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Touched by generosity on my visit to N.L.

Dear editor: On a recent trip to Newfoundland, I learned what everybody I knew had already experienced on their visits: the remarkable and genuine warmth, friendliness and generosity of the Newfoundland people.

But I personally was also the beneficiary of another trait: honesty. To make a longer story shorter, I realized when we stopped in Gander on our way to St. John’s from Gros Morne (Rocky Harbour) that I’d left my fanny pack (used as a purse) in a washroom of a gas station somewhere between the park and the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce where we’d stopped. Of course, it contained my credit and bank cards, driver’s licence, cash and cellphone — as well as the invoice from the gas station.

An amazing young woman named Kendra Hoffe, the chamber’s executive assistant there, took me under wing immediately. She calmly sat me down and while she tracked gas stations along our entire route on the Internet, I made phone calls. After close to an hour of this undivided attention, we found the correct one and, yes, my pack was there!

She sent my friend and me to a nearby restaurant, telling us to enjoy our meal while she figured things out. When we returned, there was a Plan A, which I was perfectly happy with (it involved a small cost), but when she contacted me the next day at our St. John’s B&B, Plan B was in effect (at no cost to me).

I still do not know how many people were involved, but this lost item made its way from a small independent gas station on Highway 430 to the Midland Transportation depot in St. John’s in two days, where I was able to pick it up. I want to thank the truckers, family friends and whoever else was involved; you are the most amazing “strangers” anywhere!

I really cannot imagine this story taking place elsewhere. You made all Canada proud when you opened your hearts and homes to stranded travellers on 9/11 all those years ago. You’ve made me an admirer forever. I hope I can “pay it forward” someday. Please do not ever change.

Judy McVittie, Guelph, Ont.

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