June 22, 2018

Maritimes Hospitality


Much has been made of “Maritimes Hospitality” and here’s some firsthand experience by me (Russ Niles, editor of COPA Flight and e-Flight) that I think is both remarkable and affirming of that title. My flight to Saint John was delayed and we got in just before 3 a.m. So, there aren’t many taxis available in a relatively small town (130,000) at that time on a Thursday morning and since most pax landing at Saint John took off from there they have a car at the airport or someone picking them up. There were several of us who didn’t have those options. So, Mary Morrison opened her hatchback and the surprisingly capacious confines of her Volkswagen Tiguan to three of us stranded at the airport and delivered us to our hotels. Political views notwithstanding, Mary, you are an angel.

The next day, I needed some kind of backing for the poster of our popular Career and Scholarship Guide to display it on an easel. I thought a piece of thin Styrofoam would work and I set off on foot for Dykeman’s Hardware, about 1.2 kilometres from the convention hall. On the way, I took a cell phone call and I was standing on the sidewalk of an overpass, far from any bus stop, when a city bus slowed to see if I needed a ride before I waved the driver off.  A few minutes later I was at Dykemans, which turned out to be one of those old-fashioned hardware stores that has everything except lumber and sheet material. The guys at the store offered to drive me to a Home Hardware that would have the Styrofoam. Instead, I gratefully took a few sheets of cardboard from their in-house glass shop and the poster is properly mounted if you don’t look too close. Thank you Saint John. I’ve never felt more welcome in a community and it’s only Day One.