‘We just pulled in the driveway and there was already people here that wanted to help’
After a long drive from Ontario to Prince Edward Island, Vickey Burton, her husband Kevin and their dog Winston figured they had quite the move-in day ahead of them.
Several days ago, the Burton family packed up and left behind their home in Keswick, Ont., en route across the provinces to their new home in Chelton on P.E.I.’s south shore.
You see these things on TV … I never thought I’d experience it.
— Vickey Burton
Coming from Ontario, they weren’t sure what to expect in terms of neighbourliness, Vickey said. But what happened on move-in day on Tuesday absolutely astounded her.
“We pulled into the driveway and my husband was just starting to unload the truck, and this white SUV pulled in the driveway,” she said. “And this man came out and said, ‘Hi, I’m Elaine’s husband, Dave. Welcome to the road.'”
After greeting Burton and her husband, their new neighbour, David McCormick, left and came back shortly with two more men to help them unload their entire U-Haul.
“The three men and my husband had the truck unloaded within two-and-a-half hours. I was overwhelmed,” Burton said.
“I had to keep walking away because I was starting to cry — because I could not believe how we just pulled in the driveway and there was already people here that wanted to help us.”
‘I figured I’d just be a good neighbour’
McCormick said it was a no-brainer to walk over and help because that’s just what neighbours in Chelton do.
“They’re all by themselves and they had no help, so I figured I’d just be a good neighbour and go down and give her a hand,” he said. “They were glad to get some help. They weren’t sure what they were going to do.”
The two others who helped the family move in — like the Burtons — are also originally from Ontario, McCormick said. One of the families is here on vacation and the other moved here permanently, he said.
“I think anybody else probably would have done the same thing if they were in this area and saw what the situation was.
“It makes you feel good once they’re happy, that you showed up to help them. They’re pretty grateful.”
Burton said she has never experienced anything like it. In the first three months living in her home in Keswick, she hadn’t even spoken once to her neighbours.
But P.E.I. was different.
“You see these things on TV … when people move in and all of a sudden there’s people coming over with baked goods and welcoming you to the street and sitting and talking to you,” she said.
“I never thought I’d experience it.”
The McCormicks have already called the Burtons “Islanders” — Vickey said that makes her “lost for words.”
“You’re just so friendly, you make it easy to move here. You really do,” she said.
“You make it easy for us to come here and retire and not be nervous or scared or anything, it’s wonderful.”
Burton took to social media to share her story and to thank Islanders, receiving dozens of comments from people excited to hear about the helpers and their Island hospitality.
“Welcome home,” wrote many Islanders.
Another wrote that it was “a true P.E.I. welcome.”