Westboro man finds father's wedding ring, lost underground for 40 years

All it took was a metal detector and a little bit of lucky searching for Peter Quevillion to uncover his father's wedding ring, buried underground nearly four decades earlier.

'I was shocked,' said Peter Quevillon, who found ring in garden

Peter Quevillon used this metal detector to uncover his father's lost wedding ring from the garden behind his family's Westboro home — a ring that went missing nearly 40 years ago. (CBC Ottawa)

Nearly four decades ago, Peter Quevillon's father Andy lost his gold wedding band somewhere on the grounds of his Westboro home in Ottawa.

Chances are it won't be lost again.

Quevillon recovered his late father's ring earlier this week thanks to a high-end metal detector he bought in late November — bringing an end to the ring's remarkable, circular journey from a 1970s garden in Australia to a 21st century garden in Ottawa.

The family had always believed the gold wedding band had disappeared somewhere in the home's basement.

But when his metal detector only turned up sewer and water pipes, Quevillon turned his attention to a promising patch of soil in the family's garden — a patch that looked like it had been gardened heavily in the past.

Peter Quevillon recently unearthed his father's wedding ring from his family's Westboro garden. The ring went missing nearly 40 years ago. (Stu Mills/CBC Ottawa)

"This whole area here was devoid of any grass, just soil. So I thought, it looked fairly used, somebody's been standing here a lot," said Quevillon.

Quevillon waved his metal detector over the patch of soil, and the detector found something about six inches below the surface.

So he grabbed his shovel, dug into the soil, and found — nothing.

Instead of giving up, Quevillon waved the metal detector over the soil again. The detector kept beeping, so Quevillon dug down a second time.

"The very last bit of soil I went through, I found something round," said Quevillon. "And I thought, it can't be."

'I was shocked'

Quevillon rubbed the mud off and, sure enough, it was his father's gold wedding band, lost under the soil since the 1970s. 

"I was shocked. I thought I'd find nails and garbage," said Quevillon. 

"I put everything down, I sprinted into the house up these stairs, my heart just racing, and I showed it to my mom. And she goes, 'Oh my God, that is dad's ring."

Joan Quevillon says she could barely sleep the night after her son recovered her late husband Andy's wedding ring from their Westboro garden. (Stu Mills/CBC Ottawa)

Joan Quevillon said she was overwhelmed with emotion when her son came rushing into the house, ring in hand.

"I just cried with happiness. I knew it was the ring. I knew," she said. 

"I just couldn't sleep last night, I was so happy. It just means so much."

What makes the garden discovery even more remarkable is the ring's origins. According to Joan Quevillon, the wedding band was initially given to her husband by her father, who'd found it in Australia — while digging in his garden.

Now that ring, cleaned once again of years of mud and soil, is firmly ensconced on her finger.

"It fits perfect," said Joan. "It was made for me."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.