Kathy Bockus

"Everyone has a story to tell and the people of Charlotte County have been sharing theirs with me for more than 17 years."

Kathy Bockus claims to be a graduate of the "Sink or Swim School of Journalism." Two days after graduating high school in Hampton she went to work for The Telegraph-Journal in Saint John. She credits the tutelage of old-school gruff, but fair, editors with helping her become an award-winning journalist.

Kathy grew up with three younger sisters in Hampton, a rural community much like many of those in Saint Croix. Their mother, Connie Heighton, is 88 and still lives there.

After moving to St. Stephen in 1997 with Walter, her funeral director husband of 44 years, Kathy helped revive the St. Stephen Farmers' Market and became the first executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte County.

Going to work at the local newspaper gave Kathy the insight into the lives of the people in the region and the issues they dealt with which made her so valuable to the late Greg Thompson who asked her to come work for him as a constituency assistant.

"I've been with people at their happiest and most heartbroken. I've joined people celebrating the success of a project or a cause and I've consoled and helped people dealing with tragedy and struggling with life's challenges."

She is a member of the Charlotte County Fall Fair Committee and highlights Transition House and Take Back the Night as two causes close to her heart. Reading is a favourite pastime, joined by photography, knitting, spending time with her two kids, seven grandkids and experimenting in the kitchen. She lists JD Robb and J. Robert Kennedy among the authors whose work she enjoys.

Kathy credits her father-in-law, the late Canon Walter A. Bockus , for introducing her to the artwork of famed New Brunswick artist Violet Gillett. There have always been dogs and cats as pets in Kathy's life. She says these days the roost is ruled by a stray cat who adopted them and who keeps their large mixed breed rescue dog on his toes.

Kathy says she and Walter are happiest at home or walking the beach along Passamaquoddy Bay on family property at Holt's Point. When asked to name a person (living or deceased) whom she admires, Kathy singles out Elsie Wayne who went from being a "housewife in Glen Falls"' to the mayor of Saint John and a Member of Parliament.

"Elsie was a politician for the people. Her devotion and persistence on issues like gaining pensions for Merchant Mariners is admirable and memorable."

"My whole professional life has been about helping people, bringing awareness to their causes and concerns, getting results and keeping all levels of government accountable. The values of honesty and hard work were instilled in me at an earlier age and will stand me in good stead in any future undertaking."