BATHURST, and the Western Advocate, lost a great friend this week.
The former general manager of this newspaper, Lou Shehade, passed away on Thursday morning, aged 90.
But Lou is going to be remembered for much, much more than the work he did at the Advocate.
He was a talented sportsman in his youth and a major contributor to the Bathurst community through his work on the Edgell Jog committee and Chifley Village, and also local service clubs.
But, more importantly, he was simply a lovely man. He was someone who made time for everyone he came across, whether they were a life-long friend or someone who knew him only in passing.
And, it seems, all who knew him felt the same.
Nearly all of the tributes to Lou Shehade left on the Western Advocate Facebook page this week referred to him as a gentleman, a term we don't hear that much these days.
But that's certainly how I will remember him.
Lou had already left the Advocate when I came here 15 years ago but he remained a constant presence in the office, dropping in each morning to pick up a paper and to have a chat.
He was always quick with a smile, or a sneaky news tip that never came from him.
The newspaper industry is a vastly different one today than the one Lou left but he was never one to dwell on the past or harbour a rose-coloured memory of the way things used to be.
He was always encouraging and always supportive, and was also a welcome sight in the office.
Many people in Bathurst knew Lou Shehade much, much better than I did and there are hundreds better placed to write his obituary.
But I can only pay tribute to the Lou Shehade that I knew, and know that Bathurst is a better place for having been his home.