STEPHENVILLE A Stephenville man who lost his wallet and more than $900 in cash on the side of a highway in Alberta has learned there is still at least one Good Samaritan.
Patrick Butler of Stephenville was home moose hunting when got the word that John Sommerville of Stettler, Alta. had found his wallet, more than $700 in cash, along with bank and Visa cards in a ditch near Gadsby, Alta. on Sept. 14.
That was over a month from the time Butler had lost the wallet when he was in Alberta looking for work. He had actually borrowed the money, $1,000 in $20 bills, to go up there and look for a job.
Butler explained that he had offered to pay for coffee and sandwiches at a Tim Hortons for himself and the other guys he was traveling with and partially took his wallet out of his pocket, when one of the other guys paid for the treats.
Later, on Highway 12 near Gadsby, they were switching drivers and when Butler got out of the pickup that’s when his wallet must have dropped out of his pocket, containing the cash from which he had only spent somewhere between $60 to $80.
It was a tough go up there for a while, as he awaited for his first cheque from a job he found with Frac Water Solutions at Consort. He said his brother-in-law Gene Snow helped him out by loaning him money until that first cheque arrived.
Butler said he learned that Sommerville, who is an Atco Electric linesman, was checking on a power line in that area when he noticed a $20 bill in the ditch and, searching further, found more of bills, collecting up to $205.
Suspecting the wind might have blown money on the opposite side of the highway, he checked that ditch and by the end of the morning had collected $645, along with the wallet and some contents, which identified Butler as the owner.
But he didn’t stop there and returned on two other occasions, finding more money and bringing the total recovery to $765. Butler said every cent of it, along with the wallet and cards, were returned to him in the mail by Sommerville, despite Butler asking him to keep $200 or $300 for his efforts.
Butler said he couldn’t believe it, first when he got the word of the money and wallet being found from his wife Brenda, whom Sommerville had contacted, then everything arriving in the mail.
“I never thought I’d see that money again,” he said.
Butler said he met many friendly people in Alberta during the month he worked there, especially in the small town of Consort, which has a population of about 780 people.
He said when he gets his recall to work and returns to Alberta he will definitely be making the trip to Stettler and meet with Sommerville, the Good Samaritan who returned the money that he thought was gone forever.
“I really want to thank him personally for what he did,” Butler said.