Teach a man to fish...
We all need somebody to lean on. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, a social butterfly or extremely private, you know how important it is to have somebody nearby that you can depend on in times of need, or even when you just want a pick-me-up.
As we get older, our circles of friends and relationships grows steadily smaller. No longer are we in school or university where we were once surrounded by a steady stream of peers. People move away, lose touch, become caught up in their own changing lives, or pass on. Though our family may grow, we’re not always close to them (geographically or otherwise), and many of these factors contribute to the sad trope of a lonely elderly person.
Thanks to our ever-connected digital age, however, these people’s cries no longer have to go ignored or unanswered.
One Australian widower posted an ad online looking for a new fishing partner (as his previous buddy had died), and now his story is going viral and warming the hearts of millions who will surely find him all the fishing friends he could possibly want.
Ray Johnstone is a 75-year-old man from South Australia, and lately, things haven’t been going all that well for him.
A retired pensioner, Ray is also a widower. And while he may not have many people left close to him in his life, he does have one hobby to help pass his time: Fishing.
Sadly, Ray’s fishing partner recently passed away as well. But instead of resigning to loneliness or giving up his favorite pastime, Ray did what many 75-year-olds may not think to do. He went online.
Using the classified ad and community website Gumtree.com, Ray posted a straightforward and honest ad explaining his situation. Here’s what he had to say:
“My name is Ray Johnstone looking for a Fishing Mate
“My Name is Ray Johnstone Australian Im A Widowed Pensioner who is Looking For A Fishing Mate my previous fishing mate is now deceaced I am a Land Based Fisherman I have all the gear for all types of Fish that is required for Land Based Fishing WHAT I WANT IS A FISHING MATE IN A SIMILAR POSITION TO MYSELF WHO ALSO WANTS SOMEONE TO GO FISHING WITH I AM WILLING TO SHARE ALL COSTS EG> PETROL BAIT AND SHOULD YOU HAPPEN TO OWN A BOAT WILLING TO PAY ALL RAMP FEES BUT HAPPY IF YOU ARE ALSO A LAND BASED FISHERMAN IF INTERESTED CONTACT ME EITHER AT [contact information] TO ARRANGE A MEETING TO SEE IF WE COULD GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER THANKING YOU RAY JOHNSTONE PS I LIVE AT LEWISTON STH AUST”
And though it was a shot in the dark, the reactions started pouring in…
In the wake of his heartfelt ad, thousands upon thousands have read Ray’s original post and reached out to help the man or volunteer as his fishing mate. There’s even a viral Twitter hashtag, #IllfishwithRay, dedicated to the cause.
But that’s not all, various GoFundMe accounts have also been set up to get a chartered fishing trip and travel across the country for another fishing trip. Already, they’ve raised thousands of dollars, all from strangers, to respond to the man’s humble ad.
Here’s what Ray’s daughter had to say about her father’s sudden and unlikely fame, plus we have some GOOD news! Keep reading!