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.
This letter from Peter Stephens acknowledges the people who contributed to a successful Covid pop up testing clinic on Big Tancook Island on May 7, 2021
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following:
Hugh MacKay our MLA for assisting in making this happen.
Dept. of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, in particular Captain in Charge Jason Keddy, who facilitated and organized the ferry schedule and enabled the ferry to be used as the testing site for Little Tancook residents. As well as the crew for their patience and support.
Martin Hiltz, for helping to organize the Little Tancook end of things.
Angela Henhoeffer, our local REMO representative who did so much to organize the popup test site on both islands and was the coordinator with Public Health.
Dr John Ross from Public Health and his amazing team for coming out to do the tests, including going to people’s homes to perform test.
To amazing volunteers who gave up their day to organize the site, provide transportation and ensure things ran smoothly:
Kat Swift, in particular whose meticulous record keeping and attention to detail helped speed up the testing process.
Food was provided by Ann Westhaver, Lesley Stephens and Pam Baker, who made the food for the test team and refused payment. Thank you!
Tancook Community Rec Center for providing their facilities.
To so many of you for showing up and taking the test. In closing remember that the current rules are still in place:
Social distancing and not socializing as per provincial guidelines, check for updates to keep current. Keep up the good work and stay safe.
On behalf of all BTIERA members.
Peggy, on behalf of the residents of Big Tancook Island, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your generous service to your community.