Sonja Lester returns to The Interior News this week as a community columnist. (Thom Barker photo)

Interior News welcomes back Sonja Lester

Lester worked for the paper for years in typesetting and sales and wrote columns from 2005-2009

The Interior News is pleased to welcome back Sonja Lester as a community columnist.

The new column, titled Hard Copy, will anecdotally explore the people, places and happenings in the valley, much like Sonja’s former columns Rural Roots and Heard it on the Grapevine, that ran in the paper from 2005 – 2009.

While the world has increasingly turned to cyberspace for news and pleasure, Sonja said she and many other people she knows still enjoy the more leisurely pleasure of holding a newspaper in their hands and seeing their community reflected in its pages.

“Things fly by so fast on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” she writes in her first submission appearing on Page A24. “This will be an opportunity to cut out with the date attached and save it to a scrap book. Or send it out of town.”

Hard Copy replaces A View from the Porch by Lorraine Doiron, who has moved to Prince George to be closer to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“Our community columnists have always been the heart of our paper,” said Interior News editor Thom Barker. “We will miss Lorraine, of course, but Sonja writes with wit and a folksy style I’m sure our readers are going to enjoy. I am very happy she has decided to join us again.”

Sonja moved to the Bulkley Valley from the Lower Mainland in 1975 to a piece of Driftwood Canyon.

“Hiking was a passion for many years and while in the mountains and listening to groups as we walked I realized how much h wax a support we are for each other just talking of our daily lives,” she said.

She was a volunteer for Air Search and Rescue fro nearly 25 years.

“I belonged to a group that supported each other,” she said. “We were constantly learning and I felt the professionalism from the executive and military to our crews. It was all about training.”

She also worked The Interior News for many years starting as a typesetter for the classifieds and letters to the editor and transitioning into composition and later into advertising sales.

“I called the standing ads my meat and potatoes and the seasonal sales were the gravy, she said.

She recalled a memorable morning when she was first into the office.

“Little things were out of place,” she said. “I would pick up a piece of paper … it felt kind of strange. I opened the safe door with the combination and the very heavy, large door landed on the floor at my feet. Robbers had sat through the night and filed through the hinges little knowing that there was a large, vertical dead-bolt running through the combination lock on the inside.

“And little did they know that the cookie can on the shelf four feet from the safe had $600 from a music festival that I hadn’t had a chance to deposit that day.”

Since 1981, after her family hosted a bluegrass concert at the Glenwood Hall in Driftwood, they fell in love with live music and all picked up an instrument.

“We quickly began performing here in the valley and along the Hwy 16 corridor and made lifelong friends, and as the music began to grow so did our friendships throughout the province.”

Sonja’s daughter Jenny went to college in Texas and got her degree in Bluegrass music.

She has family in Belgium and a son who works in Kenya for part of the year and has lived there, so she has had the opportunity to travel and has climbed Mt. Kenya.

It salved two passions: being with family and hiking,” she said.

At the moment she is enjoying pastel painting and a little piece of Driftwood alongside her oldest son.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Michelle Stoney carved this pumpkin on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at her brother's home where their family gathers each year to carve pumpkins for Halloween. (Michelle Stoney, Gitxsan Artist Facebook photo)
Gitxsan artist carves culture in Halloween pumpkin

Michelle Stoney spent more than three hours on her latest holiday creation

A grizzly that was spotted near Newens Road in Smithers has been captured, tagged and relocated. (photo from Facebook)
Dohler Flats grizzly relocated by Smithers COs

The four-year-old male was relocated a couple of hours south of Houston

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Oct. 27 saw 14 cases reported, the biggest single-day total since the beginning of the pandemic

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read