Sovereign Gardens, Ballarat (VIC) resident, Betty Webber, has been reunited with her Salvation Army song book after it was missing for over 40 years.
The Rotary Club of Ballarat’s historian, Kevin Williams, was looking through historical club artefacts when he saw the song book and realised it did not match the rest of the club’s books.
Mr Williams searched for the owner, who according to the book’s inside cover, was Betty Wbber, who now lives in Ballarat.
Ms Webber said having the book returned had brought back a heap of memories, with a note from her childhood friends inside the Front cover a great source of joy.
“I’m 92 now, and this was given to me when I was 21”, Betty said.
“When Kevin rang me up and asked me what I’d got for my 21st birthday, I had no idea what he was talking about.”
“But when he said he had my song book and knew my friend’s names and my old address from England, I knew he was for real.”
Ms Webber said she had lost her song book in the 1970’s when her family’s car had been stolen. Her family found the car later in the Canadian State Forest (Ballarat), but Ms Webber’s precious song book and bible were missing.
Kevin Williams said he was immediately puzzled to see the book among the other club song books, and wanted to know where it had come from.
“I’ve been in the Rotary Club for over 25 years and I’ve never seen those books before”, he said.
“When looking through them I realised one of them was out of place, and I decided to see if I could find the owner.”
Mr Williams contacted John Smith of the Ballarat Salvation Army Church, who had happened to marry Ms Webber’s friend’s niece.
Ms Webber said the song book had brought back memories through the message from her childhood friends, as well as through the drawings in the back of the book.
“There’s pictures there I did for my two kids, because I used to have to do drawings during sermons to keep them entertained”, she said.
Ms Webber has lived in Ballarat since she came to Australia in 1955.