High school sweethearts Willard and Diana Turner just celebrated their 50th anniversary.
They have something else to celebrate — the discovery of Willard’s wedding ring.
In 1966, just five months after they tied the knot, the Kelowna couple went back to their hometown of Edberg, Alta. Willard was asked to referee a football game at the high school where the couple first met.
“I realized my ring wasn’t there,” Willard said, “What the heck? We all looked for it but it was a needle in a haystack.”
His wife quickly replaced the ring.
“I was disappointed,” Diana said. “He could have been more careful.”
Fast-forward to the summer of 2016. The Turners were visiting family friends in Edberg. They noticed a couple of metal detectors at the McCreas’ home. Willard told Chris McCrea about the day he lost that ring.
McCrea ran out the door with the metal detectors. He headed straight for the field.
“If we happen to find it we find it,” McCrea said. “But it’s a needle in a haystack.”
That first day produced nothing.
Still McCrea was on a mission. He kept going back — likely spending more than three months and hundreds of hours scouring that field.
The detectors would go off even if there was a pull tab from a can or a silver coin. .
Then in August, he hit the jackpot nine centimetres below.
“I had a feeling this has got to be the one,” McCrea said.
Just to be sure he sent the Turners a picture.
Diana was skeptical.
“Fifty years have passed. There’s no chance, “Diana said.
A couple of weeks later, the couple went to get the mail. There was an envelope from Chris McCrea. In it was the long-lost ring and the match to the one Diana has been wearing since she got married.
“That sure as heck surprised me, ” Willard said.
McCrea is pleased his hard work paid off for the couple who are like an aunt and uncle to him.
“It’s a great feeling that it’s back with them,” McCrea said.
The ring doesn’t fit anymore so Willard wears it around his neck for safekeeping.