By Lead Brewer Ian Cameron
When I was 5 years old, I dreaded going to primary school. I begged my mom to just let me stay home and keep picking on my little brother. But I had to go…AG Baillie Elementary school. The first desk I sat down in was next to Josh Jenkins. I had one boring Ticonderoga pencil, but his parents sent him to school with pencils that had ninja turtles on them. Everyone was crowded around his desk asking for one of his pencils. He only gave one to me and one other person. Friends on! This is a small intro to a friendship that would endure all the trials and tribulations that best buds go through during their formative years.
Whether it was in the hockey rink, on the rugby field, or in the pub, you always felt safe with Josh by your side. One of the toughest people I know. Put his body on the line for teammates and friends in every situation possible.
Why am I telling you this? Because Alanna, his older sister, was a victim of one of the worst tragedies in Canadian history.
Alanna gave me my first job when I was 14 years old at our local community center. Her and her parents came to all of our hockey games. Their home was a second home for me and all of our best friends. Dan and Sue, Josh and Alanna’s parents, are the best humans you can imagine. I think Dan poured me my first rum and coke…when I was of legal drinking age of course, wink wink.
In Nova Scotia, you of course have an immediate family. But it’s hard to explain how close you become with the families of your best friends. If something bad or good happens to them, you feel like it happened to you. Nova Scotia is home, a home and community that you take with you wherever you are in the world.
I’m fortunate enough to have found my own piece of Nova Scotia in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. I have friends here that are now family, and they feel the pain that I’m feeling and that my extended ‘family’ is feeling back home. We are all connected. The world is in a collective pain right now. That’s why this tragedy seems so untimely, senseless, and heartbreaking.
This Saturday, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is donating $5 per car that pulls up to our weekly drive-thru. This money is being donated to the ‘Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund’ through the Canadian Red Cross that goes to directly support the families affected. These are trying times for everyone, but if you know me through the brewing industry, hockey, or in general, I would appreciate anything you can do to support my Nova Scotia ‘family’ during this time of mourning. Donate here.
I hope to see you at Bale Breaker on Saturday.
Posted April 29, 2020