Gap year student gets lifeline back

THOUSANDS of miles from home, South African gap year student Sarah Comyn is today hugely in debt to a mystery man who found her mobile phone.Having arrived in Ipswich only a few weeks ago, 18-year-old Sarah's phone is a constant lifeline as she adjusts to being abroad and finding work.

THOUSANDS of miles from home, South African gap year student Sarah Comyn is today hugely in debt to a mystery man who found her mobile phone.

Having arrived in Ipswich only a few weeks ago, 18-year-old Sarah's phone is a constant lifeline as she adjusts to being abroad and finding work.

She regularly speaks to her anxious parents in South Africa and her Motorola was the only source of contact for prospective employers.

So when she lost it riding home down Westerfield Street after a series of job interviews in town, it was an absolute disaster.


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"It was terrible," said Sarah.

"I had put my number on all these application forms and left all my friends' numbers on the phone."

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Her hopes of gaining more work quickly looked bleak.

Desperately trying to help, Daniel and Gayle Comyn rang their daughter's phone for two hours to no avail.

Eventually, Mrs Comyn got through to someone they refer to as 'Brian', who told them his young son had found the phone and he agreed Sarah could phone him to arrange to pick it up.

Meanwhile, Sarah had gone to work at Fynn Valley Golf Club, where she is a part-time waitress in the restaurant.

Her friend at work rang Sarah's phone and spoke to 'Brian' and organised for him to switch off the phone and bring it to the golf club.

Back home in the M'Pumalanga Province, near the Kruger National Park, Sarah's parents tried again to speak to their daughter.

When there was no answer at all, they began to have doubts about 'Brian'. Were his intentions genuine? Was the battery dead?

A whole day past and they were getting very concerned as the whole trip had been very stressful and difficult so far.

Mr Comyn said: "He seemed like a very nice chap, but when we couldn't get hold of him doubts started to set in.

"Our imagination started going around and we started to think all sorts of things.

"So we adjusted to the new circumstances of being unable to text her or give her a quick call here or there."

Two days later, 'Brian' brought a great deal of joy to the whole family when he dropped off the phone at the golf club, but slipped away without a trace.

The family is now trying to track down the enigmatic man so they can personally thank him.

Sarah said: "My parents were so happy that someone returned the phone. It would never happen in South Africa."

Mr Comyn said: "It has restored my faith in humanity.

"The issue is that someone has been incredibly generous and we want to say thank you to 'Brian'. We are concerned parents far away.

"We can't reward him in some way and we can't even write him a letter.

"We'd like to do something even if it means our daughter inviting him out for a drink."

nAre you 'Brian'? Do you know who 'Brian' is? Write to The Evening Star, 30 Lower Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk or phone 01473-324788.

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