It was a sweet treat and an even sweeter gesture.
More than a dozen kids on board a BC Ferries vessel from Galiano Island to Vancouver’s Tsawwassen terminal got a sugary surprise when an anonymous man offered to buy them all ice cream.
Annika Lewis was on the evening Salish Eagle sailing on Monday, Jan. 2 and recalled a crew member coming on the PA system around 8 p.m.
“A generous man has just offered to pay for every kid’s ice cream — so free ice cream in the cafeteria for anyone under 16,” the member said, according to Lewis in a tweet.
That prompted a boatload of smiles.
“A few minutes later, you saw all the children sort of running down the boat to the caf to get their free ice cream. It was pretty awesome to watch,” Lewis told CHEK News.
“I think I saw about five, but there were probably a few on the other side of the boat as well.”
It was 16 kids in total who were in on the scoop and given free soft serve, according to Deborah Marshall, spokesperson for BC Ferries.
“What a wonderful gesture,” exclaimed Marshall, who says the man approached the vessel’s chief steward after they announced ice cream was being served.
“This gentleman wanted to wish everybody a Happy New Year,” she said.
“There’s a lot of random acts of kindness that customers do on board, and that was certainly demonstrated on the Salish Eagle that day.”
Lewis, who was travelling on the vessel with her three-month-old baby, opted not to go and get her youngster ice cream but still managed to meet the guy who did the good deed.
“He said, ‘Oh, you didn’t get any for her, you could have taken it for yourself.’ I politely declined, but it was a really nice offer,” she said.
Lewis was so impressed by the man’s actions she posted about it in a tweet that garnered quite a bit of attention online, with more than 44,000 views and nearly 1,000 likes.
“Even when I tweeted it, I had no expectation that it would go any level of viral. It’s been interesting and really fun to watch everyone’s happy reactions to the story,” she said.
To Lewis, the man’s a shining example of a Good Samaritan, and she’s now thanking him for creating “such joy and such a great community moment,” adding: “You don’t often have strangers coming together like that, just enjoying a nice delight all at once as humans.
“I just think it was a really beautiful, natural action, and I’m really appreciative of what he’s done,” she said.
“He mentioned to me that he had a new grandchild, so he was a new grandfather himself, and I think he just wanted to pay it forward.“
Over the PA on @BCFerries tonight, out of nowhere:
“A generous man has just offered to pay for every kid’s ice cream — so free ice cream in the cafeteria for anyone under 16”
The joy on the kids’ faces as they run down the boat. The world needs more of these gestures ❤️
— Annika Lewis (@AnnikaSays) January 3, 2023