A Ucluelet senior’s frustration became gratitude after she received an apology letter from two tourists who trespassed onto her private beach during the Canada Day long weekend.
“We are writing this letter to say that we are deeply sorry for going onto your private property,” the letter reads. “It was rude, obnoxious and out of order, and we had no right to step on your land. We do feel ashamed of what we did and it taught us a valuable lesson that we are guests in this country and that we should be more respectful. Again, we are deeply sorry.”
Ellen Kimoto told the Westerly News she was in her house at Spring Cove at approximately 11 a.m. when she saw two people walk onto her property, hop over a fence and approach a horse named Gypsy who lives at the site.
She said she went outside and called out to the trespassers, who saw her, but they ignored her and walked in the opposite direction towards the property’s private beach.
“I thought, ‘I’m being disregarded. They’re ignoring me.’ This is my place and they’re on my place. They could have done the courtesy of turning around and coming over and I would have said, ‘I’ll go in the house and get some apples and you can feed Gypsy,’ but they just ignored me and carried on,” she said, adding that she waited several hours for the pair to return from the beach to speak with them.
”At that point I was fairly angry with them so I said a few things and they left. I felt perturbed, I was being disregarded.”
She said that, before leaving on their bicycles, the pair lied and said they had received permission to visit the horse, which she knew was not true.
She said the following day her nephew was walking around the property and found the letter in a plastic bag left at the front of the property’s driveway.
“He brought it down and said, ‘Auntie Ellen, look what they did. Isn’t that nice of them? They have apologized and they have written you a nice note,” she said.
“I had told them that their mother didn’t bring them up that way and they should be ashamed and they went away and thought about it and this is how they corrected the situation…I was surprised and I felt very good that they had gone away and thought about what I had said to them and they had made the whole situation proper. It gave me some of my dignity back, that note.”
She said she “absolutely” forgives the pair and added that she does so “with a marvellous smile on my face.”
“I thought that during this time when we’re all sort of getting used to a whole new way of dealing with people and dealing with life, what these young people did for me by putting that note up there was a sign of optimism. I felt very good about what they had done,” she said.