EDITORIAL: Community’s loss runs deep

You never truly know the depth of a leader’s influence and hold on a community until they’re gone.

We are learning that difficult lesson this week with the news that Kristi Dobson, a staunch community advocate and gentle voice in the Alberni Valley, died in her sleep at age 43.

Dobson, who grew up in Port Alberni in a family that is deeply woven into the fabric of the area, loved the city—and she wore her ‘Heart of Vancouver Island’ on her sleeve, both in her words and her actions.

Her sense of place and love of her roots is so densely intertwined with her philanthropy, that her loss is being felt widely. (So much so, in fact, that our online story about Kristi is much longer.)

Port Alberni loses its community voice

We are feeling that loss here at the Alberni Valley News, too.

Kristi switched back and forth between the AV Times and Alberni Valley News, working for both as a graphic designer (also with Houle Printing) and writer/ photographer. Although she switched offices, she never switched allegiances: her loyalty always ran with Port Alberni.

Her strength lay in telling the city’s stories—its triumphs without gushing, its trials without being too maudlin.

When the AV Times closed two years ago, she started freelancing regularly for us at the Alberni Valley News, writing up to half a dozen stories per month.

She always had a unique perspective on the community, and knew so many people.

Not content with just freelancing, she also started a blog at Alberni.ca called Valley Heartbeat, where she profiled some of those people she knew, as well as those she had just met.

She started her own business, Red Ink Solutions, where she offered writing, editing, multi-media and graphic design services. She wrote memoirs for people, compiling childhood and family memories for them. She called herself an “accidental editor”.

Her desire to share people’s stories was no accident, however.

We will miss her stories. We will miss her indomitable attitude when it came to finding the good in her community. She made a difference in everyone’s lives.

We will miss her friendship.

—Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

LNG project given a traditional Huu-ay-aht name

Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG have announced new name for co-managed project

Port Alberni tackles “big city” problems

City’s compliance staff unable to take on emerging challenges

Alberni Valley soccer players learn Whitecaps Way

Young soccer players in Port Alberni got first-hand lessons from Whitecaps coaches

High Streamflow Advisory issued for Somass River

Storm not letting up anytime soon

Nutcracker performance kicks off holiday season in Alberni

The show will be at the ADSS Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 25

‘Tis the season in the Alberni Valley

Port Alberni gets ready for the holiday season

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Most Read