I had been in this new job for just a few days when Jim Stuart walked into the offices of the Havelock News.

I had been in this new job for just a few days when Jim Stuart walked into the offices of the Havelock News.

Stuart, the long-time commissioner, was making a point of coming by the office to introduce himself, welcome me to the position and to deliver a set of plans for the soon-to-be-built West End Fire Station.

Jim didn’t have to do it. Yet that was the way he was, caring and deliberate. He just knew that the visit would help set me off on the right footing, would provide a bit of useful information, and offer an insight into the things that were important in the city of Havelock.

In many ways, what he did was what many people of Havelock have done over and over in the more than eight years I have had the privilege and honor of working here.

This is my last week at the Havelock News, and I feel compelled to recognize collectively the welcoming spirit that Jim Stuart and all of the other residents extended during my time on this beat.

I am moving to Wake County to get married and will be commuting a short distance to work as a reporter/photographer at The Wilson Times. I am excited about the prospect of discovering a new city, exploring new roads, having new experiences and meeting new people.

The newspaper business has been part of my life since my first picture was published in The Daily Press and Times Herald in Newport News, Va. back in 1980. Since then, I have worked for The Coastland Times, The Virginian-Pilot and The Times-Herald and now the Havelock News, the Cherry Point Post and the New Bern Sun Journal.

Along the way, I have learned many things, chief among them, to listen more and talk less.

At my first job, the stories were typed on typewriters, the film and prints for photos had to be developed, and the pages were “pasted up.”

Not anymore. Things have changed. Fortunately, I have changed right along with them.

One thing, however, has remained the same, the effort to get to the truth of the matter and present it to the readers in a concise and understandable manner.

Yes, I have made mistakes. We all do. But we always try to make sure to set the record straight.

At the Havelock News, we have put extra effort into providing an accurate report week after week to inform the public of the news they need to know while also balancing hard news with brighter pieces about the community and its people.

Havelock has a lot to be proud of, Cherry Point and its storied history chief among them.

I will leave remembering the many moments spent with people like Jim Stuart, the people that really make this town what it is. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.