On Aug. 5, Effingham Herald Editor Patrick Donahue will be moving on to accept an editorship in Thomasville. Effingham County’s loss will be Thomasville’s gain.
Patrick grew up in a military family. One of seven children, his father and mother had settled at Fort Stewart by the time Pat was born. He grew up in Hinesville and graduated from Bradwell Institute. Pat attended college at Georgia Tech moving back to the area and finishing his degree in physics at Georgia Southern then College (now University).
While at GSU he became involved with the yearbook. Pat tells of a time after college when sitting in his mother’s house that she tells him he needs to get a job and that he cannot find one just sitting around without going out to look. No sooner than she said it, the telephone rang for Pat and he was offered a job. He eagerly told his mom that he had been offered a job as sports writer for the Statesboro Herald.
Pat’s resume includes stints at the Hinesville Coastal Courier and Statesboro Herald. Other ventures include Marietta,; Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rocky Mount, N.C.
Patrick is a true Southern gentleman with impeccable manners like rushing to open doors for the ladies. Very laid back, he fit in well in Effingham and worked well with local law enforcement and county officials that gained his trust and shared their news. He has covered progress in our schools with new buildings, a new judicial building, political changes, court trials and day-to-day crime scenes, including two of the grisliest murders in the history of this county.
With a work ethic like no other journalist, he covered and wrote the news practically twenty four seven. He has been known to work all night or do whatever it took to produce an accurate paper, holding himself to a higher standard than most. With his smooth, easy style, he was very conscientious and super dedicated to the news in Effingham County. He brought the paper to three times a week for a while and to include an online website bringing us into line with the direction of news in this decade.
For the past fifteen months Pat has been editor and the only reporter with changes in the personnel and management of the office of The Effingham Herald. Despite that, he produced a great weekly paper. “It was a lot of work,” he said. “I have been happy here, enjoyed the people and I have had fun.” At 50 years old by the end of this year, Pat is ready to seize a new opportunity as editor of the Thomasville Times Enterprise and “slow down and smell the roses” in the city known for its rose bushes.
I have had the pleasure of writing a column for Effingham Herald called Echoes of Effingham and have enjoyed our interactions, mostly via the internet. He was always very supportive. The people in Effingham County liked Patrick and shared with him easily in his laid back style. His boy-like enthusiasm for the news endeared him to everyone. I think it is fair to say Effingham Herald probably will not know just exactly the gem they had as Editor until he is gone.
Thomasville is a good place for Pat to meet new challenges and enjoy an opportunity to edit and not be a reporter, all of the time, allowing a little more personal time to enjoy life. Goodbye and good luck old friend, you will be missed.
This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos or historical information to share contact her at 754-6681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.