Year in Review

Some of the most heartwarming Nova Scotia stories of 2016

Some of the most heartwarming stories of 2016 happened right here in Nova Scotia.

2016 hasn't been all bad and here are a few Nova Scotia stories to prove it

Nova Scotia is full of generous, thoughtful people and this year has been full of wonderful stories that prove it. Here are a few.

A very sweet story

Assam Hadhad, a Syrian refugee who arrived in Canada last year, displays a tray of chocolates at his shop, Peace by Chocolate, in Antigonish, N.S. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

A Syrian family that came to Canada as refugees is now running a blossoming chocolate business in Antigonish, N.S.

Just eight months after arriving in Canada, the Hadhads family's success was hailed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a speech at the United Nations. 

"There are no words to describe the happiness that I'm feeling now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned my family and Peace By Chocolate and the achievement we've done since we arrived here," Tareq Hadhad told CBC News.

"If that means anything, it means that this country has a lot of opportunities to give to newcomers and we can't be more proud."

Viola Desmond honoured

Viola Desmond was a beautician and businesswoman in Halifax in the mid-1940s. (Communications Nova Scotia/Bank of Canada/Flickr)

News that Viola Desmond will become the face of Canada's $10 bill was met with elation from members of the black community in Nova Scotia whose rights she boldly fought for 70 years ago.

Desmond, a businesswoman and beautician, was jailed in 1946 for sitting in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow, N.S., movie theatre. The theatre's policy forced black people to sit upstairs in a balcony.

"Every time somebody — whether they be in B.C. or Iqaluit or Fogo Island — goes to the store and pulls out a $10 bill, there will be an African-Nova Scotian gracing the face of that bill," said Craig Smith who grew up in the same Halifax neighbourhood as Desmond.

"That's amazing. That's almost unbelievable."

Free land and job offer

Farmer's Daughter in Whycocomagh, N.S. (Facebook)

People couldn't get enough of the story about a family-run business in Cape Breton offering land and jobs to those willing to move to the remote community. 

Farmer's Daughter is a general store and bakery in Whycocomagh, N.S., which has a population of about 800. Sisters Sandee MacLean and Heather Coulombe said the store has great employees — but it needed more of them to expand their operations. 

Thousands of people from all over the world applied for the job after the sisters' unusual proposal went viral. 

Awesome obituary

Glace Bay's Angus B. MacDonald wrote his own quirky obituary, and it's getting lots of attention online. (Screen grab of Angus MacDonald's obituary)

We lost many famous people in 2016, but none had an obituary like one Cape Breton man — which he penned himself. 

Angus B. MacDonald of Glace Bay, N.S., passed away on Good Friday. But before shuffling off this mortal coil he penned his own colourful and quirky obituary. 

MacDonald didn't want his family to spend a fortune on a funeral so he asked to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered, quipping: "So instead of going to see the great creator, I will be going to see the great cremater."

Man with a tux and a snowplow

Jeremy Landry and his new wife Sarah Isherwood pose for a picture before their wedding reception. (Lisa Delorey Photography)

A couple in Antigonish County had a very white wedding last January when a snowstorm temporarily trapped people at their wedding reception.

The groom, Jeremy Landry, came to the rescue, fetching his truck with attached plow and freed his guests' vehicles buried in 60 centimetres of snow.

"It didn't ruin anything. We had a great evening and everybody was in good spirits, not one person complained," said bride Sarah Isherwood.

Sending out a very personal message in a bottle

The mystery man's ashes washed up on the shores of Cape Breton inside a tequila bottle. (Norman MacDonald/The Canadian Press)

A story about a sea-faring tequila bottle and the ashes of a man inside was one of CBC Nova Scotia's most popular reads of the year. 

In April, Norman MacDonald of West Mabou, N.S., was collecting trash on a beach when he came across the 375 millilitre bottle of Sauza Gold Tequila. Inside was $25 in Canadian bills wrapped around a small note and Gary Robert Dupuis's ashes.

"His favourite drink was tequila — straight up," read the letter purportedly written by Dupuis's children.

"If you find him, please take this money, buy yourself and Gary a drink and release him back in the ocean. My wish is that he gets his dream of seeing the world and finally finds some peace."

Politeness still rules in Nova Scotia

Halifax and Dartmouth's gratitude put on display in video. (Gratitude at work)

Nova Scotians are polite, and here was a story that proved it.

Halifax-based company Gratitude found 99 out of 100 people said thank you when someone held the door for them.

Stay classy, Halifax.

May I have this dance?

A video of New Minas, N.S., gas station employee dancing with a senior is going viral. 0:50

A video of a sweet moment between a gas station employee and an elderly customer in New Minas, N.S., became a viral hit this year.

Sean Milne obliged when one of his customers asked him to dance in June.

After twirling her around the store, Milne went back to serving customers.