This adventure tale celebrates five Canadians who hiked from Halifax to Vancouver in 1921. For a nation struggling with post-war inflation, labour unrest and unemployment, the 3,645-mile hike was a welcome distraction. Daily reports from the competitors, who followed the CPR tracks, ran in the Halifax Herald and in other newspapers, and it wasn`t long before the entire nation had was caught up in the daily drama of the five hikers. They drew big crowds wherever they settled for the night or shared a meal with locals. Bands played. Crowds cheered. People placed their bets. By the time they were done, all five competitors had turned Canada "walking crazy."
Shirley Jean Roll Tucker's lively account of this largely forgotten Canadian sporting event uses the vernacular of the day, with newspaper accounts and the hikers' own words.
Shirley Jean Roll Tucker is a theatre director and playwright whose works include The Queen of the Shuswap; You’re Loving, Kind and True, Jack Boy; The John L. Wilson Story; The Supper Waltz; and Sowing Seeds in Danny, a musical adaptation of Nellie McClung’s novel. The Amazing Foot Race of 1921 is her first book of non-fiction. Born and raised in Alberta, Shirley now lives on a heritage farm in the Shuswap region of British Columbia.
When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.
As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.
Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.