A P.E.I. man's wallet has been returned nearly 40 years after he lost it in Nova Scotia, thanks to the antique shop owner who found it.

Nova Scotia RCMP posted on Facebook that Cpl. Aaron Glode, who works out of the Musquodoboit Harbour detachment, came across the wallet in an antique store in West Chezzetcook, N.S.

Glode said the owner, Dave Clark, showed him a brown leather wallet he found in 1976 which had originally held an ID card for Harold Parker with a P.E.I. address, $20 and a picture of a girl named Della.

"Before I left Mr. Clark handed me a $20 bill to put inside the wallet to replace the one that was originally inside," said Glode. "He looked at me and said this has always been on his mind and now that he was 76 years old he thought it was time to try and find the owner."

The officer went through the phone book, leaving messages for the Harold Parkers and Della Parkers in P.E.I.

He finally made contact with the right Harold Parker last December.

"Before I even got the chance to explain what it was that I had for him, Mr. Parker said, 'You have my wallet.' I chuckled and said yes," said Glode.


Harold Parker thought his wallet was gone for good after losing it on a beach in 1976. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

'It was gone'

Parker was driving through Lawrencetown beach in 1976 and got out of his car to help someone stuck in the sand.

"Unbeknownst to me at the time, my wallet was in the breast pocket of my coveralls and the button wasn't hooked, so it fell out in the sand," he said.

"I went back the next day to see if I could find it, and it was gone."

Parker made the trip to Dartmouth to pick up the wallet in late January.

"It was fascinating that he'd found it and when he emailed me the pictures, I was amazed at the condition that it was in. It's like new," he said.

"I think it's great that somebody cared enough to keep it that long. I think it's great that the RCMP are concerned enough to go looking. And I think credit to both parties, for sure."

Though he admits he might look a little different now he did in the ID card in the wallet.

"I have a lot less hair and I'm probably a little rounder."

Couple was 'going together'

His wife Della Parker, originally from Nova Scotia, told CBC News they were "going together" when the wallet was lost. The couple was married four years later, in 1980.

"I'll tell you, I went through the wallet just to make sure he didn't have any other girls' pictures in there. But he didn't," she said.

"There was a Birks jewelers receipt in there and he had done the calculations on the back of it, how much it would cost. So that was 1976 and we were engaged shortly after that."

She said they have plans to visit the antique store and thank Clark in person.

Parker, meanwhile, plans to put the wallet back into use.

"It's actually in better shape than the one that I have, so I think I'll transfer all of the new stuff into the old one and use it until it wears out."