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Gander aviation museum taking ‘Come From Away’ experience to new level

Abby Moss, a tour coordinator for the North Atlantic Aviation Museum, stands next to a piece of the World Trade Centre tower and explains that the museum has already gotten significant interest in the Beyond Words Tour.
Abby Moss, a tour coordinator for the North Atlantic Aviation Museum, stands next to a piece of the World Trade Centre tower and explains that the museum has already gotten significant interest in the Beyond Words Tour.

Scrawled in embossed letters, the advertisement promises another level of understanding for Gander’s hit musical: “Discover the story that warmed hearts across the globe!”

These are the words that the North Atlantic Aviation Museum has chosen to describe their 9-11 Beyond Words Tours, which hopes to further share the story made so popular by the musical “Come From Away.”

“We’re expecting a lot of interest in the tours. We had a couple in just last week from Texas who were only here because they’d seen ‘Come From Away,’” said Abby Moss, one of the museum’s tour coordinators.

Moss explained that the tours are scheduled to last around four hours each and will offer an expansive history of Gander and the events around 9-11.

The tour will begin at the airport and highlight some of the town’s aviation history. Furthermore, participants will be taken to town hall and have the chance to meet some of the people whose lives the hit musical is based on.

Moss said that exhibits will also be set up at the College of the North Atlantic campus to show how crowded living spaces would have been as roughly 6,700 travellers found themselves in search of lodging in Gander.

George and Pat McLaughlin, from Ottawa, Ont., saw “Come From Away” in December and wanted to visit Gander to experience the town’s history.

“What Gander did is important and says a lot about our community,” said Moss. “9-11 is part of Gander’s history.”

The museum is already seeing the expected tourist bump.

Compared to this time last year, over double the amount of people have checked in to learn about Gander’s history.

Julie-Anne Carey and her husband, from Rochester, N.Y., read about Gander’s contributions in a book.

“We wanted to stop and see the museum – not just for the 9-11 stuff but for the aviation history as well,” said Carey.

Another couple, George and Pat McLaughlin, was also at the museum. They were visiting from Ottawa, Ont.

“We saw ‘Come From Away’ in December of last year,” said Pat. “It’s enough to make you cry.”

Speaking about the museum, which includes an actual piece of the World Trade Center tower, George said that it was a must on their trip to Newfoundland.

“It’s quite moving. We were really anxious to see it all.”

Twitter: @joshrjhealey

josh.healey@tc.tc

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