A Beautiful Belated Letter of Gratitude to an Unknown Tancook Family

In 1970, as 16 year-old boys just having received driver’s licenses, a friend and I drove from Porcupine (Timmins) Ontario to Hantsport, Nova Scotia to visit a favored high school history teacher. On a sight-seeing journey to the ocean, near Lunenburg, this teacher queried a ferry captain on where he would be traveling. At the time the fare was 25¢ – assuming that couldn’t take us very far, five of us, including the teacher, his wife and one-month old son climbed on board.

Not long after departure, it was discovered we were headed to Big Tancook Island and the ferry would not be returning to the mainland until the following morning. Most of the passengers were school children returning home. Too late for the captain to turn back then. We had some supplies for the baby, but not many.

Landing at the docks at Big Tancook, after explaining the situation, the teacher queried a fisherman working on his boat, asking if he knew of anyone that might be returning to the mainland that afternoon.

He did not, however, without hesitation, he said that we could go to his home and his wife would have food for the baby and a change if that was required. We boys crawled into the back of his old, rusty pickup truck while the teacher, his wife and baby rode up front. We shared a fantastic dinner with this family and afterwards the fisherman returned to the docks to see if there was a possibility for a ride back to the mainland. If not, we could spend the night with them.

He came back in short order advising that he talked to the captain of a very nice large yacht and he would be heading, in short order, back to the mainland. We were able to take that ride – that captain even toured us a round some of the sites including the famed Oak Island.

I do not remember the names of the couple that were so kind to us on Big Tancook, and I have felt remiss for years in not sending them a note of substantial appreciation and gratitude. I’m not sure if this couple would still be with us, but surely if the citizens of Big Tancook have hearts like these two, it must be an absolutely wonderful place.

Kindest Regards,
Ron Tuohimaa

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