75-Year-Old Widower Seeks New Fishing Mate Online and Catches Everyone’s Attention
Ray Johnstone, 75, from Lewiston, South Australia just wants to go fishing. However, he hasn’t been able to after his fishing mate passed away — so he put out an online advertisement and surprisingly caught more than just a fellow fishermen.
The widower’s story baited the attention of over 80,000 people across the internet, with hundreds of offers coming in. Through GoFundMe, Johnstone is set to sail on a few charter boats reel soon.
On January 19, Johnstone took to Gumtree (Australia’s Craigslist) looking for a buddy to fish with, writing, “What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with. I am willing to share all costs e.g. petrol bait and should you happen to own a boat willing to pay all ramp fees, but happy if you are also a land-based fisherman.”
Additionally, and it’s heart-wrenching, he listed his condition as “Used.”
“It gets a bit lonely just sitting around watching the TV a lot of the time,” he told 7 News.
Johnstone’s ad, as of January 30, was viewed over 80,000 times, and it received offers from all over Australia.
“It means the world to him,” Pamela Edwards, his daughter, told 7 New. “He hasn’t been able to do it on his own, he needs someone out there to be with him.”
There is a GoFundMe that has raised over $1,700 already (and had a $350 goal) which was started by Lacci Gottfried from North Perth, Western Australia to send Johnstone on a quality fishing charter.
“Thanks for the help I really appreciate this would love to go on a charter and catch some of the bigger fish and again thank you guys for trying to help an old fella out by raising some money,” Johnstone wrote to Gottfried.
And there’s the #IllFishWithRay GoFundMe started by Joe Forza from Sydney, East Australia that seeks to fly Ray Johnstone over to Sydney to fish for the weekend. It has raised $875 of its $1,000 goal as of January 30. He also responded to this one similarly, with gratitude.
“Now [that] he’s found a fishing friend in his home town, I thought the next best thing is to bring him over to Sydney for a trip too,” Forza, who had offers and support come pouring in from all over, told Your Daily Dish. “He’s got plenty of mates now!”
Ray Johnstone is good to go — a fishing charter in Sydney was found and they’re set to take him on board their boat in the near future.
“When someone in our fishing community needs help, I like to think we make things happen to make things better,” said Forza. “We’re just doing our bit to help someone in need.”