There are times in our lives when time itself becomes the engine that drives long-overdue decisions and new directions. Many of those life-choices can be bittersweet.
After almost 50 years in publishing – including 34 years at the helm of Celtic Life International – I have decided to call it a career. My family has been encouraging me to “retire” (I really dislike that word) for a while, but a quote by comedic writer Gene Perret always came to mind; “It’s nice to get out of the rat race, but you have to learn to get along with less cheese.”
However, even during these most trying times when the world seems upside down and coming apart at the seams, the “rat race” that is the world of publishing can be both fun and rewarding.
I was fresh out of St. FX University in northern Nova Scotia when I agreed to help a friend start a community newspaper. Little did I know that decision would mark the beginning of a long journey, first at the Scotia Sun in Port Hawkesbury, NS and, later, with Celtic Life International in Halifax.
Publishing is a wonderful and rewarding life. It has been good to me and I have many memorable experiences. It has allowed me to explore and appreciate my own Celtic heritage (my ancestors came to Canada from the West Highlands of Scotland) through traditional music, dance, piping, Scottish Highland Games and Irish festivals.
The highlight of it all, however, has been the incredible people I have met and spoken with along the way, including fellow Celts, subscribers, advertisers, and many others who aim to preserve and promote our unique heritage. More often than not, these conversations would touch on the cornerstones of our cultural lineage; arts, language, history, genealogy…the list is endless and ever evolving.
More importantly, our readers have always been the heart and soul of Celtic Life International and, without their support, our magazine would not be what or where it is today.
One of the hardest parts of leaving the industry is saying goodbye to the superb people on our team, including editors, salespeople, production staff and writers. I am truly thankful to have worked with each and every one of them as they continued to inspire me with their dedication.
I am comforted in knowing that the publication has been left in good hands; you will find Siobhán Covington both personable and professional. She is passionate about her Celtic roots and will surely be the steady hand required to steer both the magazine and our online community over the coming years. And while the world of publishing has changed greatly in the past five decades, Siobhán is committed to keeping our audience engaged, educated, and entertained.
For myself, this chapter of my life has come to a close. It is bittersweet, yes, but I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to have contributed to the Celtic community. As I turn the page, I want to sincerely thank everyone involved for allowing me the privilege to have served.
Enjoy and May God Bless!
Angus M. Macquarrie