N.S. man vis­it­ing Clarenville over­whelmed by hos­pi­tal­ity dur­ing search for wal­let

The Packet (Clarenville) - - SPORTS - BY MARK SQUIBB THE PACKET CLARENVILLE, NL

If you’ve ever lost your wal­let, you know what an un­com­fort­able feel­ing it is.

If you lose your wal­let trav­el­ling out of prov­ince for work, the feel­ing is even worse.

That’s what hap­pened to Capt. Derek Kruger, a Nova Sco­tia mas­ter mariner act­ing as a marine con­sul­tant to the owner of the Sir Robert Bond.

He lost the wal­let Sept. 17 along Le­gion Lane and Marine Drive in Clarenville.

Though the wal­let con­tained no cash, sev­eral valu­able keep­sakes were in­side — the first dol­lar Kruger ever earned, an old Cana­dian two-dol­lar bill and a gold Amer­i­can one-dol­lar coin — as well as debit/credit cards and a $2,500 hear­ing aid.

Kruger im­me­di­ately be­gan set­ting about the task of find­ing his wal­let — he brought it to the at­ten­tion of lo­cal busi­nesses, ra­dio sta­tions and schools.

Derek Kruger would like to ex­tend his thanks to VOCM, KIXX Coun­try, The Packet, Clarenville post of­fice, Marine Drive Sher­iff’s Of­fice, the Clarenville RCMP Clarenville, Dol­larama, the CIBC and BMO, Irv­ing gas sta­tion, Esso gas sta­tion, Burry’s Ship­yard, and Rest­land Mo­tel, as well as each per­son who helped the search for the wal­let in any way. “How can one say thank you to so many peo­ple, who hon­estly felt of one man’s per­sonal loss,” said Kruger.

He said the re­sponse from ev­ery­one he told of his plight was over­whelm­ing.

“I have never ex­pe­ri­enced a more con­cerned kind­ness and gen­uine out­pour­ing,” said Kruger.

He said schools in the area, be­sides an­nounc­ing it over the PA sys­tem, de­liv­ered voice mail mes­sages to stu­dents’ homes, while busi­nesses took his in­for­ma­tion and promised to call should they see any of the unique cur­rency. Kruger said he heard of peo­ple de­lib­er­ately walk­ing along Le­gion Lane and Marine Drive in hopes of find­ing his wal­let to re­turn to him.

“They weren’t in­ter­est­ing in a re­ward. All they wanted was to make sure I got my wal­let back,” he said.

“The re­al­ity is that peo­ple here go out of their way to help oth­ers … that in and of it­self says a lot about peo­ple here.”

Even­tu­ally all the hard work and diligent search­ing paid off.

Sandy Leth­bridge found the wal­let on his porch Fri­day morn­ing, Sept. 22 – it seemed to have been de­posited there by some­one.

Leth­bridge, who had heard of Kruger and his miss­ing wal­let, phoned him up to tell him the good news.

“It just over­whelmed with grat­i­tude,” said Kruger, who was in St. John’s, can­celling his lost cards, when he re­ceived the phone call.

“It’s amaz­ing, just ab­so­lutely amaz­ing, to see the hon­esty of the peo­ple here,” he con­tin­ued.

“It stag­gers one’s imag­i­na­tion be­cause I don’t think there’s too many places in the world where you’re go­ing to find that kind of hos­pi­tal­ity.”

Kruger of­fered Leth­bridge the $200 re­ward for find­ing the wal­let. Leth­bridge re­fused.

“That just doesn’t hap­pen any­where. You might say, ‘Only in New­found­land,’” he said.

“It’s a mea­sure of po­lite­ness and re­spect that goes be­yond any­one’s wildest imag­i­na­tions. It’s in­cred­i­ble. And I’m re­ally ap­pre­cia­tive of it.’

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Capt. Derek Kruger.

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