Canadians Give Up Seats To Vulnerable On Repatriation Flight: "What Being CDN Is About"

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Normajean Mills, her husband, Guy Merke, and their 14-year-old son Braxton, of
Ninette, Man. Photo credit: National Post.

As we read headlines of toilet paper brawls, food hoarding and the stockpiling of valuable medical supplies that leave healthcare workers vulnerable, here's a story that shows not everyone is stripped of compassion during these anxious times.

The last confirmed flight back to Canada from Honduras took place on Sunday, but not everyone was able to secure a seat on the WestJet flight. 

At least four Canadians visiting the South American country gave up their reserved seats to others in more urgent need: someone running out of life-saving medication, someone undergoing chemotherapy, the elderly and the young. 

In an act of generosity arranged by the governor of the region, the Canadian embassy in Honduras and WestJet, a total of eight passengers with urgent needs were able to fly back home. 

“We’re safe, we’re healthy. We’re comfortable here and don’t feel under pressure to leave, and when we heard about so many others who can’t leave or are having trouble getting a plane ticket, we just thought we could help,” said Normajean Mills, of Ninette, Man.

She and her husband, Guy Merke, and 14-year-old son Braxton, will remain on Roatán, where they own a vacation home, at least until other arrangements can be made.

“We asked our embassy representative if there were people who are in need of getting home soon. She said definitely,” Mills said.

Cathy Bernier of Edmonton, a couple from Fort McMurray, Alta., and a woman from Regina all decided to release their seats on Sunday’s flight, as well.

“There are no COVID cases here. We’re safe and there are so many people stuck in Roatán. There are families with young children. It just makes sense to stay where we are,” Bernier said.

“That’s what being Canadian is about. You share, you watch each other’s back. You make the most of what you have.”

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.


Bridget C - March 24, 2020 @ 12:54
Good hearts do good things and so have set an example for others to follow. Stay safe all

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