James Burton
James Burton

On the face of it, this is a pretty poor time to throw some meaningless banter around. Or is it?

While life can, and often does, connect with some pretty hefty body blows, the one thing that regularly shines through is humour — most of it black (not the racial kind, by the way, before we all start organizing marches).

At least, as SO many people have now told me, I “don’t have to work Cup Match”, although if one more person lectures me on the “tapestry of life” I may not be responsible for my actions.

Let’s be clear, though, Friday’s announcement is gut-wrenching for all of us at the Sun. I have been here a mere two years and it hurts. I can only imagine the pain and frustration of some of my colleagues, many of whom have been with the paper upwards of 20 years.

Perspective was not a word I wanted to hear on Friday — the only one that made sense was ‘beer’ — but while we are temporarily doubled up by our wounded egos, it’s worth remembering that many others have also lost jobs as the island struggles to deal with its finances. We are not the first and won’t be the last.

It would take (metaphorical) balls of steel not to be affected by losing your job but, as many of those in our newsroom have shown in recent times, if not metal, they certainly have sturdy, durable oak ones! They are tough cookies.

Difficult times also bring out the best in people. 

While it can be easy to take things for granted on this wonderful island, the messages and words of support via email and on the street have all been heartfelt and genuine. Not enough to get me a free coffee or a month’s free gym membership but appreciated nonetheless! It’s a reminder, if any were needed, that the vast majority of Bermuda’s people are indeed truly special.

A huge warm-hearted thank you to those who have got in touch and to those I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with during my time at the Sun.

I tip my hat to you all.