Faith restored with wallet find

Raymond Buncle with his returned wallet where it was found, an emptied Lake Mulwala.

In an act of restoring faith in humanity, Raymond Buncle has had his wallet returned to him after he lost it in Lake Mulwala six months ago.

In January, Raymond and four of his mates went on a boat on the Mulwala side of Lake Mulwala where, when getting into the boat, Raymond’s wallet fell out of his pocket into the lake believed to never be seen again.

Raymond, who has down syndrome and has now moved out of home to live with a friend in a care home assisted by ConneXtions, and his mum Kay Spencer were upset by the loss but never expected what happened next.

“When Raymond told me about losing his wallet he was absolutely devastated. Not about what was in the wallet but about losing one of his possessions,” Kay said.

“Being that he lost it in January we thought that was it and it wouldn’t be seen again.

“Last Monday Raymond received a knock on the door with a man asking, ‘are you Raymond, we have found your wallet’.

“I was not with him at the time but the carer on duty said the smile on his face was just absolutely priceless, he was so happy to have his wallet back.

“Especially to Raymond but even myself, it was not about the money that had been lost but it was Raymond’s possession. But here it was with everything still in it, all the money and his cards.

“Money does not mean anything to Raymond but the cash that was in there was Christmas presents from his aunties, uncles and godfather.

“We have all heard of finding boats, shopping trolleys, chairs and larger items but for somebody to find something of this size in an area of that size is incredible.”

Raymond was understandably overwhelmed to have his wallet and money back and thanked the two boys and father that found it.

“I’m very happy about it, it’s good,” Raymond said.

“Thank you for finding it.”

Raymond gifts the money that was returned to him to the discoverers of his wallet Jamar Zanker and Darcy Skehan.

Although overjoyed that Raymond’s possessions had been returned Kay was disappointed she didn’t know who the people were to thank them for their kindness.

“Unfortunately, the worker on duty that day had not got the man and children’s names as I had wanted to thank them greatly,” Kay said.

“I posted something to the Kindness Pandemic page on Facebook and it just blew up with people commenting on what a fantastic story it was and how great that it was to be returned in tack.

“It was then shared to the Yarrawonga and surrounds noticeboard, and I was hoping that somebody knew the story and could tell me who these lovely people were.

“It was a weird twist of fate that we managed to be able to find them as in the wallet there was a card with a ConneXtions number on it.

“When the wallet was found the man rang the number but unfortunately it is to an old phone that is no longer used.

“Ironically, one of the girls in the office was doing a tidy up and found this phone with a few missed calls and messages on it.

“Once listening to the messages, she put two and two together and realised it was the discoverers of Raymond’s wallet and passed on their contact details to me.

“The two boys, Jamar and Darcy are locals aged 10 and 12 years old and are down there nearly every day looking for different treasures, in particular fishing hooks, lures and the likes as they love fishing.”

With the lowering of Lake Mulwala, many people have been awed by the site and numerous have spent time searching the area for differing knick knacks and unusual finds.

Objects such as sunken boats, shopping trolleys, even tables and chairs have been found in the lake but nobody expected to find something as small and valuable as a wallet with a phone also found in there last week.

Jamar’s mum Julie Conway- Zanker said most nights the boys go lure hunting when the lake is lowered or fishing when there is water.

“Almost every night between my husband and I and Darcy’s parents we take the boys down to the lake to do something revolving around fishing,” Julie said.

“At first it was a little conflicting one for the boys deciding what to do but they decided to give it back to its rightful owner.

“We were pleased it was a local owner so it was easier to get back to them but as parents it made us extremely proud to see the boys find it and decide to hand it back.”

Jamar added that he was pleased to hand the wallet back and explained where he and Darcy found the wallet as well as what happened next for the boys.

“We found it almost under the bridge when we were looking for lures. We were happy to give the wallet back and were very grateful for the reward from Raymond,” Jamar said.

“We were also proud for the story to be on Prime News last week too.”

Upon Kay finding out who the discoverers were and meeting them to say thank you, Raymond rewarded the boys with the two $50 notes that were in his wallet.

“It restores my faith in humanity. For it to be found and returned but especially with everything in it was just amazing,” Kay said.

“There are still nice and honest people around.

“I could not be more thankful to Noel, Jamar and Darcy for doing the right thing and it is great for the children to learn the morally correct thing to do in these situations.”