‘Making a Mark’
Today is my brother Mark’s birthday. Something I wouldn’t normally remember since we weren’t much for celebrating such occasions in our house. Mother believed that age was far less important than how you spent your time, and since we were always working on our family business together, we learned to celebrate life accomplishments instead.
The girls at the office brought his anniversary to my attention on Friday. They made a big deal over Christmas this year as well, noting that Mark does so much, for so many people, the least we could do was put a proper effort into finding a fitting gift. After mulling this over, I decided there’s nothing I could do that would be more fitting than a proper tribute here on our blog.
As I often remind our guests, if pride is truly a sin, our Mother would have been struck down long ago. Therefore, I have no trouble telling you how proud I am of my little brother Mark and everything he’s done for our family and Newfoundland’s tourism industry.
Our Mother started McCarthy’s Party Tours as a means to provide summer employment and a university education for all her boys. She was more than successful in her endeavour. So much, that she saw all of us through at least two degrees. And in so doing, eliminated her work force, and what should have been the future of the company.
“… Mother started McCarthy’s Party Tours…”
None of us could see how the company would operate without a team of McCarthy’s to lead our groups. How else could you assemble a crew who would take the same sense of pride and ownership? Who’d extend the same level of kindness and patience, cared about a guest’s experience and appreciated the need to provide maximum value in every circumstance?
No one, except my brother Mark. Mark recognized that while our Mother may have started the company, its foundation was built on the back of our father, a retired school teacher whose profession is truly a vocation to learning, sharing, and embracing new worlds of study. A “Calling” which Mark sought out when looking for guides to carry on the family legacy. He now works with a brilliant cast of characters who are true ambassadors to our province.
“… a brilliant cast of characters…”
He didn’t stop there, though it wasn’t until I moved home in 2014 that I came to appreciate what an extraordinary job he’d done. First and foremost, Mark attracts really wonderful people for our summer adventures. I attribute this to his strong business acumen and a reputation for honesty – especially noteworthy given the loyalty of the many travel agents who continue to book their clients on our tours, year after year. It also allows us to price our products for a market that values and trusts his ability to consistently deliver quality experiences. He’s one smart cookie, and so are our guests.
Next he massaged the tour routes to maximize guest comfort and enjoyment. There is probably no place on earth where tourists expect to see and experience everything in the entire country on a single trip. Nobody goes to see “Ontario“, they visit Toronto, Niagara Falls and maybe Ottawa. In British Columbia they fly into Vancouver and drive through the mountains to Whistler, perhaps pushing on to see Calgary, Alberta. But everyone who visits Newfoundland wants to see it all, which is challenging when you consider the size of the province and the number of internationally recognized historic, natural and cultural phenomenon.
“… expect to see everything in the entire country…”
To accommodate this Mark incorporated a number of two night stays that maximizes time in the field, and limits most coach rides to an hour, and no more than an hour and a half on a single span. I still marvel at the relaxing pace we enjoy and the time we find for unscheduled stops to witness the extraordinary; caplin rolls, whales, icebergs, rare birds and of course, Newfoundlanders. And still be back long before supper
His passion for fairness is without compare, from guide’s schedules to airport transfers, he will make every accommodation to ensure harmony and objectivity. He offers exceptional compensation for every service and is a respected partner throughout Newfoundland’s tourism community.
Perhaps, most importantly, he does all this while providing a strong presence and an especially active role within his own family. He always makes himself available to his wife and children. From a run home to collect a forgotten homework assignment to a near perfect attendance record for every hockey game, soccer tournament, cooking class or music recital, Mark is there.
I’ve often suggested that our parents named us well and Mark, well there’s no one can deny that he’s left his Mark in Newfoundland.
Thanks for everything brother. We love you dearly.
“… he’s left his Mark in Newfoundland.”