Huge relief for Bermudian stranded in Canada

  • Private assistance: Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Private assistance: Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


A Bermudian student who was stranded in Canada said yesterday that news he would be able to return home was a huge relief.

Marcus O’Leary-Christopher said: “When I learnt I would be able to get on this flight, I was a little relieved as it means I would be able to see my family again and start my summer internship.”

Mr O’Leary-Christopher was one of seven students who flew back to Bermuda on board a private flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia, last Sunday.

The 22-year-old computer science student at Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, said he took a decision in March to finish the semester through online classwork rather than return home.

Mr O’Leary-Christopher added that uncertainty about when he would be able to get back to Bermuda after the decision had “weighed on my mind”.

But he admitted: “I honestly thought the situation was not going to be as bad as it became.”

He said: “For the most part, I just stayed inside doing homework or playing video games on my PC.

“For someone like me, staying inside for days on end is pretty easy.”

Mr O’Leary-Christopher said that he had learnt about the repatriation flight from the Bermuda Government.

He added the flight was “very [spacious] and relaxing”.

Mr O’Leary-Christopher, who is scheduled to start an internship with EY Bermuda on Monday, said that he looked forward to spending time with family and enjoying a drink when his time in quarantine is over.

Shervona Pacheco, Mr O’Leary-Christopher’s mother, said she had cooked her son’s favourite dinner and planned to “spend some much needed time with him”.

Ms Pacheco said the news that her son would be able to fly back had brought her joy.

She added: “I just wanted to make sure he was home with family.”

The Southampton woman said the enforced separation had been hard, but she added: “As long as I knew that he was fine mentally and physically, then I was OK.

“I kept in contact with him very often.”

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said that the aircraft had flown empty from London, England, to collect the students and that all were quarantined at a government centre after it touched down.

Mr Caines said that 21 work-permit holders had left Bermuda for Europe on the outbound flight.

He said in a Facebook post: “The Government’s view is that, when possible, private aircraft should assist in bringing stranded Bermudians back home.”

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Published May 29, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 29, 2020 at 7:46 am)

Huge relief for Bermudian stranded in Canada

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