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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Family treasure returned

Skip to treasure! Maldon resident unearths family heirloom

Crikey! Talk about a skiptastic find! Newstead bloke Chris Simmins was fossicking through a bin in Campbells Creek when he stumbled upon a grubby object that turned out to be a real gem – a wooden christening bowl!

This wasn’t your average billy, mind you. It had a fancy sterling silver rim and shield, dated 1908, and engraved with the name “John Boys Ponder.” Intrigued, Chris wanted to crack the case of this mystery bloke.

His chance came at the “Precious” exhibition in Newstead. Thanks to some eagle-eyed visitors and a bit of detective work, Chris discovered John was a Latin and Ancient Greek teacher at Geelong Grammar.

Fast forward, and Chris is yarnin’ with the school’s archivist, who spills the beans on John’s fascinating life. Turns out, this bloke was a real war hero! He fought in North Africa, parachuted into Greece as a spy, and even joined Australia’s elite Z Force. He even wrote a book about his adventures!

But the real mystery remained – why was the bowl in the bin? Sadly, even John’s family couldn’t solve that one.

One thing’s for sure, John left his mark on Maldon. He lived there for years, and judging by his wartime exploits, he wouldn’t have been short on a yarn or two!

The best part of this story? The bowl found its way back to John’s family, thanks to Chris’s sharp eyes and kind heart. Now, that’s a happy ending you can clink your billy to!

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