Jos Charle
I joined the Pretoria News in 1983 as a cub reporter. I was warmly welcomed in the then huge, well-staffed newsroom and I quickly became a member of the team in spite of my obvious lack of experience.

I learnt a lot from the likes of Deon du Plessis, Veleleni Mashumi, Lucas Banda, Sej Motau, Patrick Hlahla, Morris Legoabe, John Patten and Alan Dunn.

In those days the Pretoria News still had a black edition, the “Regional Edition”, later renamed the “Soccer Edition”. Black staffers’ stories were published in these editions.

Of course, once in a while a black story or two would appear in the main “City Edition”.

I covered “black education”, “black transport”, politics of the Bophuthatswana homeland, the township uprising of 1984-86 and other beats, including courts.

I witnessed the shooting of 14 protesters by the Bop police in Winterveldt and also happened to be on the scene when the famous Mamelodi massacre happened.

Tough work was the order of the day, but I remember that there was also time for much drinking and merry-making.

How times have changed!

However, amid all the apparent jolling, one remained disciplined and I managed to further my studies, obtaining qualifications in human resources management, project management, newsroom management and journalism.

I was also privileged to be a sub-editor when the Pretoria News still had printing presses, and I remember the pressure of being the “stone-sub” - having to pass the newspaper for printing in the machine room with the deadline countdown ticking.

It was a privilege to serve the paper as a reporter, a sub-editor, news editor, assistant editor and executive editor, and an honour, to leave at the end of 2016 as deputy editor after two decades of service!

As the newspaper celebrates its 120th birthday, I wish the editor, Valerie Boje - with whom I have cordially worked since I arrived at the Pretoria News - and all the staff the best in these tough times, and trust that you will continue to “get excited” about bringing the people of Tshwane top news.