the shots you need to put it together and what other shots I can use with this.”
“It’s nowhere near the same, it’s not the same job at all,” said Males about the way the job changed.
“When we first started, all I needed was a pen and a notebook. At the end, I need a pen, a camera, tripods, tapes then it was SD cards - it’s nowhere near the same.”
Holmes and Males both agreed they met so many people in their worst states - from losing a loved one or seeing a weeping family watch its house burn down.
Those tragedies made the mothers of two appreciate their families more.
“How many times did we come home after a fire, or a fatal and hugged our kids a little tighter that night,” stated Holmes.
“My kids always used to know, because I would do that,” Males said talking about coming home and hugging her kids extra hard after coming home from covering a tragic event.
The two have retired but both hope to continue to keep working in a different field in the future.
But both well-known and well-liked reporters appreciate how many people allowed them to come into their homes or their businesses to tell their story - and most importantly trusted them to do it the right way.