Shirley Skolos

Shirley Skolos

Shirley Skolos, former Citizen publisher, dies after battle with cancer

Well known for her enthusiasm and energy, Skolos succumbed early Aug. 21

The Cowichan Valley Citizen lost a great friend and supporter on Aug. 21 when Shirley Skolos succumbed after a battle with cancer.

Skolos was part of the team from the beginning, starting work May 25, 1986.

Duncan businessman Richard Odo was also a member of that group.

“Shirley and I were part of the start-up staff of the Citizen in the spring of 1986,” he recalled. “Her role was in the circulation department where she had to manage a revolving door of drivers and carriers, the majority of them being kids.

“She handled this role with patience and professionalism. I honestly can’t remember a time when she lost her cool.

“Later, as the publisher of the paper, as I signed over a hundred cheques bi-weekly for Shirley’s department, I realized what a treasure Shirley was. Our newspaper staff was less than 12 people and this had its challenges. Shirley managed over a hundred people with ease and dignity.

“Shirley was that member of the team that just went about her day and got the job done. The opposite of the squeaky wheel. The team player that understands her role and completes her tasks with efficiency and pride,” he said.

The Citizen moved forward as time passed, building esprit de corps as it went along.

“Our paper had a slo-pitch team in the early ’90s. While Shirley chose not to play on the field she was quite often there to watch us lose yet another game. Always a cheerleader for our team’s success, or lack of, on the ballfield, she was a valuable contributor to the success of the Citizen, from the start-up in 1986 until her retirement in 2017,” Odo said.

As the longest serving reporter still here at the newspaper, I agree with everything Odo says about our Shirley.

We’ve had trouble finding pictures of her because she never wanted to have her picture taken. She preferred to stay in the background.

But she was proud and happy when other staff members won honours, married, bought new cars, or had babies, and was always a gentle listener when personal troubles loomed.

That was her greatest strength: Shirley was a people person.

I can remember watching with admiration from my desk as she would talk with someone who came into the Citizen office with a complaint. She listened respectfully, then offered advice or a compromise or whatever would solve the problem. Invariably the irritation evaporated, and frequently the person was smiling when they left.

Shirley loved her work. Every day would find her in the office early, but she was never too busy to pop out of her office if she heard someone had come into the office with a new puppy or some little kids with entries to one of our colouring contests.

Even after she retired, she would occasionally drop in for a chat, always ready to hear the latest news.

We’ll miss you, Shirley. Happy trails. -30-

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the 4-H Horse Club enjoy the annual horse camp at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds. (submitted)
Farm Credit Canada supports Cowichan 4-H club with cash

On the list of recipients is the Cowichan 4-H Horse Club out of Cobble Hill.

Flanked by CVOLC staff members Kevin van der Linden, Nate Boersen, Lisa Kellar and Neil Ellingson, Ryan Linehan receives his Student of the Month award from Rotary representatives Gregg Perry and Kim Barnard. 
(Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Open Learning Collective ‘ambassador’ named Student of the Month

Ryan Linehan earns award for demonstrating natural leadership

Duncan Christian’s Grace George lines up a shot during the three-point portion of the BC School Sports Pandemic Basketball Challenge after taking a pass from Cam Stevens. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan Christian leads the way in pandemic basketball challenge

School tops participation numbers for second time this year

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

‘It was a great week for Jan Pullinger, MLA. She accompanied Andrew Petter, the new Minister of Health to Lake Cowichan. He credited her with saving the Youbou mill. Left to right, Jan, Petter and Sam Beldessi, president of the Cowichan Seniors. Pullinger and Petter were visiting the Seniors’ Centre.’ (Lake News, March 6, 1996)
Lake Flashback: A new library, Peewee sports, and a resignation

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that procedure can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover digging in with B.C.-made part

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

Most Read