SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A New Brunswick man has been reunited with a wallet he lost on a harbour tugboat while employed as a dockyard worker in 1969 — the contents of which included a picture of his late son as a toddler.
George Marr, a 78-year-old retired boilermaker from Saint John, was surprised when the wallet was dropped off at his home on Saturday by his daughter after it was found aboard a tugboat, the Atlantic Beech.
Engineer Mary MacLean, who found the wallet, subsequently posted a call on Facebook asking if anyone knew the man who owned it. In her post, MacLean said the wallet was found in an air duct aboard the vessel — where it had apparently sat lost and forgotten for 51 years.
Marr says the wallet is like a small time capsule of his life back when he worked at the Saint John shipyard and made $1.50 cents an hour. Various pieces of identification were also in the wallet, including his golf and rifle club memberships and his union and longshoreman's ID cards.
"There was even some Canadian Tire money there," he said.
But he knew for sure it was his when he saw a photo of his son Christopher, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1977 at the age of 16.
"As soon as I seen that picture that was it," Marr said. "He would have been about three years old and he was on a plastic tractor."
Marr said he has thought hard and remembers being taken out on the tug on a service call to a vessel moored in the Saint John harbour that was too big to dock. The wallet may have fallen out when he transferred to the larger ship by a rope ladder, he said.
"That's the only inkling I have," said Marr.
While the wallet is not in such good shape now, Marr said it did it's job of protecting his personal items over all these years.
"There's a lot of memories inside," he said.
This story by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2020.
The Canadian Press