Forget the war – let’s get married

MEMBER STORY – Neil Everton & Halina St James

A chance encounter in the Jordanian desert during the first Gulf War led to a lot of changes for a couple who, for the last 25 years, have called Tantallon their home.

“I was on assignment for the BBC,” says Neil Everton. “I had no idea that I was about to meet a red-head who would become my wife and take me to a new life in Canada.”

The red-head was Halina St James – on assignment for the CBC. Halina’s regular beat had been covering politics with the CBC’s bureau in Ottawa.

On one memorable day she survived a crash in a small plane with NDP leader Ed Broadbent.

Off the political beat, she covered Olympic Games in Atlanta, Barcelona and Norway.

A few years after moving to Tantallon they quit journalism and set up a company to help people overcome the fear of speaking in public or being interviewed by the media.

Halina had been shot at in the Romanian Revolution. Neil had been arrested as a spy by Russian soldiers in Afghanistan. But a bigger threat came in 2012. Halina had a stroke and lost the power of speech. Halina worked hard to get her voice back… singing her ABCs and re-learning how to write.

She made a complete recovery – and celebrated by delivering a speech in Newfoundland.

She has just published her fourth book and launched a new online training program for speakers.

“Nova Scotia has been our sanctuary,” says Halina. “We couldn’t live anywhere else.”

Halina with CBC correspondent Joe Schlesinger in the burning oilfields of Kuwait. And (above) racing with CTV anchor Lloyd Robertson to beat a deadline at the Barcelona Olympics.

We want your stories!

What is your experience living in Nova Scotia? Have you lived or traveled to an exotic location? Perhaps you have a surprising hobby? Or you’ve met famous people as part of your job? We are looking for members to share (or nominate a friend to share) their story at an upcoming monthly meeting of the Association and/or in the monthly newsletter. Email monique@bayseniors.ca for more information.