Well-known Trident employee says goodbye to the editor’s chair


Margaret Conway
CFB Halifax Base Public Affairs Officer

Virginia Beaton, editor of CFB Halifax’s Trident newspaper, has retired.   

She began working as an assistant editor and reporter for the Trident in 2002, and then moved into the primary editor role in 2009.

She began her working career as a classical musician after receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. She played flute in pit orchestras, on radio programmes, on track recordings for film, and anywhere else her services were in demand.

When on a job with CBC, a staff member asked her if she’d done any writing/broadcasting.  She had not, aside from all of the research and writing she’d done as part of her master’s degree but was interested in giving it a try.

This leap of faith led to a 10-year career as a freelance writer.

“It paid well, and you could do it on your own time,” she said, noting that was an important aspect of the job since she had a child at home.

In 2002, she was made aware of an opening at the Trident Newspaper office. She knew nothing about the Canadian Armed Forces or the Royal Canadian Navy but was willing to take her chances. Eighteen years later, she has no regrets, noting the pride she feels doing this work.

“My father was in the RCMP when he was a young man. Although he passed away before I took the job with the Trident, I think he would have been proud of me.”

After an incredible run at the helm of the Trident, she retired at the end of December.

The accolades and farewells were quick to flow in.

This testimonial from a dear friend and fellow Defence Team member Mike Bonin sums it up nicely: “I remember the challenges you faced square on and how you adapted and overcame them. Situations like staff reductions, budget cuts, personal and family tragedies, changing printers, adapting to new formats, creating a new look and feel, [or] going digital in spite of IT restrictions did not deter your determination or resolve. Not only did you survive, you thrived. You showed us that a newspaper is more than paper and ink. You encouraged people to submit articles and photos, making the paper be not just a part of PSP, but in fact, an extension of the military and civilians who work in this area. You showed us your warm friendship and concern for other people’s lives and families. You created a vehicle to tell the navy’s story and along the way, you produced a paper that won streams of accolades and national awards!”

Retirement won’t keep her idle.

“You have to keep learning. You have to accept that you can’t stay where you are. You have to keep changing, and if you can do that and keep a positive attitude, that can lead you to a really good, productive life with a lot of opportunity to do worthwhile things.”


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