Good Samaritan bus drivers save cruiser’s trip

 It was a very rainy day. I had been to Halifax about 10 years earlier on another cruise ship, so I had an idea about what I wanted to see.
I felt perfectly comfortable taking public transportation, and I got the No. 8 Metro Transit bus outside of Pier 21. I was fortunate to get Linda Crookshank as the bus driver. She told us that she had worked for a tour bus company that had gone out of business, and she certainly gave us a wealth of information along the route. There were not many people on the bus, so Bob and I moved closer to hear what she had to say. For $1.50, she gave us the $25 tour.

When we had to change buses to get to the Public Gardens, she stopped the bus and made sure we got the right connecting bus. She told the bus driver where we were headed and told him to call out the stop for us.

We arrived at the Public Gardens and were enjoying the beautiful floral displays when suddenly I realized I did not have my handbag. The bag contained credit cards, cash, my driver’s license, the card to get back on the ship, as well as my medical card. I was overtaken by panic. We went into the small coffee shop in the gardens, where a nice young lady called MetroTransit lost and found for me. Unfortunately, no one had turned in my handbag.

I was frantic.

I decided my best course of action was to return to the spot where I boarded the No. 8 bus. I was hoping to see Linda and ask her if she found my handbag. I wasn’t exactly sure how to get back, so I stopped the first bus that came by, the No. 81 bus driven by Jean Ivany. I told her what happened. She told us to get on the bus and that she would help us as soon as she could stop the bus. She listened carefully about the details of our journey, and she called the dispatcher and relayed the information. She was able to determine from our description that Linda Crookshank was the driver on the No. 8 bus.

While we were waiting for a call back, Jean told us that when she was unable to drive the bus because of a disability, she worked in the lost and found. She said that most of the time, items were turned in and returned to their rightful owners. Even though she tried to be encouraging, I did not have much hope that I would ever be reunited with my handbag. I come from a big city – and live in a suburb of Philadelphia, where it would be very unlikely that you would ever get a lost item of value returned to you.

Then Jean, by sheer luck, got in touch with Linda Crookshank, and Linda had my handbag. She had kept it with her because she felt that we would eventually “track her down.” I was so overjoyed and filled with emotion, that I said to Jean, “Can I kiss you?” I wanted to give her a reward, but she refused to take it. She waited with us until Linda could get back to our location. Linda walked some distance in the pouring rain to return the handbag to me. I wanted to kiss her, too.

Even though it was a gloomy day in Halifax, these two women warmed my heart and brightened my day. They should be commended for their commitment to exemplary customer service. They went above and beyond to aid a passenger in distress. I will always remember them fondly when I think of my trip to Halifax.

Sharyn Polsky, For The Inquirer

 Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013

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