Van broke down, village people helped. (Tamsin Both/Lakes District News)

Van broke down, village people helped. (Tamsin Both/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake locals’ kindness to strangers after a broken-down van

Couple from Revelstoke shower praises

  • Sep. 30, 2020 12:00 a.m.

When a couple from Revelstoke set out on a B.C.-wide trip, little did they imagine their trip would abruptly take a stop with their van breaking down and the unexpected hospitality they would receive as a result of this.

“My boyfriend and I were on a road trip, camping and hiking around B.C. and the Yukon. We had been on the road for two weeks when unfortunately we broke down 10.5 hrs away from our home of Revelstoke, B.C.,” said Tamsin Both adding that they stopped at a pullout 12 kilometres outside Burns Lake but couldn’t get the van to move after the transmission blew out.

The break-down happened at around 6:30 p.m. on Friday by when all the mechanic shops were closed, only to open on Monday. Fortunately for the couple, several locals stopped by to check in on them, offer them help, food, lift. One guy was on his way to a night shift at the mill and promised to stop and check-in on them if they were still there in the morning. Another guy came out of the bush after picking mushroom and gave the couple some mushrooms for dinner. Two guys who were driving to Kamloops, offered the couple a ride. One group stopped and took the couple’s number and checked in on them the next day to see if they could help.

“We had so many people stop and offer help. Some of them offered us a joint (although I don’t smoke weed) and one guy even tried to give us $20,” said Both.

Next day, Lawrence Wooldrige, the guy who was on his way to the mill earlier in the night, stopped by in the morning as promised to help out the couple.

“After a full night’s work and having to go put his dog down, he came back and sorted us out by selling us a truck. He picked us up, drove us to town to switch over the insurance, took us to his home where his wife Melissa offered us a shower, coffee and food,” said Both. The couple then paid to get their broken-down van picked up and taken to the junkyard and headed home.

“I experienced this kindness of strangers when I travelled around India and felt much the same as I do now. Having strangers stop and offer to help us even during a pandemic when most are weary was something I won’t soon forget,” wrote Both in an email to Lakes District News.

She also updated the community through a Facebook post, thanking everyone who stopped by or offered suggestions through messages.

“I believe people are inherently good and although it’s easy to get wrapped up and brought down by all the negative media stories out there, these kind of encounters restore the faith,” she said.

Lakes District News was recently made aware of another act of kindness from Burns Lake. To find out the who, where and when, check out the letter to the editor in the Letters section.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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