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105-year-old Yarmouth woman takes her first flight in float plane

Ruth Cann (105) settles in for a flight with pilot Wayne Nickerson, a former Grade 2 student of hers. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO
Ruth Cann, 105, settles in for a flight with pilot Wayne Nickerson, a former Grade 2 student of hers. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO
YARMOUTH, N.S. —

Ruth Cann was Wayne Nickerson’s Grade 2 teacher. But very recently she taught Nickerson that you’re never too old to try new things.

Even when you’re 105 years old. 

Cann, a Yarmouth centenarian, is still ticking off items on her bucket list and one of her latest adventures was a real high.

Peering out of the windows of a float plane, the 105-year-old marvelled at the countryside below her during a flight on Sept. 20. 

Ruth Cann had a beautiful day for flying. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO
Ruth Cann had a beautiful day for flying. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO


She had complete confidence in her pilot, as they soared and banked over the communities of Kempt and Carleton on a beautiful autumn day. Wayne Nickerson was once her Grade 2 student at Carleton School. Cann has always remembered her days teaching Grade 2 with great fondness.

After the flight she said she had a wonderful time.

“Being up there and looking down on the landscape below was one of the highlights,” she said.

Ruth Cann, with her son-in-law Jerry Hurlbert. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO
Ruth Cann, with her son-in-law Jerry Hurlbert. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO


Although she’s been in commercial planes many times, she found the small private plane to be a completely different experience.

Cann was born Christmas Eve in 1913 and in a June 2019 story in the Tri-County Vanguard, she said the doctor who delivered her came all the way from South Ohio in a horse-drawn buggy in a bad snowstorm. “My mother told me that. Anyway, here I am,” she had said.

Cann has resided at The Meadows, a long-term care facility in Yarmouth, for the past year after living alone in her Kemptville home up until then. 

She taught in Kemptville schools and at Carleton Elementary School and retired after teaching a total of 37 years. She was 63 when she retired.

Wayne’s wife, Allison, and their daughter, Casidhe (who teaches second grade at Carleton school), as well as Cann’s son-in-law, Jerry Hurlbert, were there for the float plane event.  

Ruth Cann with pilot Wayne Nickerson and his four-year-old grandson Wyatt. There’s over 100 years’ difference between Cann and Wyatt. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO
Ruth Cann with pilot Wayne Nickerson and his four-year-old grandson Wyatt. There’s over 100 years’ difference between Cann and Wyatt. ALLISON MOONEY NICKERSON PHOTO


Allison says Cann smiled the entire flight and enjoyed herself. 

“At the end of the flight; she commented that the trip was ‘a little piece of heaven’ and how beautiful Kemptville is,” said Allison.

And Cann’s flying days aren’t over yet.

Said Allison, “She’ll be back for another flight in the near future, which we’re all looking forward to.” 

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