Well-known and popular sports editor Colin Thorsen is turning the page on 45 years of working at the Te Awamutu Courier.
The 67-year-old is swapping his notebook and pen for travel, playing sport and spending more time with family.
"I have a great sense of pride that I have lasted the journey and achieved everything that I could have wished for in my profession, starting out as a cadet one journo and finishing my last 30 years as sports editor of arguably the finest community newspaper in our group," he says.
Colin was initially employed by former owner of the Te Awamutu Courier, the late George Warburton and his foreman, the late Bruce Paterson, as a hand typographer after completing his printing apprenticeship at Typecraft Ltd in Sloane Street.
"They say you make your own luck but I had a giant slice of good fortune when given the opportunity to turn my back on the printing trade and become a journalist," Colin says.
His three month trial turned into a career spanning four and a half decades.
Colin has seen massive changes to the newspaper industry, from using typewriters to learning how to navigate a computer and shoot photos and videos.
His news coverage has grown from stories about club events to feature-length articles on a regional, national and world level.
Colin's highlights include meeting big sporting names such as Sir Colin Meads, Sir Richard Hadlee, Dame Susan Devoy, Dr Louis Luyt (president of the South African Rugby Union), Ivan Mauger and squash 'queen' Joelle King.
He has interviewed numerous Olympians and Commonwealth Games athletes, including rowing super stars the Evers-Swindell twins and multi-times world champion pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, and covered the North Island Golf Championships and New Zealand Māori Golf Tournament at Te Awamutu, and New Zealand BMX Champs at Te Awamutu.
Colin wants to thank the community and his workmates for all the support over the years.
"I have loved every moment of being a sports editor and my entire 45 years of employment with the Te Awamutu Courier," he says.
"Many thanks to editor Dean Taylor and his predecessors Grant Johnston, Grant Dixon and the late Ted Hunwick, for all they have done for me.
"Thanks also to all my workmates over the years — there are too many to name — but for almost three decades I was part of a great editorial team with Grant Johnston, Dean Taylor and Cathy Asplin."
He also makes special mention of his wife of 45 years, Bronwyn.
"She has put up with me working weekends for the majority of my career," he says.
"Her support and understanding, and that of our two adult children Mark and Mandy, has been invaluable.
"I depart the scene hoping that I have helped make the Te Awamutu Courier a better newspaper than when I started out all those years ago."