PENTICTON - Veteran Penticton reporter John Moorhouse is preparing to say goodbye to the Penticton Herald, where he has been a staff reporter for 26 years.
Moorhouse recently took on a new position with the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation as its Development and Communications Officer. He’ll be working with Janice Perrino and the rest of the team as the foundation begins its campaign to raise $20 million towards equipment for the new hospital care tower.
“I loved being a reporter. The news changes all the time,” Moorhouse said. “But when I saw this opportunity, my eyes literally lit up. I’m 60 years old - what a positive way to cap off my career, working towards this goal, on a good news campaign that will take me into retirement. And when I’m finished, I’ll have something to be proud of every time I drive past that new hospital wing.”
Moorhouse has been a local media fixture since 1974, when he first landed a job on Summerland radio station CXSP. He announced and covered local council and school board.
He worked local radio stations in Summerland, Kelowna and Penticton, becoming news director at Giant FM in Penticton from 1987-1988. When the Penticton Herald position beckoned, Moorhouse had merely to cross the street.
Moorhouse’s most memorable news moment came in December of 2001, while covering a bank robbery - hostage taking incident at the Bank of Montreal in Penticton.
“I was taking photos of the situation when the first hostage, an elderly woman, was released,” Moorhouse recalls. “There was a police car parked in front of the building with two police behind it, guns drawn and trained on the bank. I took a photo as the lady was coming out of the bank, and from the angle of the photo, it looked like the police were pointing their guns at the woman.”
The photo appeared on the front pages of the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun, earning Moorhouse “Canadian news photo of the month.”
Moorhouse has also witnessed a lot of change in the news industry locally over the years.
“It certainly is evolving,” he said. “Even though there are fewer reporters at the Herald than years ago, it’s still a going concern.”
He said he hopes there'll always be room for a daily newspaper in Penticton. "It's certainly doing very well right now.”
Looking forward to his new position, Moorhouse said he has a big challenge ahead of him.
“I’m not going anywhere, I’ll still be around the city. This is a positive campaign that we are about to launch, and I hope the public will support it. It’s a positive thing, and I’m happy to be involved in it.”
Moorhouse, who is married with two adult kids, plans to continue living in Naramata. He starts his new position Feb.11. There will be a farewell gathering for him at Clancy’s Bar, 333 Martin Street, on Feb. 5, starting at 6:30 p.m.
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