New tackle for Con­nor

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News - Yo­lan­de S­tan­der

A trau­ma­tic ex­pe­rien­ce for a P­let­ten­berg Bay teen­a­ger was tur­ned in­to a dis­play of hu­man kind­ness thanks to a group of big­he­ar­ted lo­cals.

Con­nor Wil­li­cot (18), who suf­fers from Asper­gers syn­dro­me and of­ten finds him­self o­ver­w­hel­med by the stres­ses of li­fe, spends his f­ree ti­me fis­hing in Poor­tjies to de­al with t­his.

“W­hen he co­mes ho­me af­ter se­ver­al hours of fis­hing, he is calm and col­lected a­gain. He ab­so­lu­te­ly lo­ves fis­hing and na­tu­re. W­hen he is not fis­hing he vo­lun­teers at the lo­cal sna­ke park,” said his mot­her Sa­ra Wil­li­cot.

But last F­ri­day 2 No­vem­ber, a cri­mi­nal act dis­tur­bed his “hap­py pla­ce”. “W­hi­le he was out fis­hing, so­meo­ne sto­le his en­ti­re fis­hing bag con­tai­ning all his ge­ar. He had just tur­ned a­round to put so­me bait on his hook… W­hen he re­a­ched for his bag, it was go­ne,” Sa­ra said, ad­ding, “He was de­va­sta­ted.”

Sa­ra re­por­ted the mat­ter and al­ong with lo­cal c­ri­me fig­h­ters swept the a­rea in the ho­pe of fin­ding the bag, to no a­vail.

W­hen Con­nor’s sto­ry was shared on lo­cal so­ci­al me­dia plat­forms, P­lett Fi­re Fund ca­me to his res­cue. “We knew we nee­ded to help,” said the fund’s Ma­ri­us Ven­ter.

T­hey do­na­ted e­nough funds to en­s­u­re that all Con­nor’s tackle was re­pla­ced, and by Mon­day 5 No­vem­ber it was.

Ven­ter met Sa­ra and Con­nor at a lo­cal s­ports shop w­he­re he was al­lo­wed to choo­se w­hat he wan­ted. Con­nor was shaking with e­mo­ti­on w­hi­le he lo­a­ded his bas­ket.

“We li­ve in a won­der­ful com­mu­ni­ty. Con­nor has co­me to re­a­li­se how des­pe­ra­te the per­son who sto­le his bag must ha­ve been to re­sort to c­ri­me and ha­ve al­so le­ar­ned how ge­ne­rous the com­mu­ni­ty a­round him is,” Sa­ra says.

Con­nor wal­ked out of the shop with his new fis­hing bag, a tackle box, a rod belt and hol­der and e­nough li­ne, hooks and lu­res to last him for ma­ny fis­hing ex­cur­si­ons.

Vi­sit www.knys­na­pletthe­rald.com for mo­re p­ho­tosCon­nor Wil­li­cot thanks Ma­ri­us Ven­ter of the P­lett Fi­re Fund for re­pla­cing his sto­len fis­hing tackle.

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