Seeya, Mandurah (sort of): You've been absolutely tops

Has it really been five years?

I mean, the last thing I wanted to do was start this column off with a cliche, but as I get ready to enter my last week with the Mandurah Mail I can't help but think that time genuinely does fly when you're having fun.

I remember my first day here.

Having made the switch from a three-year stint with the paper in Bunbury, I was simply keen to expand my skills in journalism.

In fact, my original plan was to spend a little time here working on my resume and then jet off somewhere else - but sometimes plans change.

On that first day, I remember walking up the stairs to what sounded like absolute chaos unfolding.

Turns out my new editor, Kate Hedley, had just read a joke about veggie soup on Facebook and was simply relaying it to everyone within (and outside of) ear shot - I wish I could remember the joke!

I think I'll miss the morning teas the most of all... Photo: Facebook.

I think I'll miss the morning teas the most of all... Photo: Facebook.

Despite the eyebrow-raising start, however, it didn't take long for me to feel right at home.

Actually, I felt so at home that I moved into a hot-pink house in Erskine with two of my colleagues, a place we called the Salmon Hole (the good times spent there are maybe more suited to another column - perhaps one not posted to a community paper).

But it wasn't until settling into my role as the Mail's sports reporter that I came to love Mandurah the town, not just the newspaper.

After becoming entrenched in organisations like the Peel Football and Netball League, the Mandurah Basketball Association and many other sporting clubs, I began to see just how much community spirit makes this town tick.

I'd never been one to buy into those types of things, but indeed I liked it so much, I decided to stay. And now I know that was one of the best decisions of my life.

Getting paid to work in footy was a boyhood dream, and one that I got to live out thanks to this newspaper. Photo: Facebook.

Getting paid to work in footy was a boyhood dream, and one that I got to live out thanks to this newspaper. Photo: Facebook.

About two years later I met a girl I'm now destined to marry, and thus with her came my plans to remain a Peel region resident, permanently.

Throughout my time with the paper I'd eventually move into more news reporting, and through that I've met some amazing people.

From Kate and Lauren Lewicki (who survived the Childers backpacker fire), to Noel Townsend (who married the love of his life on his deathbed), the stories I've had the chance to tell will stick with me forever.

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and my time at the Mail is almost over.

I've worked with some amazing people throughout my time here, especially these three. Photo: Facebook.

I've worked with some amazing people throughout my time here, especially these three. Photo: Facebook.

I have accepted a position with the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, and my final fortnight here has been spent thanking colleagues both past and present, phoning contacts and tying up loose ends.

But before I go, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks to you, the Mandurah community.

Thanks for the constant news tip offs, thanks for the (sometimes) free beers, and most of all thanks for embracing this pesky journo with open arms.

Catch ya.