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TV icon wows Qualicum

Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells meets Mary Ann fans at Qualicum Foods
Pat and Tom Currie were thrilled to meet Dawn Wells (right) at Quality Foods at a special autograph signing event on Saturday.

It was probably the happiest Appy Hour Qualicum Foods has ever hosted over the course of the 31 years they've been in business.

Organizers report that more than 600 people turned up on Saturday, May 25 for a meet and greet with Dawn Wells, who played the wholesome Mary Ann of Gilligan's Island, the 1960s situation comedy that saw tourists stranded on a desert island after their ship, the Minnow, was wrecked on a deserted tropical island.

The connection between  the television show and Quality Foods is clear, with Quality Foods partner Ken Schley being the owner of  the boat used in the show, the Minnow.

The strong response to Wells' appearance isn't surprising. For men of a certain generation, one had but to ask the question: Ginger or Mary Ann? Just about every North American male had an opinion on the subject of who was their favorite.

Although the show only ran for 96 episodes, it grew in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was syndicated and ran in the coveted after school time slot.

The title character of Gilligan, played by the late Bob Denver, is considered to be something of an American cultural icon.

Similarly, the character of Mary Ann is considered a cultural icon across North America — at least among those of the male gender.

Wells, 74, signed autographs and chatted with fans for well over an hour past her scheduled time.                                                — News staff

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