[We ASKED] Will Eyres
Director of Port and Coastal Services | Atlantic Towing
[WE ASKED] CELEBRATES THE STORIES OF NEWCOMERS WHO HAVE MOVED TO THE GREATER SAINT JOHN REGION FOR WORK.
Will Eyres is a Texan who doesn’t own a gun. This was a surprising fact for the Canadian customs officials who asked to “see the guns”, when the moving truck carrying his belongings arrived at the border.
It is also one of the reasons Will and his family were so happy to move to Canada when he was offered a job with Atlantic Towing. “Statistically, it’s probably silly to worry about this, but with a school shooting every other day in the US, we can send our kids to school here, and we don’t have any concerns about their safety,” he said.
Will moved to Saint John from Texas to be the Port and Coastal Operations Manager with Atlantic Towing. In this role he is responsible for the operations of the Harbour tugs in Saint John, Halifax, Belledune, and Trinidad. His role with the company leverages his experience working in Tidewater Marine services in other parts of the world. He has lived and worked in Trinidad, Brazil, Cameroon and Mexico.
Moving to Saint John was an important decision for Will and his family. He was contacted by a head-hunter and was immediately open to moving to Canada. At the time he was living in Houston but didn’t plan on staying there long-term. Their middle child has a genetic disorder called Pitt Hopkins Syndrome and it was important for them to find a good place for her to live. They checked out the services for their daughter in New Brunswick, and it seemed like it would be a good fit.
Now six years old, his daughter has started school, and Will is impressed by the support his family has received through the education system. “The team at Chris Saunders Elementary has been amazing. Because she doesn’t walk or talk, she needs a lot of help with daily activities and has a full-time, dedicated educational assistant, another big thing that appealed to us,” said Will. “She wouldn’t have had this assistance in Texas.”
Will’s two sons go to École de Pionniers in Quispamsis. When living in Cameroon, Will learned French and he thinks attending school in French is a great opportunity for them to learn to speak the language as well.
When asked what surprised him about Saint John, he said the kindness and generosity of the people was so extreme, he wondered if people were just trying to get something from him.
“I didn’t think anyone could be that genuinely nice,” Will said. “There were a couple of instances when we were looking for housing where people were so nice to us that we were almost suspicious.”
He has also found winter has taken some getting used to. This is the only place he’s ever lived that has a real winter. He loves the snow and outdoor winter activities, but some of the daily ins and outs of dealing with the snow have been a surprise. “I’m constantly changing footwear,” he said. “Everybody at work brings their office shoes in a bag. And the snow builds up on your car, and you drive into the garage and it all melts and creates a lake out there.”
Will and his family are happy with their life in Saint John. People accept his daughter; he works for a great company, and everyone feels safe. “The US right now can seem very aggressive, and challenging. Here it is much more relaxed and reasonable. It’s been very good for us as a family.”
Saint John is a diverse and growing community where companies are attracting newcomers from within Canada and around the globe. Are you interested in Living and working in Greater Saint John, send us your resume! Or if you know of someone who has just moved to Saint John from work, connect with us at [email protected]