How this couple found love in a seniors' care home

·3 min read
Israel Hann and Eileen Baikie now live in North West River, in Labrador. They found love at a care home in Corner Brook.  (John Gaudi/CBC - image credit)
Israel Hann and Eileen Baikie now live in North West River, in Labrador. They found love at a care home in Corner Brook. (John Gaudi/CBC - image credit)
John Gaudi/CBC
John Gaudi/CBC

You never know when or where you're going to find love.

For Israel Hann and Eileen Baikie, they found it while staying at a seniors' home in Corner Brook. That's where Hann, who had been active in Corner Brook labour and community politics for decades, decided his future lay with Baikie in Labrador.

Baikie, who had taught in North West River, says she was sick for about a year, and stayed in the home until she got better.

That's where she met Hann, who recently turned 85.

"She was sitting alone at the table. No one would talk to her," Hann said.

"I guess that's where it started. I went and talked to her, and it was very interesting when I learned she was from Labrador."

Hann spent a few summers salmon fishing in Labrador, and got to know a lot of people from one end of Labrador to the other, he said in a Labrador Morning interview.

Baikie, who declined to give her age, said it was wonderful to meet Hann.

The couple said they left the home because they didn't like being barred in their rooms while residents who smoked were allowed to go outside multiple times a day when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

"People that could smoke could go out and spend as much time as they like. We had to stay in our room," Baikie said.

"It just wasn't sensible the things they did to us. I mean when you're in your right mind."

They clicked

Baikie told Hann she had a house in North West River, and asked if he'd like to join her.

"We like each other," Baikie said. "And he's a good cook."

She said Hann has a lots of stories, and she's impressed with his knowledge of Labrador.

"The things I was interested in, I mean, fishing and going hunting and camping all my life with my husband who's dead now, he had the same. Everything was so much alike," Baikie said.

LISTEN | Hear Eileen Baikie and Israel Hann tell their story in this Labrador Morning episode:

Baikie is involved with church activities in North West River, and she says staying positive has been important. Hann likes it when she plays music, too.

Comments on social media in Labrador show people have been delighted by the story.

"Beautiful couple. So glad you guys found each other," Emma Pottle wrote in a comment to a Facebook post on Labrador Morning's story.

"What a beautiful story," wrote Vanessa Crawford, who recalled Baikie as her Kindergarten teacher and how she had played piano at church.

"Love them both. I was the minister at the church where they met. Eileen came to my church a few times, Israel was a member of my congregation," said Alice Moores. "They were in the same LTC and love blossomed from there. They are looking good!"

Hann, who said he is grateful to be in good health, offered some advice for younger people.

"Never give up, just keep on going. If you lie down and say, 'I'm sick today and I'm sick tomorrow,' you going to give up anyways. Keep on going," he said.

And, he added: it's never too late to fall in love.

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