Faith­ful pas­sen­gers

Marine At­lantic pas­sen­gers en­joy sea voy­age as they re­turn to home prov­ince

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front page - BY JEREMY FRASER [email protected]­post.com Twit­ter: @CBPost_Jeremy

For many re­turn­ing home via a leisurely ferry voy­age is a nos­tal­gic ad­ven­ture.

Ed­i­tor’s note: This is the sec­ond in­stal­ment of a three-part se­ries which com­mem­o­rates 120 years of con­nec­tion be­tween Cape Bre­ton and ‘The Rock.’

Tina Huszar has fond mem­o­ries of hitch­hik­ing from Cor­ner Brook to Port aux Basques, N.L. in or­der to board a Marine At­lantic ferry.

Those mem­o­ries came flash­ing back when she boarded the ferry for the first time in 45 years for an Au­gust af­ter­noon cross­ing on the MV High­landers be­tween North Syd­ney and Port aux Basques.

“We’ve been home (to Cor­ner Brook) about four of five times since I left, but we al­ways flew home,” said Huszar with a smile. “We never took the boat back un­til this trip – no more driv­ing and hitch­hik­ing for me.”

“I have plenty of mem­o­ries, but I can’t share them (with the read­ers).” laughed Huszar.

Be­cause of the lack of job op­por­tu­ni­ties, Huszar made the de­ci­sion to leave “The Rock” in 1973 at the age of 15 to pur­sue em­ploy­ment in Bramp­ton, Ont., where she’s lived ever since.

“It’s nice to take the boat across again,” said Huszar. “Com­ing back on the boat is cer­tainly nice, and when I was board­ing the ves­sel it did make me think of the last time I was on it and it was a good feel­ing.”

Huszar was im­pressed with the ferry ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I can’t re­ally re­mem­ber 45 years ago whether the in­side of the boat was the same as to­day be­cause it’s been so long,” laughed the 60-year-old.

“I don’t think they had din­ing rooms and ev­ery­thing. They may have had some small din­ing rooms on the boat, but I don’t re­call see­ing ev­ery­thing they have to­day – they ob­vi­ously did an up­grade.”

Huszar was trav­el­ling to New­found­land with her hus­band, Brian Store, as well as her sis­ter and nephew. The four planned to stay in the prov­ince for five days, vis­it­ing Huszar’s sis­ter and step fa­ther, be­fore trav­el­ing back to Hal­i­fax for the re­main­der of their va­ca­tion.

Huszar was last in New­found­land in 2017 fol­low­ing the death of her mother, Frances Gilling­ham, in Cor­ner Brook.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the drive from Port aux Basques to Cor­ner Brook – it’s been 45 years since I’ve done it,” said Huszar. “It’s go­ing to be tough go­ing back home. I’m not look­ing for­ward to walk­ing in the door be­cause mom was al­ways there to greet us.”

The trip also marked the first time Store was on the ferry.

“It’s a lot nicer than I thought,” said Store. “Know­ing that you’re tak­ing all of your ve­hi­cles on it, I didn’t ex­pect to be able to see screens (tele­vi­sions) for the peo­ple and din­ing room ar­eas.

“I was ex­pect­ing benches out­side where you had to sit and if it was cold you were in trou­ble – this was cer­tainly a nice sur­prise.”

Mean­while, Mark King was trav­el­ing to New­found­land from Belleville, Ont. King was born in Vic­to­ria Cove, N.L. and moved to On­tario to work for Black and Decker in 1966.

The 70-year-old was look­ing for­ward to vis­it­ing his home prov­ince and was greeted with a big sur­prise when he ar­rived at the Marine At­lantic ter­mi­nal in North Syd­ney.

“I have rel­a­tives and sis­ters that still live in New­found­land to­day and one of them sur­prised me and met me on the ferry – she knew we were go­ing at this time and they hap­pened to be over in Nova Sco­tia at that time and booked the same ferry ride with us,” said King.

“It was com­pletely a sur­prise. I couldn’t be­lieve what I was see­ing when we got to the ter­mi­nal.”

With a blue sky and sun above, King was happy to have re­ceived good weather for trav­el­ing.

“We’ve gone across when it was a lit­tle rougher than this, es­pe­cially when my kids were young,” said King. “They all got sick, but I was the only one that didn’t – I’ll never for­get that.”

King’s orig­i­nal plan was to fly to New­found­land, but those plans changed when his daugh­ter, son-in-law and grand­son de­cided to join he and his wife on the ad­ven­ture.

“He (my son-in-law) is do­ing the driv­ing,” laughed King. “I can sit back and re­lax and not have to drive... I couldn’t say no.”

De­spite own­ing land in the prov­ince, King doesn’t see him­self liv­ing in New­found­land.

“All of our fam­ily is in On­tario now, so we’re sort of tied down now,” said King.

As for Huszar, although her heart will al­ways be in New­found­land, she too has no plans of mov­ing home.

“I was sick in 2014 and the hos­pi­tal in Cor­ner Brook isn’t very good,” said Huszar.

“I had can­cer, so if you have to go for treat­ments or any­thing, I’d have to go from Cor­ner Brook to St. John’s and that isn’t a trip I want to make very of­ten be­cause it’s just too far.”

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Tina Huszar, left, and hus­band Brian Store stand on the MV High­landers deck dur­ing an Aug. 7 cross­ing be­tween North Syd­ney and Port aux Basques, N.L. The cou­ple were trav­el­ing to New­found­land on va­ca­tion to visit Huszar’s step fa­ther and sis­ter.

Mark King

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