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Honesty rewarded - Broke St Mary man returns bag with $3,000

Published:Saturday | January 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Photo by Carl Gilchrist
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

Imagine being broke, leaving work for home and having to stop and wait for a free ride, because your pockets were empty. Then imagine, finding a bag on the street with more than $3,000 cash. What sweet relief!

This happened to one man recently in St Mary, only that he returned the bag to its owner.

Sixty-two-year-old Derval Daye, chef at IRIE FM radio station in Ocho Rios, St Ann, is an honest man.

It's not that he didn't need the money; it's just that he knew the right thing to do was to return the bag to its owner.

On Wednesday evening, Daye was rewarded for his honesty by the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios, whose immediate past president, Pixley Irons, ensured that Daye was given due recognition for his show of integrity.

The club handed over an undisclosed amount to Daye at its regular meeting at SandCastles Resort in Ocho Rios. Digicel and Jamaica National's Ocho Rios branches also pitched in, with a cellphone and a gift certificate to open an account, respectively.

According to Daye, it all started last week Tuesday evening after he left work and was heading home to Mile Gully in St Mary. He had reached Gayle and was waiting to get a ride home from there.

"I was standing on the sidewalk an' I see one o' mi brethren go up di road wid a car, so mi stan' up a wait fi get a ride because di bus fare - mi neva have di money fi pay fi go home - so mi woulda try get a ride wid him," Daye related to The Gleaner.

While he waited, he happened to step off the sidewalk, and that's when he saw a bag on the street. He kicked it and realised there was something inside, so he took it up.

He soon got a ride and reached home and then that's when he opened the bag and saw around $3,000 along with some medication.

The following morning he took the bag with him to work at IRIE and told radio announcer, Ron Muschette about it. After Muschette highlighted it on the air a few times, the owner made contact with the Gayle police, who called the station.

The next day, Daye handed the bag over.

"I took it to the lady and she said many thanks. I say, darling, it's just peace and love and respect," Daye said.

"If every man find a thing and pass it up, Jamaica woulda run good, a just love, you know," Daye told the meeting after being presented with his gifts.