We have been in St. John’s for a few days and have seen lots of interesting things and met a lot of interesting people so it’s time to move on, heading for Ottawa. Today started off with a careful check of the weather; not good. A weather system is moving across Newfoundland so we decided to spend another day in town. This gave us time to take care of some logistics, such as having business cards printed for NavPath and for our Canada 150 Anniversary Flight, and working on the Blog.
Valerie and I were sitting in the lounge at the Delta Hotel where we are staying when a nice young man, David, stopped by for a chat. It turned out that David works at the concierge at the hotel. When he heard our story about flying across the country and our Canada Flag he wrote down our contact information telling us that he would get back to us with some interesting arrangements. Interesting indeed, as he had arranged for a meeting the next day with the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation at the Newfoundland legislature, the Confederation Building. Now that’s amazing. But wait, there’s more!
David’s father is a politician in Ottawa, the Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable George J. Furey. Dave informed his father’s office of our planned visit to Ottawa and Parliament Hill on our return westward. His father will not be in Ottawa when we get there, however, his father’s Chief of Staff is expecting us to contact them on arrival in Ottawa in a couple of days.
We had dipped our Canada Flag in the water in Victoria Harbour on July 1st at the beginning of our journey, so now in St. John’s on August 1st at the end of the journey, it was time to dip the flag in the water in St. John’s Harbour.
David suggested that we should go to a small park on the harbour front to visit the Terry Fox Memorial where we could access the water. This marks the spot where Terry dipped his foot in the Atlantic Ocean and began his run across Canada, The Marathon of Hope, to raise cancer awareness and funds for cancer research. Sadly, Terry never made it to Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean.
We walked to the park but were not able to access the water, however, we had a very pleasant surprise. There was a group of people gathered at the Terry Fox memorial, surounding a young man with a bicycle. This man, Matthew Pike, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, had just completed a bike ride across Canada, beginning in Vancouver on June 6th. Matthew was riding to raise funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation, in recognition of his cousin, Craig, who lost his battle with Spina Bifida a few years ago.
From left: Stan Pike (Craig Pike’s father), Matthew Pike, Lyndon Pike (Matthew’s brother), Murray Pike (Matthew’s father) and in front is Mabel Hancock (Craig’s mother).
Details of his journey are available at: http://www.thelabradorian.ca/living/happy-valley-goose-bay-man-completes-bike-ride-across-country-28259/
We were introduced to Matthew and Craig’s mother and told them of our journey across Canada.
Matthew was very interested about the flying and asked several questions about our airplane. It turns out that his father worked at the Goose Bay airport and Matthew grew up around airplanes.
I was very pleased when Matthew asked to have a photo with our Canada Flag.
Today, August 1st would have been Craig’s birthday. It became somewhat emotional when Craig’s mother began to sing Happy Birthday.
So it was a truly interesting and amazing day indeed.
Tomorrow we fly!