Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fare Thee Well

I have been very lucky to have been blessed with working in a business that I love. Doubly blessed because of the people I get to work with on a daily basis. For the past 10 years I have had the honour of working with one of the most gifted, intelligent, classiest and kind person I have ever met. Her name, Janet Dirks.

Our first shoot many years ago was when she was part of our Arts and Entertainment unit. We were to interview the conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She knew the fellow from her days at CBC radio back in her native Winnipeg. Just by the way she conducted the interview, I knew she was something special.
After being reassigned to general assignment at the newsroom, we began to shoot more often together. It was in the field over those early years that our friendship, our bond, was forged. Janet always treated everybody, whether they were prince or pulpier with courtesy and respect. That always held us in good stead and enabled us to connect with all strata of society.
Janet and Murman during the first days of the Robert Pickton Murder Trial

Her mastery of the English language is the stuff of legend in our newsroom. Her knowledge of Law came natural as she had in a previous life been admitted to the BAR. It was no wonder that this University drop out turned camera hump, felt a little intimidated by her. Yet her smile, could put the most anxious person at ease.

Steve Murray, Janet Dirks and Murman the night the Pickton Trial went to the Jury

The two of us always enjoyed working together. Some of our most memorable stuff would involve persons at their most vulnerable. Her sincerity and empathy was not lost with our subjects. To be with her and to witness this was truly a privilege. Her way with people made me proud to be a journalist.

Everyday, when I would get in to the office, my first order of business was to check in with the desk and find out what Janet was working on. You see it didn't matter whether it was a good visual story or not, I would take a "Janet" assignment regardless over anything else. We always had good soulful conversations when we worked together. If one of us had been away or because of scheduling we had not worked together for a long time, I would suffer from "Janet withdrawal". The closeness that we shared, well I have trouble finding the words, but I trust this lady with my very life.

Three weeks ago, Janet got some great news. She had been named the new CTV National Calgary Bureau Chief. Janet would be leaving CTV British Columbia.

As her friend I was happy for her. I have always said to her, "I want what is best for my friend Janet". A Journalist of her calibre will be Calgary and the Nationals gain. But deep down, I am heart broken that I won't be working with her with the frequency that I am used to.

The other night as is tradition with us here at CTV BC we had a Send Off party for her and 3 others that are moving on. I have never seen one of these Send Off's more widely attended than this one. During the evening she said to me "I am not saying good bye to you Murray, I am not going to say it!"

At the Send Off party the other night

I am not going to say it either Janet. This business is a funny one and I hope that fate will find us sometime soon working together once more. I'll light you with the care you have come to expect from "Murray the camera guy" and until then I will just say:

Fare Thee Well, Janet

Fare Thee Well.

1 comment:

the Valley Newshound said...

janet was always good to me through the years. ctv bc has lost yet another talented and gifted person. She will be missed out in the valley. one of the kindest and caring person I have every met in this buissness and thats hard to come by.