Wallet found after 32 years in the sea

After losing a wallet under water in 1989, Nathan Jaquiery has been reunited with his 32-year-old...
After losing a wallet under water in 1989, Nathan Jaquiery has been reunited with his 32-year-old bankcard, restricted driver’s licence and a handful of 5c coins. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
After losing a wallet on a Christchurch beach 32 years ago, Dunedin man Nathan Jaquiery had, understandably, lost all hope of ever finding it.

That is, until November this year, when he received a Facebook message to say it had resurfaced, exactly where it had been lost three decades earlier.

Rewind to the spring of 1989, when a bunch of friends, including a teenage Mr Jaquiery, had travelled from Dunedin to Christchurch for the the U2 Rattle and Hum album tour.

Before the concert, they took a trip to Corsair Bay, where Mr Jaquiery lost his wallet in the water.

"My friends had to fork out money for me during the trip, much to their delight," he said.

The part that had hurt the most was missing out on the U2 tour shirt he had desperately wanted, which all of his friends bought, he said.

Mr Jaquiery (centre front) with a group of friends at Corsair Bay, Christchurch, before the U2...
Mr Jaquiery (centre front) with a group of friends at Corsair Bay, Christchurch, before the U2 concert in 1989. Photo supplied.

Regardless, getting the wallet back was "phenomenal, after all these years".

The wallet, which had been submerged at the beach ever since, was found by Corin Hings who had been searching the beach using a metal detector.

Judging by its condition, the wallet could have been lost weeks ago, until Mr Hings opened it to find a restricted driver’s licence dated 1989, a handful of rusted 5c pieces and a bankcard issued by the now defunct Trust Bank Otago (now Westpac).

At low tide, Mr Hings had been wading through waist-deep water in Corsair Bay, when he got a signal from the metal detector.

Upon digging into the clay which lay under the water, he had discovered a small, blue velcro wallet emblazoned with a koala bear.

The metal detector had picked up on the change in the wallet — several 5c pieces.

"I opened it up and saw a bankcard, but I was most surprised to see how well preserved the driver’s licence was.

"A lot of the things that make their way down there get preserved quite well—it’s a clay bottom, so no air gets to it and it doesn’t degrade."

Although he was not expecting to find it, the discovery of the old wallet had not been a surprise.

"I’ve found a lot of strange things out there," he said.

Mr Hings had found a lifetime’s worth of metal treasures during his excavations, including old dog tags, car keys from the 1970s, and a lot of bottle caps.

"Most of the time it’s old cans and bottle caps, but every now and then, if you find a dog tag, people might have lost a dog 10 years ago, so it’s nice to give them something back as a reminder."






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