The extraordinary story of a long lost wedding ring has come to a happy ending after 12 years.
Cloncurry businesswoman Dionne Connolly was about to give birth to a baby back on November 15 when she lost her wedding ring at the Mount Isa Base hospital.
“Because my hand was swelling up I took it off as they were wheeling me to the operating table,” Dionne said.
Dionne said she gave her ring to her mother-in-law who put it on the bedside table in the rush to get the mum-to-be to the operating theatre.
When Dionne returned the next morning the ring was gone.
The ring had huge sentimental value to the family as it originally belonged to her mother Gloria Connelly.
The ring was Gloria’s wedding ring when she married Max Turner on October 30, 1965.
Dionne said her mum sadly passed away on June 12, 1998 as did her father Max on the same day four years later.
Dionne’s nephew Joel Malachi Sukaserm -who amazingly was also born on the same day June 12 – inherited the ring and when Dionne married Adrian Connolly on December 18, 2004 Joel gifted the ring to Dionne.
“I was always very career oriented, my family didn’t think I would ever marry,” Dionne said.
“(Joel) gifted it to me as a wedding present, so I had it engraved to honour my parents and to include them in the ceremony.”
Dionne was understandably devastated when she lost the ring and all attempts to find it came to no avail despite it being engraved with her parents names on the inside and her and Adrian’s names on the outside.
Enter Marie-Gaye Harvey into the story.
Ms Harvey was living in Mount Isa at the time and working for Best and Less.
At some stage after the events described, she was doing a stocktake when she emptied out the bins and the ring fell out.
She said they put notes in the shop window and went to police but no one came forward to claim the ring.
She forgot about the ring until 2013 when she had moved to Bundaberg and her daughter suggested they use the power of social media and see if anyone on Facebook recognised it.
“We had no joy but a week ago my daughter asked again if anyone had claimed it and when I said no, she said we should try again and I thought what harm would it do,” Ms Harvey said.
This time Dionne’s family members saw the post and recognised the distinctive wording engraved on the ring.
The ring is now reunited with its owner.
“It’s absolutely overwhelming to have such a priceless piece of family history returned after all these years,” Dionne said.
“I am so very grateful and am feeling blessed.”
Ms Harvey said she was delighted to help out.
“She (Dionne) wanted to pay for postage for the ring but I said I’ve had a good life, I can afford it,” she said.