Kevin Anderson

Sometimes, I really hate my job.

As a rule, being a small-town reporter is fun, but this past Monday was one of the most difficult days of my nearly 20-year career.

I was in Fauquier at the search and resuce command centre when news of the deaths of Jody and Nicole Blais came in.

Rather regrettably, my reporter’s instincts took over and I posted the news to the paper’s Facebook page too quickly and for that I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to both Jody and Nicole’s families and to the numerous volunteers who put in countless hours looking for the couple.

I have to admit I didn’t know Jody or Nicole very well.

That being said, there is an old adage that you can judge a person by the company they keep.

If that’s true, then Jody and Nicole were two tremendous people.

There is just no other way to explain the outpouring of support  from communities and volunteers across Northern Ontario  coming together in the search and rescue effort.

Jody and Nicole were not just two citizens. They were business people, philanthropists and entrepreneurs.

One thing I do know about Nicole and Jody, is that they were big supporters of this publication.

Nicole was one of the first people to want to advertise in the new paper when we were getting ready to launch in December.

Jody was one of the first to buy classified ads in the paper to advertise his apartments for rent.

For their support, I am eternally grateful.

I know that I am not alone in this feeling.

This is a couple that believed in their community and did what they could to make it a better place to live.

They built their businesses here, raised their family here and invested in projects here.

The ripple effect of their loss will be felt by a great many people for a long time to come, whether they be family, friends or business associates.

Rest in peace Jody and Nicole. You will be missed by many and remembered by all  both for your belief in your community and for everything you did to make it a better place.