TALENTED journalist Ben Smailes, who reported for The Daily Examiner in 1998-99, has died after a climbing expedition on Mount Everest in the Himalayas went tragically wrong. He was just 27.
Smailes grew up outside Sydney and studied sports media and journalism at the University of Canberra before getting his start in journalism at The Examiner.
An avid adventurer, he then worked at Travel Week Australia before landing a reporting job at The Canmore Leader in the Canadian Rockies.
His work there was hon- oured with a Canadian Community Newspapers Association's Better Newspapers competition award for best business writing.
He also wrote a witty weekly column, Smailes' Place.
Smailes met his girlfriend Elinor Fish in Canmore and the couple had been in Australia for most of last year before planning a return to Canada to start their own magazine.
He had been a regular contributor to the Coffs Harbourbased Coast magazine, the current issue of which is dedicat- ed to his memory.