A New Brunswick class ring has come full circle, returning to its rightful owner after being lost for nearly a quarter century.
"For me, unfortunately, it begins with me cleaning out my grandmother's home," said Heidi Sarchfield, a Florenceville-Bristol resident.
"We started looking at her jewelry and found this male grad ring."
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Sarchfield wanted to know why her recently deceased grandmother, Bernice Denny Underhill, 80, would have a 1993 Harvey High School class ring with the name "Corey W. M." inscribed on it. She told her family she'd investigate.
"It was my way of helping my family," she said. "They had something that didn't belong to them. They wanted to make sure it got back to the rightful owner."
The upper St. John River Valley resident posted photos of the ring on Facebook on Saturday. It was shared more than 1,200 times by people across the country.
Eventually, the post made its way to the wife of one Corey MacKay — the original owner. Joy MacKay sent a private message to Sarchfield to let her know the mystery had been solved.
'A huge thank you'
"He's up working in Fort McMurray right now, but I know he's very happy to have it back and very surprised," MacKay told CBC Monday.
"A huge thank you to Heidi for posting the ring. It meant a lot to us that it was found after 24 years!" Corey's parents wrote under the original Facebook post.
Corey MacKay grew up in McAdam, but he and his wife now live in Calgary.
He drove transport trucks for Sarchfield's step-grandfather, Sterling Underhill, soon after graduation. It's been a long time since he's seen the ring.
"I am a man of few words, but thank you," he said via text message.
After talking to her aunts about how her grandmother might have come to have the ring, Sarchfield said she learned that the ring was found "well over 15 years ago," at the shop her step-grandfather fixed transport trucks in.
"They didn't know whose it was, so grandmother was told to just take it home," she said. "'Someone might knock on your door someday and ask you for it.' So she did."
The ring hasn't been mailed to Alberta yet, but the MacKays say they've already made plans for it when it arrives.
"We are going to give it to our oldest daughter, Journie, when she graduates next year," Joy MacKay said.
Sarchfield said the episode has been an uplifting chapter in an otherwise difficult time for her family.
It has shown her the positive power of social media but also reminded her of her grandmother's optimism.
"Grammy held onto it," she said.
"She could have given it away. She could have thrown it in the garbage. She could have done a number of things to it. But she held onto it, like she was told to."