Thursday, April 18, 2024

Master returns to Times team

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Farida Master, right, with her daughter and granddaughter. Photo supplied

Former Times Media news editor Farida Master has rejoined the group after months away on a sabbatical in Canada.

Master returns in a different role. She will take on the position as editor of sister publication EastLife magazine. She replaces veteran journalist Helen Perry who has retired.

Master made the difficult decision to leave in March 2021 while the planet was locked down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She was determined to be with her daughter Sanaya who was going to be a mum.

“Travelling during the height of a pandemic is probably one of the craziest things I’ve done,” Master said.

“But then when your daughter tells you that she needs your support as she is going to have a baby, there is this inexplicable urge that makes you go to ridiculous lengths to welcome a new soul on this earthly plain. Some call it motherhood.”

Master explained that getting there was one of the most difficult situations she had ever encountered.

“After many sleepless nights, cancelled flights and lots of documentation, I took on the decision to visit my daughter in Vancouver, Canada in the year when Covid slammed the brakes on international travel.

“It meant that instead of a 14-hour direct Air New Zealand flight, it was a crazy 40-hour route.”

Adding more drama was a call from her travel agent saying the last leg of the flight from Seattle to Vancouver was cancelled. This, just an hour prior to driving to the airport.

“I nervously agreed to a change of destination, heading to Toronto instead of Vancouver. My daughter was on the phone, making last-minute changes to the hotel quarantine bookings even as I was mid-air.”

When she finally got in, she immediately began planning how to get back to NZ.

“The irony of it all was that once in Vancouver, I spent all my days trying to get a spot in New Zealand’s MIQ lotto system,” she said.

Not knowing when you can return home is a scary thought. Eight months later as I boarded an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland.”

She managed to get home to Golflands for Christmas.

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