Thompson's Dr. Mohammad Alam: Good Samaritan

To the Editor:

I want to recognize a great family from your community of Thompson and thank them for their wonderful northern acts of kindness and caring.

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In July this year two of us were on a motorcycle trip through the Yukon, and were attempting to ride the legendary Dempster Highway to the Arctic Circle and Inuvik. Unfortunately, nature was not on our side record rain, fog, deep and slippery mud, washed-out creeks greeted the northbound traveller. Eventually, 64 kilometres from Eagle Plains and the midpoint of the trip I crashed my motorcycle in the mud. Now we were stuck without enough gas to go back south, unable to move north to Eagle Plains, and with broken parts that weren't going back on the bike.

Not injured but for the ego, we raised my bike and waved for help. Two Yukon government trucks passed right by probably focused on keeping their own vehicles off the soft mud on the shoulders of the gravel road. The third vehicle, an all-wheel drive SUV with a family of five in it slowed down and stopped for us. Three young boys in the back, this family were first concerned about our injuries and then focused on how they could help us.

They agreed to take my broken pannier and our extra fuel bags north to Eagle Plains. They would fill the fuel bags and bring them back to us by around noon the next day. We camped, the weather improved, and we waited. Right on time, at 11:30 am the next day the family arrived, helped us fuel our bikes, agreed to carry our broken pannier to Dawson City and to meet us there, and refused to accept any money for the fuel!

We met the family in Dawson City where they gave us the broken pannier, and then we greeted them at several stops over the next few days on the Top of the World Highway and in Alaska before we headed different directions.

Dr. Mohammad Alam, his wife, Dilara, and your three young boys, Shams, 9, Saad, 6, and Saba, 3, from Thompson, we thank you so very much for your acts of kindness! You showed that Northern spirit of mutual support that we would all like to think still exists throughout the North but which we often find less evident than in the past. You showed great empathy and kindness when it would have been much easier to pass by in the mud and focus on safe travels for your own family.

And you stood out as a great example of the kind of people you might find in Thompson. If the other citizens of Thompson have the same spirit as Dr. Alam and family, you are a community with a lot going for it! We thank you so very much!

Kent Stewart
Edmonton, Alberta

Editor's note: Dr. Mohammad Alam is a family practice physician. He graduated from Dhaka Medical College in Bangladesh in 2000 and began practising at the Thompson General Hospital in January 2007.

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