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Layover at Toronto airport turns into N.L. party

Liam Carrigan sings Grey Foggy Day, while Sheldon Thornhill and Sheldon Thornhill play along during a stopover at Toronto's Pearson's International Airport Tuesday evening.
Liam Carrigan sings Grey Foggy Day, while Sheldon Thornhill and Sheldon Thornhill play along during a stopover at Toronto's Pearson's International Airport Tuesday evening. - Facebook

'It was a very proud moment,' says woman who took widely shared video

Michelle Sacrey Philpott had plenty of memorable moments during her business trip to Mexico.

But it was an experience on the journey home that made it the most enjoyable for her and many others from this province.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Philpott told The Telegram Tuesday.

It happened at about 7:30 p.m. Monday at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, where Philpott and several others had stopped over on their way back to St. John’s from Cancun.

During the wait, she said, two men on the same WestJet flight — Sean Sullivan, with his guitar, and Sheldon Thornhill, on accordion — began playing the popular Newfoundland song "Grey Foggy Day". A young boy, Liam Carrigan, then joined in to sing.

It soon turned into a Newfoundland-style kitchen party with dozens of people joining in to sing, dance and clap to the music.

“It was just so natural how it happened, like we were all family just sitting around singing,” said the 43-year-old travel agent at Travel Professionals International.

“It was a very proud moment for many people.”

She said when it was time to board, Sullivan and Thornhill put away their instruments. But just a few minutes later, the WestJet agent announced that the flight would be delayed 30 minutes.

“Everyone cheered and we got the instruments out again and we all continued singing and dancing. It was wonderful,” Philpott said.

Many other people in the airport stopped to watch.

“Newfoundlanders love to sing and dance it’s such a huge part of our culture.”

Philpott recorded it all on her phone and posted the video to her Facebook page.

It’s spread like wildfire. To date, she said, it’s been shared more than 300,000 times.

“I have received so many emails and calls from people thanking me for posting (it) and (telling me) how much it means to them.,” she said. “It was a great good news story.

“So blessed I was a part of it.”

Twitter: TelyRosie

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