Christ­mas present fi­nally opened 50 years later

Calgary Sun - - LIFE - — THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

ST. AL­BERT, Alta. — An Ed­mon­ton-area man who made in­ter­na­tional head­lines for hold­ing onto a wrapped Christ­mas gift from a high-school girl­friend who dumped him nearly 50 years ago fi­nally learned what it was on Thurs­day when she trav­elled to the city and opened it for him.

Adrian Pearce, now a mar­ried fa­ther of two, re­ceived the small present wrapped in shiny, pur­ple pa­per shortly be­fore Christ­mas 1971 from

Vicki Allen, his very first sweet­heart at Ge­orge S. Henry Sec­ondary School in Toronto.

But when she handed it to him, she broke up with him. De­jected, Pearce re­turned to his fam­ily’s home, threw it un­der the Christ­mas tree and vowed never to open it.

The story last De­cem­ber about the un­opened gift ap­peared on the me­dia around the world. And as Allen stood on a stage in a packed cafe north­west of the city and peeled away the pa­per with Pearce stand­ing be­side her and his wife, Janet, in the au­di­ence, she her­self didn’t know what she’d see be­cause it was so long ago and she’d for­got­ten.

“Oh no!” Allen ex­claimed when she fi­nally saw. “I can’t give that to him!”

It was a small book called Love Is: New Ways To Spot That Cer­tain Feel­ing with a car­toon and say­ings about love.

“The irony is ex­treme,” Allen cried.

The event was a fundraiser for the Christ­mas Bureau of Ed­mon­ton, a char­ity that pro­vides Christ­mas meals to fam­i­lies in need.

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