A precious manuscript and photos stolen from Hilary Pedersen’s car around 10 years ago is now back in her hands after Hilary’s story appeared in Hibiscus Matters last November.
Hilary’s father, Harry Dean, wrote memoirs of his World War II experiences and the typewritten document that had all his original black and white photographs in it disappeared when Hilary’s car was burgled in Waipukurau.
Despite a massive search, and a reward offered at the time, they appeared to have gone without trace.
Hilary, who lives in Gulf Harbour, had another manuscript (without photos) and used this to eventually publish the book, My Pacific Star, last year. The burglary was mentioned in the story about My Pacific Star that appeared in Hibiscus Matters.
Last month, Lynda Corrigan of Upper Hutt contacted the paper saying she had the original manuscript and photos and had been searching for the owner ever since her father-in-law found them in a ditch in the Dannevirke region.
Lynda’s father-in-law was working for Higgins cleaning roadside ditches when he found the folders containing the manuscript. He took them to Ohakea Air Force Base, which returned them after a year as the base had been unable to trace Harry.
Recently Lynda decided to have another go at finding the owner, and when she googled Harry Dean, the Hibiscus Matters story popped up.
A few days later she was able to courier the documents to Hilary.
Hilary says seeing the photos was especially exciting and she knows her father would be thrilled that the circle has been completed.
“I’m so grateful for Lynda’s kindness – that she kept, treasured and respected the document and photos and never gave up in trying to find us.”