Sometimes when tragedy strikes us, we get so consumed by the situation that it unfortunately takes us away from our personal passions. Widowed, Australian pensioner Ray Johnstone, 75, knows this all too well.
Following the death of his wife and best mate, Johnstone, a grandfather of 12, stepped away from fishing for many years. However, after deciding that he wanted to get back to his favourite hobby, Johnstone published a heartfelt classified listing on Gumtree.com.au hoping to find a companion to fish with. It read:
“My name is Ray Johnstone. Australian. I’m a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate. My previous mate is now deceased.
“I am a land-based fisherman. I have all the gear for all types of fish that is required for land-based fishing.
“What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with. I am willing to share all costs, e.g. petrol, bait, and should you happen to own a boat [am] willing to pay all ramp fees, but happy if you are also a land-based fisherman.”
This message from Johnstone soon became a hot topic on social media and through online news outlets, leading to much support for his cause and offers to fish alongside him.
“I’m amazed,” said Johnstone of the reaction his listing received. “This is something I never, ever expected.
“It means the world to him,” commented Johnstone’s daughter, Pamela Edwards. “He hasn’t been able to [fish] on his own and he needs someone out there to be with him.”
Although the ad just went online last week, the awareness generated for Johnstone’s search has led to him actually finding a new fishing partner – he expects to meet the person at some point this week.
Here’s hoping Johnstone has caught a new friend for life!
-Photos by: 7 News