Expensive violin stolen from Irish band in Newfoundland

Newfoundland the band — a group from Ireland — wrapped up its first tour in the province on Sunday, but not without some headaches. One of the band members had his violin stolen out of a car.

Irish musician who loves Newfoundland is met with bad luck at the end of his tour

Violin player Rowan Sherlock, second from right, had his instrument stolen Sunday night. (Kayla Walters)

There's an Irish group of musicians who love Newfoundland — enough to name their band after it. But after finishing their 10-day tour on Sunday, one of their members has been met with extreme bad luck — his violin was stolen from the back seat of a car in St. John's.

"I kind of went into shock straight away," says Rowan Sherlock. "Kind of just panicked right away and started running around everywhere."

Sherlock's violin, a Gabriel Didion valued at $8,000, was stolen after his last gig in St. John's. (Facebook: Cassandra Abbott)

After their gig at the O'Reilly's pub downtown, Sherlock says they drove to a friend's house for a quick shower. They parked their red SUV at the parking lot of Bishop Feild Elementary near the house.

When they returned half an hour later, they discovered a rear window was smashed. Sherlock's violin was gone, along with his friend's camera.

The violin is a Gabriel Didion, a high-end model that was made in France in 1908. The instrument is valued at about $8,000, but Sherlock says it's the sentimental value that can't be replaced.

Tell us what you think!

Help shape the future of CBC article pages by taking a quick survey.

"My violin has kind of been part of me for the best 12 or 13 years of my life," he says.

Rowan Sherlock says he will stay in St. John's for a few more days, until his violin shows up. (Ted Dillon)

He describes the violin as "orangey," wrapped in a black case with a scarf covering it. The back pockets of the case have music sheets stuffed in them, along with a tag containing his name and home address in Ireland.

Sherlock and the band are supposed to fly back to Europe on Monday night. But if the violin is not found, he says he will stay another few days to wait for it to show up.

Sherlock says he will find his violin

"I will find it at some stage, I know I will," he said. "Maybe I'm fooling myself by doing that, but that's what I think."  

Sherlock has spoken to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary about the theft, and he says one of the residents from the houses nearby also provided the RNC with blurry video footage of the thief running away.

Despite this sour incident, Sherlock says he still loves Newfoundland and would come back any time.

"It's been life-changing. We've seen icebergs, we've been sunburned … the people of Newfoundland are just amazingly friendly. It's like home away from home."

"I'd be happy to stay here for another couple of days," he says. "Unfortunately it's not exactly for the reason I wanted."