When David Rubenstein, known affectionately by his friends, colleagues and clients as Dave, or Ruby, started at the Cowichan Valley Citizen some 29 years ago, he had no idea he would become such an intrinsic part of the community paper.
Coming to the job from a background of radio announcing (he had that deep radio voice voice), he soon found his groove.
Over the years Dave made the office a more love colourful place with everything from his of the Red Sox, to his passion for tennis, horse racing, and football (soccer).
And when we say passion, we mean it.
Dave has sat down with some of tennis’s hottest st stars, and photographed even more at the various international tournaments he attended.
His photos of the sport he so dearly loved have gained international recognition in recent years. But he always had time for those close to home as well. He has been invaluable to the employees as a long time union representative for the paper, as well as just being someone you could always talk to when you needed an ear. In the spring and summer he’d bring in roses from his garden in Crofton to brighten the office.
Ruby ran for Duncan City council on several occasions and was always up on the latest in the community, if not always the first to master the latest computer technology.
In May, serious health issues meant the end of Dave’s tenure at the paper, but he’s left an indelible mark on our hearts.
David died on Monday, June 22, peacefully at Cowichan District Hospital, with his wife, Bonnie, and stepson, Bobby, at his side.
We’ll always be able to picture him walking into the office in his brown leather jacket and colourful scarf, celebrating the Red Sox or the Bruins, ready with a smile.
We are grateful for all the years we got to know and work with Dave, and we will miss him, but always carry on his passion for life.
My favourite memory of Dave, aside from his flashy San Francisco 49ers jacket and that glorious white Ford he cruised around in back in the day, was his rumbling baritone voice.
I can still recall as a kid listening to him on the radio, calling hockey or basketball games. When I started at the Citizen in the late 1980s, I was fascinated to get to hear that voice every day, in person. Once I had settled in and knew I could get away with it, I always greeted him with my own best baritone imitation: "Rrrrruuuubbbyyy."
Since he was a Bruins fan and I was a Habs fan there was plenty of good-natured ribbing but I always appreciated being able being able to talk sports with him and listen to his tales of oldschool media antics.
Years after I had left, he was doing some B.C. Hockey League play-by-play for the Cowichan Valley Capitals up in Nanaimo and asked me to sit in as his colour commentator. It was the most fun I have ever had on the air. I kept trying to get him to crack his ultra-professional facade but he was too good.
Having grown up in the Valley and always considering it "home" I have seen for decades that Ruby truly is a legend. His own love for the area and his devotion to his community and his craft has always been a shining example.