Letter: The amazing journey of a stolen Rolex

Dear Editor,

Every day, volunteers at the Richmond Hospital Healthcare Auxilliary Thrift Shop in Steveston sort through a myriad of items donated to the store. These items are resold to help fund healthcare initiatives in Richmond. Ask the volunteers and they will tell you that no two days are the same. 

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Lots of great items are donated and some not so great, but they are all interesting. Often the volunteers wonder where an item came from and they can only guess the history behind each.

Recently, a watch was donated and, like all jewellery donations, it was set aside and sent to jeweller Ossie Renouf for appraisal so that a selling price (always lower than the appraised value) could be determined by the store for resale.

A few months ago, and much to Ossie’s amazement, a unique and valuable Rolex watch showed up with the engraving “Jennifer Wyatt  1984 BC Junior” on the back.   Ossie recognized Jennifer’s name and fame as a home-grown B.C. pro golfer, who was formerly a number-one ranked women’s golfer in Canada and a successful pro on the LPGA tour for several years. 

Recently, Jennifer was an inductee to the BC Golf Hall of Fame. Ossie immediately called Jennifer to tell her what he was holding. She remembered that she had won that golf tournament but, did not immediately remember the watch.  

A few days later, she met with Ossie and said that, at the age of 18, she wouldn’t have appreciated the watch and would have given it to her mother, and that was the last she had seen or thought about the watch. Thinking back, Jennifer recalled that there was a break-in at her mother’s house in the late 1980s and a lot of jewellery was stolen and since she never missed the watch, she didn’t connect the watch with the break-in.

Who took it, where did it go all those years, who bought it, who sold it, who wore it, and who donated it? Amazingly, the watch is in like-new condition, and Ossie believes that it was never or seldom worn. It needed only a little oiling. Jennifer says she will always be extremely grateful to Ossie and to the thrift store for returning it to her. 

Maria De Olazaval
& Valerie Burburkimsher

Richmond Hospital Healthcare Auxilliary Thrift Shop

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© Richmond News

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