Looking back on his childhood, I am sure that Arshvir never thought that he would be graduating from CEC in Truro, Nova Scotia. “I was born in Italy but my family is originally from India. I moved to India in 2006 because the school system in Italy, at that time, was not great. My parents decided going to school in India was best for me and I agreed with them,” he said. “Wow that is amazing! When did you move to Truro?” I asked. He paused for a moment, “My mom, my brother, and I moved to Canada in 2014 to join my dad who moved here in 2012. We were originally in PEI, and we moved to Nova Scotia in 2017.” I asked, ‘How do you like living in Truro?” He quickly smiled, “I really enjoy living here. The people here are great, and I really felt the sense of community when we first moved in.”
I wanted to know more about his time at school so I asked, “Were you involved in any sports or extra-curricular activities?” He quickly replied, “Yes, I was involved in football, wrestling, and had been doing track & field for 2 years.” He continued, “I love challenging myself and I think that’s why I’ve done sports. I wasn’t able to do track this year and that’s been the worst part.” I wondered what was the best part of his time at CEC was to which he enthausically replied, “Being in the IB program was one of my favorite things. The students and the teachers in it were great!”
Arshvir is a very motivated, polite, and well-rounded young man. I wondered who inspires him, “I look up to both of my parents because of how they have built themselves. Coming from low income families to being able to live in Canada takes a lot of hard work and I find that really inspiring.” I couldn’t agree more.
After graduation, Arshvir plans to attend the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus for Engineering. He will study in Truro for two years before finishing the remainder of the course in Halifax. I will leave you with this quote, “Behind you, all your memories. Before you, all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need.” Congratulations Arshvir!
This self-described laid back, witty, and proactive young man was born and raised in Truro. Before starting a whole new chapter in his life after graduation, we chatted about his fondest memories of the years he spent at CEC. He shared that some of the greatest memories he made was with the soccer team. “I have made a ton of great friends through that team.” He continued, “This past fall we won a bronze medal at Provincials which is only the second time that has happened in CEC history! Coach Foster and Budgey have both taught me a lot about, not only soccer, but sportsmanship and integrity. They have been huge role models
In addition to playing soccer, Tyler is passionate about his favourite track and field event, hurdles. “The first time I tried hurdles was in grade 7. I did it kind of as a joke at first, but my coaches suggested I give it a serious try. I did and that’s how it started.” Tyler may be finished this chapter of hurdle athletics at CEC but he is not closing the book. “I’ll be heading to the University of Western Ontario for a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.” He continued, “It will be a big change for me moving to a big city, but I think it’s a good decision for my future; not just academically but for athletics as well.” With a huge smile he continued, “I have also signed with their track and field team. So that is something I’m really looking forward to. My friend is also heading to Western with me.”
I decided to switch gears and ask Tyler a few fun questions. “What is your favourite food and dessert?” He thought for a moment, “It would have to be any type of fruit. I eat a lot of bananas. And for dessert, I am going to say ice cream - Mint chocolate chip” I continued, “What is your favourite tv show? How about your favourite music?” He answered, “Sports when I watch tv, I like hip hop music and I’m a big Drake fan.”
Congratulations Tyler! I leave you with this fitting quote by Nelson Mandela, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” We wish you the best of luck on this next exciting chapter in your life.
This lovely married mother of three young children has been living in Truro since moving from her hometown of Corner Brook, Newfoundland in 1996. When most people think about Newfoundlanders, their thoughts quickly go to caring, giving, easy-going, proud community-minded type people. While speaking with Jane, it was easy to see just how many of these qualities she possesses.
Before becoming a Lawyer, Jane was an elementary school teacher who taught in Halifax at the maritime Muslim Academy and the Douglas Street Elementary School in Truro. “Why did you choose to become a Lawyer?” I asked curiously. She replied, “I thought law would be interesting. I met someone at a Christmas party who was in law school and she encouraged me to take the LSAT and then decide. I received a letter of acceptance that spring from Dalhousie. It was a great decision and I made some of my best friends there.” She continued, “I enjoy solicitor work; it’s helping people in very concrete way.”
Jane also enjoys helping her local community by volunteering. She currently sits on the Board of the Jane Norman College and she will be the President of the Rotary Club of Truro at the end of June. She also shared one of her passions. “I try to live a small footprint - shopping local, living local. I try to be as environmentally conscious as I can be.” She giggled, “I’m sure I'm not the best at it but it is a definitely passion of mine.”
Just before our conversation ended, Jane shared that her most privileged experience is being a mom. “Raising children, and being able to share that experience with your spouse is amazing. It's not always easy, but there are those moments that bring the type of joy you can't get from anywhere else.” Jane may have many titles but I think this quote by Michelle Obama sums it up best, “At the end of the day, my most important title is still Mom-in-Chief.”
One of the first questions I asked Martha, who is a high school senior at CEC, was how she felt about no prom. She replied, “To be very honest, at the time in March when we were still at school, prom was one of the last things on my mind. I was thinking a lot more about my school assignments.” She giggled. This very responsible young lady is also a member of the Track Team. “I started by doing school competitions in grade 6 and I've done school track ever since. I'm now a part of Truro Lions Track Club,” she said proudly.
I quickly learned that she will be attending the University of Guelph in the fall. “I am really interested in the Food Science industry. I'm also really intrigued in the chemistry behind foods and how what we put in our bodies affects how we perform tasks in such drastically different ways,” she said. What a great time to ask her what her favorite food is. “My favorite food is mangoes because there's never a time I don't want to eat one!” she laughed. I had to agree as mango is my favorite fruit!
I asked, “As you look back at your years at CEC, what is your fondest memory?” She beamed, “Last year I was selected to be one of the four emcees for the Rally Against Racism that took place at Civic Square. There were many students who participated in the March. I did some public speaking before that event but it was nothing compared to speaking in front of over 2000 members of the public and students!”
As our conversation continued, I wondered who inspires this easy-going, motivated and slightly reserved young lady. “Congresswoman Maxine Waters because of how she stands up for what she believes in in an unapologetic way. But I also look up to my parents because they're two incredible people that I see working hard every day. My dad is a Professor at the Dal AC and my mom is a Nurse,” she shared with admiration.
I believe that you are also an inspiration, Martha. Your positive outlook, strong values, and graceful disposition are beautiful; just like your smile. Congratulations to all of the Class of 2020!
During my conversation with Chad, I discovered several things about him that stood out. Not only is he a talented published poetry author, but he is adventurous, loves nature, the beach, travelling, and laughing….a lot!
Chad was born in Armstrong, BC but always had a strong connection to Nova Scotia as his mom is from Masstown. “We lived in B.C until I was 11. We left in 1970, and drove across Canada to take up on the family farm in Masstown. My Dad was offered a job looking after the farm's book. I’ve traveled across Canada many times and I have lived in many places, “he shared. “Would you say that you were an adventure seeker as a youngster?” I asked. “Oh, yes!” he laughed. “In March 1980, I hitch hiked from Calgary to Debert.” Surprised and curious, I asked him to tell me more. “I headed out to 16th Ave, which is Hwy 1, stuck out my thumb, and arrived in Debert five days later where I stayed for about a year.” He continued, “In 2003, I put the names Victoria, Kamloops, and Debert in ball-hat. Debert was chosen, and I jumped on a Greyhound bus and left. And, so far, it has been one the best and major moves in my lifetime.”
Chad proposed to his beautiful wife, Elaine, 15 years ago on a beach in her hometown of Antigonish. I asked, “How are you guys doing in this time of social distancing?” He smiled, “Elaine is off work due to the office being closed, so we are getting to know one another in new ways. We're good friends so it hasn't been too tough.” Awe, isn’t that romantic I thought to myself. He continued, “We often refer to this isolation thing as being like we're travelling and staying in a hotel. We have time to have lots of conversations, and to enjoy some tasty beverages.” I laughed, “Like a stayaction?” He laughed too, “Yes exactly!
I quickly got the sense that there is no other place, in this moment, that either one of them would rather be. Instead of feeling the sense of lack, we can choose to feel the good, to feel the moments that create new memories, to feel gratitude and to share love. To quote Chad at the end of our conversation, “So far so good….the trip continues!
Just before we ended our conversation, Sonya also shared that she has several tattoos. I asked, “Do you have a special one?” She replied, “I have a very special one. My dad wrote out a quote for me before he passed away so I could tattoo his hand writing on me.” I suddenly felt a lump in my throat and a glow in my heart as she shared this quote, "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” She continued, “I live by it…now more than ever.”
This is my mom, her name is Sheri. You may see her and get greeted with a "Hi dear!" if you get your coffee at Pictou Road, Tim Hortons. She works very hard, especially these days to run her store and others. She is a front line essential worker. Behind the scenes of her already busy life, she is a mom to 6 kids, and a loving grandmother to 8 kids! Words cannot even begin to express the love, admiration and pride I have for my mom. Proverbs 31 is a passage that gives a good description! She has an amazing work ethic, she is a teacher, mentor, encourager, and is loved by many. I am blessed to not only call her mom, but also my best friend!"
Pictured: Charity and her Mom, Sheri
“My Mom works for 811 and has been tirelessly taking Covid-19 calls as well as raising 3 children under 12. She is a true hero and is the backbone of our family. She is resilient, hardworking and the strongest lady I know. She deserves more recognition.”
Pictured: (L - Megan, daughter) (M - Dawn, Mom) (R - Sarah, daughter)
"I honestly could write a book explaining how amazing of a woman she truly is but I will try and summarize it as best I can. My Mom is a truly selfless, giving, compassionate woman. She works extremely hard at her job as a CCA with VON giving her care and love to her clients. Myself and my 2 brothers are no stranger to this same care and love being raised by this awesome leader! Her grandchildren are the apples of her eye and she always puts her family first! Thank you Mom for simply being beautiful ,amazing YOU!!!"
Pictured: Linda's beautiful Mom, Connie
Here is what Carole's son, Chad, had to say about his Mudder....
"What I like most about my Mudder is throughout my life she has has always been the one to ask me, : How's your writing going?"
Pictured: Chad and his Mom, Carole
This married Mom of two has some of the most upbeat and positive energy that I’ve ever encountered. I wondered where she gets her upbeat energy and if it is inspired by someone. “I am a positive person by nature (I believe I take after my dad) and I love Jesus...He gives me joy. I also get to live my passion which is fitness...it has never been a job for me, but my calling. What is the saying....’when you truly love what you do, you never work a day in your life’!”
Laura has been in the Fitness industry for 20 years! Since 2012, she’s been the Manager of Health, Fitness and Special Populations at the RECC and also teaches classes. “What is the one thing you miss most about not teaching classes right now?” I asked. Without hesitation she quickly answered, “I miss the connection. I am a group person and get a lot of enjoyment and energy from my participants. I cannot wait to see them again.” As she spoke, I could feel the anticipation in her voice. In my mind, I envisioned a class full of participants smiling, laughing, and sweating it up. Her upbeat energy combined with the high energy tempo music must give every participant a blast of feel good endorphins. That visual quickly put a big smile on my face; almost as big as if I was there.
When she is not at the RECC doing what she loves, I wondered what she likes to do for fun. “I enjoy eating out and spending time with my family. I also lead worship at the church I attend which I LOVE...music is so awesome!” One thing most people may be surprised to learn about Laura is that she Loves food! She is a self-identified foodie and her favourite food is nachos. “I am not much of a cook or baker,” she giggled. “My husband is the cook in our family…thank God for that!”
I wondered how she is doing during these trying times. “I am starting to find the time long. I am not wired to be a stay at home parent or homeschooler. I really enjoy my job and I am much too hyper!” she laughed. I thank you Laura for having the time to chat with me. Here is to endorphin boosting, high energy, sweat filled, hyper days coming back soon. Keep on moving
One of the first things Emily shared with me is her connection to the Dalhousie Agricultural College. “My grandfather, my Dad's dad, was originally a teacher but after the war he went to NSAC and then worked for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. My mother's father immigrated to Canada (from the Netherlands) after World War II to be a Veterinarian at NSAC,” she said proudly.
I wondered if she followed in their footsteps. “I consider Dal-AC to be an integral part of my family heritage, but decided to follow a different path when I graduated high school. I studied music!” she said. “Do you play any instruments?” I asked. “I play piano, flute and the saxophone. Although, I haven’t played in years, “she replied. I could sense there was more to the story, and I was right. “There was a moment in university where I practiced for a few hours every day. One day, I overheard a student saying that she was disappointed in herself for only practicing 10 hours per day. It was at the moment I realized there was always going to be better musician than me. I never wanted to feel disappointed in myself for only practicing 10 hours a day. That is when I switched programs to study Math and Science,” she giggled.
As the conversation continued, I learned that Emily is also one of the Soccer Coaches for the Junior Varsity Girls Soccer Team at Cobequid Educational Centre (CEC). “So, who is the other Coach?” I wondered. “My husband is! We actually met coaching,” she giggled and continued, “He is exceeding patient, and I am not. He is also more of a soccer player than I am. We complement each other in many ways.” I agree.
This married couple of 11 years makes a great team on and off the field. “Do you have any children?” I asked lastly. “No children….However, Andrew and I joke all the time that the girls on the team are our real kids,” she smiled. Awe, now doesn’t that just warm your heart
Last week I met Dave while purchasing a gift certificate online from the Blunt Bartender. When I asked Dave if he would be interested in chatting with me for a story he replied, “Well, my wife, Marie is the beauty and the brains behind the Blunt Bartender and the owner,” he said proudly. “So, are you a ‘behind the scenes’ supporter?” I asked. He giggled, “Yes, I’m the fantastic husband who supports her fully behind the scenes. She makes me incredibly proud of what she does, how she juggles so much on her plate but always maintains her incredibly beautiful personality with the patrons and staff. We both really love spending time at the bar and we miss it a lot right now.”
Outside of the bar, I wondered what else they normally like to do for fun so I asked to which he replied, “We have an amazing group of friends who we love spending time with. We like to go out to eat, go on trips, and just have fun together." I followed up with, "what is your best trip memory?" He fondly recalled, “Best trip so far has been to Nashville. We went to a Titans NFL game and a Nashville NHL game.” He continued, “Marie and I had tickets to go to this year’s Country Music Festival in Nashville. We were so excited about it but as you would guess, it’s cancelled..but, that's ok.”
I wanted to ask this fun, caring and dependable fellow a fun question, so I asked, "Are you a cat or dog person?" He laughed, “I was neither until I met Marie." He continued, “I’m allergic to cats. But, when we bought our house, Marie moved in with TWO CATS! My daughter was volunteering at the local SPCA and she and Marie fell in love with another cat. And, guess what? We now have 3 cats!” he laughed even harder, “I’m now a cat person. Each of them has their own personality and they’re awesome – Aaaachooo!” Here is to great friends, great food, and great memories…and maybe cat number 4 in the future! LOL
In chatting with Cheryl last week, one of the things that struck me the most about her is how dedicated, talented, and caring she is. In addition to being involved with the 100 Kids Who Care Truro, she also impacts our community as a local high school math teacher at the Cobequid Educational Centre (CEC).
I asked this mom of three with two dogs, what she enjoys the most about being a teacher. “I love the relationships I have with my students, and I love when I see them grasp a new concept. When the light bulb comes on,” she beamed. “What is the most challenging?” I asked. “I’d say that continually having to stay current in my teaching practices and not being afraid of trying new ways to teach students.” I wondered how the current school closure affects her daily routine so I asked, “What does a typical day look like for you?" She replied, “A typical day usually consists of feeding everyone….I didn’t realize how much time that takes when you limit getting take out,” she laughed. “I make sure my kids are doing their online learning while I am busy finding new innovative ways to teach my students online.”
I switched gears and asked, “What do you like to do to relax?” She calmly answered, “I like to knit, crochet, paint, craft…make pretty things. I also like to hike in Victoria Park, play the piano, and listen to podcasts. It is nice to have something that completely distracts you.” Now it was time for an interesting question, “Is there one thing about you that most people would be surprised to learn?” She thought for a moment, “I think most people know I have lots of tattoos and I really love mini eggs! They may not know that I am fascinated with behavioral analysis though.”
I will leave you with one of the last comments Cheryl said during our conversation, “I have a special appreciation for art and the connection between art and math. I guess you could say it’s the beautiful things in life that keep me motivated and inspired…I’m lucky I get to do that every day in one way or another.” Thank you Cheryl for reminding us to always take time to appreciate the beautiful things.
While purchasing a gift certificate from Wink Day Spa a couple of weeks ago for our Giveaway, I met a bubbly person named Renee. Her energy was very upbeat and positive. I wanted to learn more about her so we enjoyed a more in-depth conversation last week.
“You work at Wink Day Spa. What do you do there?” I asked. “I actually own Wink Day Spa. However, I have been working the reception desk full time the last year or so,” she replied. “Oh, I didn’t realize you are the owner,” I replied surprised. “What is the one thing you miss most about the Spa being closed?” I inquired. “My Team, hands down….Although I miss our clients too. It’s so hard!” One of the reasons why it is so hard is because Renee is a big hugger! “One of the first things I plan on doing when the social distancing ban is lifted is hugging my family, friends, team and maybe some clients too! “she giggled.
I wondered what Renee likes to do in her leisure time so I asked, “Do you have any hobbies?” She paused for a moment, “I like to go fishing, 4 wheeling and spending time on my deck.” She continued, “I like to read…Oh, and I recently bought a ‘Learn Calligraphy Kit’. Not that many people write things anymore. I think it is so beautiful though.” She continued, “I also like to cook and try new recipes which I have been doing a lot lately.”
Before we ended our conversation, I asked Renee one more question, “If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?” She laughed, “Oh, come on. That’s a hard one.” I decided to take a try at and replied, “I would say you are outdoorsy, compassionate, and have a great sense of humour. Am I close?” She smiled, “Yes, you are! You have a real talent for pegging people. I love it!” Well Renee, I loved chatting with you. Your energy is contagious and when the social distancing ban is lifted, I am looking forward to meeting you in person….and sharing a big hug!
It all started with a story I posted on April 13th – Meet George – where a fellow named Marc commented, “I remember George”. I reached out to Marc to find out more. He not only answered my question, but we also had a fantastic conversation.
“So, how do you know George?” I asked. He quickly replied, “George and I were in elementary school and up together at CEC.” He continued, “I was brought to Truro from Tatamagouche at age two by my adoptive parents. I have two friends that are like brothers to me that I’ve known for 63 years. Both of them were adopted too which is something we didn’t discover until later in life. We all went to school together with George.” Marc went on to tell me that he left Truro at age 17 when he joined the Navy. “I joined right out of high school. I was in for 26 years. The first 6 years, I was in BC and then the last 20 years in Halifax. I've seen a lot of places. Also, for 18 of the 26 years, I was on the submarines before retiring in 1998.” I was fascinated and curious, “What is your best and worst memory of being on the submarines?” He paused, “The best was the fellowship of the crew. As for the worst, bad memories fade.” We share a moment and I thanked him for his years of services to which he graciously accepted.
After retiring, in addition to working many jobs in Truro, Marc married his sweetheart, Rhonda who also enjoyed his passion for motorcycles. “Is there one memorable ride you took together?” He fondly recalled, “One of our most memorable rides was the Thunder in the Highlands in Cape Breton. The views were amazing and it was nice to just be together.“ He then sent me a photo of him and Rhonda for the story. “Awe, you guys look so happy,” I remarked. “If you could describe Rhonda is 3 words, what would they be?” Without hesitation he replied, “I will give you 5 words: A light next to me” my heart warmed.
I realized that he may have seen a lot places during his navy career, but Truro holds a very special place in his heart. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it best, “Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
During my two hour chat with Cheryl, a few of her personality traits quickly began to shine through. It was easy to feel that she is very kind, compassionate and loves to empower people. One of her biggest loves, besides her family, is volunteering in her community.
In addition to being the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors at the Lotus Centre, Cheryl also runs the 100 Kids Who Care project. “What inspired you to get involved with the 100 Kids Who Care project?” I asked. She smiled, “My son, Steven and his wife, Vanessa have given me two beautiful grandchildren. Kaiden is 12 and Zoey is 9 and they both love being part of this organization with me. They are the reason why I took over the project.” She continued, “I want kids to know they have power in their community. They have the power to change it, power to support it, power to make it what they want for their futures.”
I then asked Cheryl about her family life. “I’ll be celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary on April 22nd. We were supposed to go to Las Vegas to renew our vows, but Covid-19 put that on hold,” she said with a hint of disappointment. She is just grateful to have 20 years and counting with her husband, Eric. One of their biggest adventures was a mission trip to Guatemala in 2018. “It was surreal and amazing. We installed wood burning cook stoves in small, impoverished villages over 10 days,” she said with a grateful heart. She continued, “It was an experience that I will never forget.”
At the end of our conversation, I was left with a sense of living life to the fullest, joys of family, and making a difference where you can. It reminded me of a quote by Adrian Grenier, “What is important is family, friends, giving back to your community and finding meaning in life.” Well Cheryl , I think you’ve accomplished this and hopefully, inspired others to do the same. Thank you
It all started with a thank you email we received from a fellow letting us know how much he enjoys our stories about people and places in and around Truro. He lived in Truro from 1963 until 1998, went to school there, was a volunteer firefighter for 18 years and shared that he has only seen one person he knew in our stories so far.
With a warm heart, I quickly replied to George’s email thanking him for reaching out and asked him if he would be willing to chat to be featured as one of our Stories to which he quickly agreed. One of the first things I just had to ask was, “You mentioned that you have only seen one person that you knew in our feature stories. I’m curious…who do you know?” He giggled, “You did a story on a lady named Irma, and while it took a minute, I realized that I had worked with her at Burger King in the mid-eighties.” Amazed I replied, “Wow that was a surprise!” to which he agreed.
George shared that he is presently living and working in Yellowknife, NT as a Kitchen Manager at a medical travel boarding home in Yellowknife. However, he grew up in Truro as a teenager so I asked, “What is your favourite memory of growing up in Truro?” He fondly recalled, “I do have some good memories of being a teenager in Truro during the early seventies. Mostly, I remember hanging out at the square and being in the first class at CEC when it had carpet.” I could tell as our conversation continued that George enjoyed reminiscing about Truro. I asked, “Is there one thing that you miss about living in Truro?” Without hesitation he said, “I miss the community spirit of Truro, walking down the street, and knowing people at almost any time of day.”
I thank you George for taking some time to chat with me. You may be living and working on the opposite end of the country, but you can still feel connected to your Truro home. What a wonderful thing! Jean Houston said, “Human connections are deeply nurtured in the field of shared story.” We couldn’t agree more. Human connection – one story at a time