‘I’m hoping to be around for the new ferry when she lands’

Josh Pennell
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Wabana Mayor Gary Gosine looks at life differently after lengthy recovery

It wasn’t that long ago that a number of people would have put their money on the Bell Island ferry leaving on time over Gary Gosine ever getting out of hospital.

Gary Gosine. — Telegram file photo

The Wabana mayor celebrated his re-election in September from his hospital bed where he had just gone through open heart surgery.

He was in that bed for more than a month dealing with a number of set-backs. When he did get to the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre to recover, a gall bladder attack rushed him back to the St. Clare’s emergency room.

“It took me six weeks to get to the Miller Centre. I was only gone two days and they gave up my room again. So I said, do I call up and tell them off? Or do I take it out on the walker? And I went in the hospital doing 28 steps and I walked out of St. Clare’s two weeks later doing about 600,” Gosine says.

Gosine is doing the interview from the arena on Bell Island, a sure sign that he’s come a long way in the past few months.

“Everyday is a better day,” he says. “I’ve graduated now from the walker to the cane.”

He’s also been making council and committee meetings, is in the office a couple of days a week and is accessible by phone.

“So I’m maintaining my role as mayor of the town,” Gosine says. “I’m gonna stay on as mayor, definitely.”

He has relinquished one of his chairperson committee roles, but other than that, it’s business as usual, albeit at a slightly slower pace and with a revitalized perspective on life in general.

“I have a different appreciation for life. I try and be pretty mellow on the telephone now rather than getting excited. I don’t get stressed out as easy.”

But Gosine is adamant he can get the job of mayor done as well as before and while his health isn’t quite where he wants it to be, he says he’s getting there.

“I’m up at the rink now for the last three days watching a tournament. I come up and I hold onto the rail and I got my cane. I’m doing pretty good,” he says.

He stresses that everyday is a better day and when you hear what he’s been through, it’s no wonder Gosine feels that way.

He went into the hospital with  shortness of breath in September and ended up needing quadruple bypass surgery. He took several strokes during the operation. The gall bladder attack that came later is only one of several complications he had.

“I saw the doctor on Friday and he said ‘Buddy, listen. A cat got nine lives and (you’ve) gone through about 8 3/4s.’ ”

These days he looks forward to everyday, appreciating what he gets from life and also what he can do for others.

“My motto is now if I can help somebody out, I feel very happy about it.”

The people of the community are always making sure he has everything he needs, he says.  When they see him out such as at the rink and are always offering him rides whenever he may need one.

“They’re great to me and I appreciate everyone that offers their help,” he says.

And it’s still Bell Island and its people that Gosine seems to be most concerned about.

With the rough waters of his health slowly calming, Gosine is still looking toward better days on the tickle.

“The ferry is the backbone of my career, I tell ya. I’m hoping to be around for the new ferry when she lands on Bell Island in a year and a half.”


Organizations: Miller Centre

Geographic location: Wabana, Bell Island

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Recent comments

  • Holly O'Neill
    April 25, 2014 - 22:14

    I am so proud of Mayor Gosine's progress. His tenacity is certainly legendary. The first time I met Gary was when I filed a civil suit against his Town Council for hastily and wrongfully killing my dog. Though it was not his decision, I did put some of the blame his way. Through all of that turmoil, the Mayor graciously met with Len and I and offered support and regret. I realize the terms of our initial introduction were not the best, but Gary's character shines through time and time again. He is always there to lend a helping hand and his loyalty to Bell Island is astounding. (Even to a Southern Shore transplant who has called Bell Island home). Keep up the great work, my friend! Bell Island is blessed to have you. Slainte.

  • Laverne Campbell
    April 25, 2014 - 18:32

    That's Gary, my husband spend over two months with him in the Miller Center and that is certainly what he went through, a very tough and determined man and much love for his precious Bell Island.