Of all the memories of Don Moores, an insight from Tim O’Donovan really resonated with me.
O’Donovan, the Kamloops Blazers’ director of hockey operations, was musing on the late team president and COO’s admirable traits.
“He had such a good read on people,” O’Donovan told KTW reporter Marty Hastings.
“If you were struggling, he had a way of making you feel good pretty quick. He was such a hard worker and he’ll be sorely missed, for sure.”
Indeed he did and indeed he will.
Don died on June 30 after suffering a heart attack while golfing at Kamloops Golf and Country Club.
He was very well known throughout the community, in the past five years as head of the Blazers and before that via his years in leading Kamloops This Week and other newspapers in the B.C. Interior.
In fact, from the time I arrived at KTW in May 2005 and for a number of years that followed, I would see Don almost every day as I passed his office on the way to my desk.
I would say hi or, if the door was closed and he was on his phone — which was often as he seemed to be busy all the time — I would nod.
Without fail, Don would offer me a smile — that familiar slightly tilted grin —and a wink while discussing some important newspaper business with someone.
But back to O’Donovan’s comment regarding Don’s penchant for dealing with people who were struggling.
I had first-hand experience in being counselled by Don — and his words helped me come to a difficult decision not long after arriving in Kamloops from the Lower Mainland back in 2005.
The move here with my family was difficult, as it can be for a family whose entire social network was left three hours away, over a couple of mountain passes.
An extremely stressful and time-consuming job only added to the personal crisis, which culminated in my family deciding we wanted to return to the Lower Mainland about a year after arriving here.
In fact, the house had been listed for sale and I had accepted a job at a Vancouver-area newspaper as part of a too-rash decision.
It was only then that I decided to talk with Don, so down the hall I walked, my stomach in knots and my heart heavy.
As always, he waved me into his office, this regional president of Black Press, this boss of my boss.
He could see I was struggling with something, so he closed the door, leaned back in his chair placed the tips of his fingers together and let me talk.
I emptied my emotional tank — work and family pressures, recent deaths, financial issues, everything.
I was quite the wreck as I unloaded, so Don quickly stood up and closed the blinds on his office window so we would have privacy.
He had a million things to do that day, as he did every day, but he gave me as much time as I needed.
Don did not advise either way as to whether I should stay or go, though he did say he would prefer I stay and offered some keen insight on some personal issues with which I had been dealing.
Due in no small part to Don and his counsel, my family cancelled the house listing, I declined the job offer I had accepted and we decided to stay in Kamloops.
I am glad we did.
And I am glad I got to know Don, even just a little bit.
A celebration of Don's life will be held on Tuesday, July 13, at 1 p.m. at Sandman Centre. It is open to the public.