Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Excuse me for getting a little soppy

By  Oct 01, 2016

Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun, well put another way doesn’t time fly full stop! By the time you have read this column we will have already celebrated the tenth anniversary of The Dubrovnik Times. Where did those ten years go? It seems like only yesterday that the idea to make such a project started and here we are celebrating a decade of issues.

I was trying to do some maths, never my strong subject, to write a short article for a national newspaper. We have printed over 1.5 million over the ten years, hundreds of thousands of articles, thousands of emails, and countless journeys around the county. And is certainly has been a journey. Someone much cleverer than me once said that “Life is a journey, not a destination,” how true.

And it is exactly the journey that has been so amazing. The people I have been fortunate enough to meet along the way, to interview, write about or just chat over a coffee with. What is the definition of wealth, it certainly isn’t monetary, no its memories. And I have been lucky to make some memories to last a lifetime. Of all the things that I have achieved in Croatia I would probably have to say that getting The Dubrovnik Times up and running is the one that I am most proud of. I am, or so I am told, a local patriot. So given the fact that this newspaper is the longest running and oldest English language newspaper in the Republic of Croatia, and the fact that it was started in Dubrovnik, makes me even prouder. Whatever happens in the future, and let’s face it the newspaper business is about as stable as a newborn deer on an ice rink, nobody will ever be able to take away the fact that I helped start the first newspaper.

And when I say helped it’s because the secret to any success is teamwork. No man is an island. None of this would have been possible without some really great people who have been dedicated, professional and hardworking. This celebration of ten years is in fact a celebration of teamwork. When a group of people are all pulling in the same direction for a common goal life is easy. All you need is a couple of bad apples and the whole fruit bowl rots, whether by luck or by judgement I have avoided bad apples.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing, far from it; we have had numerous bumps along the journey that have thrown us off course. But life would be extremely boring if it was easy! It’s the fights that make us stronger; like the song goes what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. To be fair it isn’t particularly hard to promote Dubrovnik. I would have had a much, much harder job if I was living in Chernobyl. You can pretty much throw a camera in the air and get a great photo, and here are so many interesting characters that the words just fall onto the pages by themselves. It also helps if you love the job you do, and that’s where I am lucky again.

And then there is the readership. An international readership that never ceases to amaze me, that once again highlights the pull of Dubrovnik. We regularly receive messages from all the continents and I still get a thrill reading them, the genuine love for this city always pulls at my heart strings. The meaning of the word Libertas shines through in almost every mail. Sure we get plenty of critical mail as well, I would be worried if we didn’t, but the vast majority is positive, that’s just the effect that Dubrovnik has on people. I remember one just the other day when we were discussing the cruise ship industry, which is often a bone of contention, and it read - It is difficult to fall out of love with Dubrovnik you just can't, I have been when the cruise ship passengers disembarked, I just go to old town at different times but that doesn't stop me loving the old town! And this is the emotion that this amazing city generates.

So thank you all once again, although this may sound like a farewell speech it isn’t, we will be here for many years to come, well as long as we are wanted. Cheers to The Dubrovnik Times!

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