March 29, 2022

A lovely Rotary without borders lost camera story from Bingley Airedale Rotary

I received an e-mail via the Rotary portal from a Sven Struman in Iceland requesting help in identifying the owner of a lost camera.

It transpires that Sven is a professional photographer and has a shop in Reykjavik and during recent refurbishment work being carried out by his daughter she found the camara under a shelf.

The camera still had its SD card and after retrieving the photos established that the last 2 photos had been taken close to the shop on 11 June 2017.There were also numerous family photos including one showing a group of 3 primary school children, one named Elizabeth Kelly holding a Rotary certificate for “Youth Speaks Out” Competition dated 5 April 2011.

It was very difficult to see the school logo on the photo, so I searched “primary school logos in Bingley” and found a match to Wilsden Primary School, and I contacted them.

They replied saying they knew the “Kelly” family and would make contact with them on my behalf. Elizabeth Kelly’s mum Jill Gilhome recognised the other 2 boys and then spoke to Dominic Westcott’s mum Karen, who subsequently messaged me.

It transpires that Karen’s mother-in-law Joan Westcott, made a solo visit to Iceland in 2017 and never got over losing her camera because it contained many family photos including those of her late husband Roger so of great sentimental value.

I have been corresponding with Sven, who is not a Rotarian, but clearly knows about the organisation. It so happens that my partner Ann and I are visiting Iceland so there is a possibility of my retrieving the camera at some point in time. Now we have finally traced the owner/family concerned. What a great human-interest story with a very happy ending.

Incidentally Elizabeth is currently studying maths at Newcastle University. Dominic is studying chemical engineering at Manchester University but this year he has a placement at the nuclear facility in Heysham, before his final year.

Michael C. Heaton FP MPHF
Founder President
Rotary Club of Bingley Airedale

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