Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story by TINA HENNIGAR
Photo by Béatrice Schuler-Mojon
Martina Groeger and her husband Karl were raising their three children in Germany when they saw an ad for Nova Scotia. They did their research, went to a tradeshow that the province was hosting about tourism in Nova Scotia and booked a trip. While here on vacation, they caught the bug; the Nova Scotia bug, as Martina calls it.
“We came here through the skilled-workers stream of the federal government. We could have gone anywhere, but we caught the bug, and we were determined to come to Nova Scotia,” Martina said. Never one to shy away from hard work, Martina studied to get as many points as she could on her language test. “I spoke English, French and German, so I thought I could really be useful in the tourism industry.”
Martina reached out to Danny Morton at White Point Beach Resort while here on a visit. “He was willing to spare 10 minutes to help me, and he even prepared a letter saying that I would be a good candidate to work there.” Martina shared that it was that letter and that commitment to employ her that helped her and her family to immigrate here. “We wanted to escape the rat-race. We were in our forties and we thought, it’s now or never,” Martina said. Three years after they were here for their first visit, they made Lunenburg County their home. “It takes a while, and there are a lot of things to consider and organize, but it’s so worth it,” Martina said. “It’s amazing how much land and space there is here. There is nature all around, with room to breathe. People in Germany just can’t believe all that we have here.”
Karl got a job working for Paul Rand at Classic Granite. “Karl is a skilled-worker who can really do anything, thanks to several apprenticeships in Germany and a good work ethic,” Martina said about her husband. It proved to be a good fit. When Paul told the couple that he was planning on retiring, he asked the couple if they would be interested in purchasing the business, and the rest is history. Classic Granite is now Stonewrights, and Martina, Karl and their team have been continuing to help outfit homes with stone that serves as both countertops and beautiful pieces of art.
Martina and Karl can hardly believe their good fortune to live in Lapland, steps away from the water. But that sense of fortune doesn’t come close to how grateful Martina feels to the people who live here. “The biggest surprise has been how helpful everyone has been.” Martina shared a story of a lady who reached out to her to offer her assistance when she learned they were moving to Lapland. “She said, ‘if you need any help moving or anything at all, you be sure to reach out’.” Martina said they’re best friends to this day.
“I’ve seen it happen when someone is standing on the sidewalk or looking at a map, someone will come up to them and ask, ‘can I help you?’ Martina said. She shared that people have helped her, and as a result, she has helped others as well.
“People in this community are always willing to help.” Martina urges employers to think about hiring people from other countries. “We know we need people, and sometimes, employers might be reluctant to hire someone from another country because there might be a language barrier. But I’d suggest that, like Karl, people can learn the language,” Martina said. “People who dare to take that step to come here can be the most dedicated, loyal, hardworking people around. It’s a lot of work to come here. They’re going to work hard for you too.”