Rich Gossen & Anne Fitzpatrick
At Boyle McCauley News, we celebrate all of our volunteers, no matter how long they have been with us. Rich Gossen and Anne Fitzpatrick are new to the paper – as well as McCauley. They became Block Carriers in June when they moved into the home of one of our long-time carriers, and promptly took over her route.
The couple had previously been living in Stony Plain. “I have worked in Edmonton for over 25 years and during that time I became familiar with McCauley,” says Anne. “I always felt a strong connection with the area because it had a sense of community that reminded me of growing up in a small town in Saskatchewan. I always enjoyed the mature trees, the diversity and rich history of the neighbourhood, and the walkability.”
“What attracted me were the qualities I had enjoyed in other large cities – namely, the cosmopolitan nature of the community and its “messy vitality”. Rather than a boring homogeneity, you encounter people every day from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, economic conditions, and personal circumstances,” says Rich.
So far, Rich and Anne are enjoying getting to know the neighbourhood, and their neighbours, better. “We have found people to be friendly and we are close to things that we enjoy doing. We used to come into Edmonton to shop at places like the Italian Centre and Zocalo, and now we can walk to them,” says Anne.
“Surprising as it may seem, we have already interacted more with our neighbours here than we did in Stony Plain,” says Rich. “And the walkability factor has been a huge plus. We can go to Tavern 1903 on Jasper Avenue, the Edmonton Public Library, the Winspear Centre, the Art Gallery of Alberta, and Sir Winston Churchill Square, and walk home afterwards.
After inheriting the route from the former owner of the home they bought, the couple welcomed the chance to get connected to our immediate neighbourhood. “It was the first step in becoming part of the community,” says Anne.
“I have a soft spot for newspapers, after working for 23 years as a weekly newspaper reporter, photographer, editor, and managing editor,” Rich adds.
Rich and Anne hope to get involved in more aspects of the community as time goes by. In her spare time, Anne enjoys “gardening, movies, walking and hope to be able to do some travelling.”
“I enjoy reading mysteries, novels and historical fiction,” says Rich. “I’m a football fan so I like being able to walk to Commonwealth Stadium. I love music and have attended many folk, jazz, and blues live concerts and festivals in and around Edmonton. During retirement, which isn’t all that far off, I’m hoping to get into a better physical fitness routine and get more involved in the arts.”
Though she has only lived here a short time thus far, Anne has some astute observances about McCauley. “We are aware that as a core community in Edmonton, McCauley experiences some challenges. But the aspects of walkability and neighbourliness outweigh any shortcomings. We are very grateful that we now have two extra hours every day, previously used to drive to and from our jobs, we can use for other things.”
Thank you for joining Boyle McCauley News, Rich and Anne – and welcome to the neighbourhood!