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SYDNEY RIVER — Mark MacGillivray was buying flowers for his wife and daughter on Valentine’s Day when he noticed his wedding ring was missing.
“I was talking to the cashier and I was rubbing my hands together because it’s a habit that I have and I realized my ring wasn’t on,” said the 32-year-old fisherman from Gabarus. “Then I knew I had lost it somewhere.”
His last stop was the Petro-Canada station in Sydney River where he’d stopped to put some air in his tires. However, after searching the snow-filled parking lot with the help of an employee, he turned up empty-handed.
“It was just a really crappy feeling,” he said.
“I never thought anybody would find it or turn it in.”
He was wrong.
Amanda Bach, 38, of Sydney was putting air in her tires at the Petro-Canada station in Sydney River on Wednesday when she spotted a wedding ring in the snow. She didn’t hesitate to turn it into staff, hoping it would be returned to its rightful owner. “That’s just the kind of person I am — if it’s not mine I’m not going to keep it.” Contributed – cc
Spotted in the snow
The next evening, Amanda Bach, 38, of Sydney was putting air in her tires and spotted something shiny in the melting snow about two feet away from the compressor. She picked it up and immediately realized it was a white gold men’s wedding band.
“It just happened to be right in front of my eyes,” she said.
“I was just putting air in one of my back tires and I looked down and then I bent down and picked it up and realized it was a ring. I was trying to look and see if there was an inscription or anything that could help identify it but I didn’t so I finished filling my tire and I went to the clerk and said I just found this ring so I’ll leave it with you. It looked like a wedding band to me.”
After returning home, McGillivray posted on Facebook about the missing ring but didn’t have much hope he’d get it back.
“I just felt like it was gone and if somebody found it they would just pawn it off.”
Monique MacGillivray and Mark MacGillivray on their wedding day on Aug. 6, 2022. Contributed – cc
His wife, Monique MacGillivray, 39, urged him to be positive.
“He was more upset than I was — I wasn’t mad at all. I just said ‘Have faith, we’ll find it.”
Thanks to Bach, she was right. Bach read the social-media post Mark sent and let them know she had found the ring.
“It’s a Valentine’s miracle — that what I call it. It kind of ruined our whole Valentine’s,” said Monique. “We were all upset the whole day so to get it back was a kind of miracle because not whole of people would pass that in.
“I had tears in my eyes, we were so excited.”
Multiple people online have praised Bach for her honesty, but returning the ring to its rightful owner was never an option.
“In this day and age it’s hard to say if somebody would have picked it up for themselves or took it to a pawn shop. In my mind, I would hope that anybody would do what I did and bring it into the store just to let them know it was there. That’s just the kind of person I am — if it’s not mine I’m not going to keep it. It’s the same as if I found a wad of money — I wouldn’t keep it, I would take it to the police station and let them know this is what I found. If it’s not mine I’m not going to keep it.”
Chain and ink
Mark said he now plans to keep the slightly loose-fitting ring on a chain except for special occasions. Until he gets it resized, he’s also considering getting a wedding band tattoo.
“I’ve worn a silver chain around my neck for the last 13 or 14 years so I’m going to put it on that and I might get a tattoo. Then I’ll put the ring on if we’re going out for supper or we’re doing something that requires getting dressed up and I’ll take it off the chain and put it on my finger but I think it’s going to stay on my chain for the most part,” he said. “It’s a tad too big so until I get it sized down it has to stay on my chain.”
Chris Connors is a multimedia journalist with the Cape Breton Post.