County councillor plays a part in returning important piece of history to rightful owner

WEB BBBSFishingRod2

Ruth Copeland Brunelle left, looks at the fishing rod that belonged to her late father and was recently found in the walls of a New Glasgow house. Nicole LeBlanc, centre, and Margie Grant Walsh, right, of Big Brothers Big Sisters Pictou County presented the fishing rod to Copeland Brunelle during the angency’s annual Christmas Party on Sunday.  (Brimicombe photo)

Christmas often brings back memories of family and times gone by for many people. This year, Ruth Copeland Brunelle got an unexpected present that brought back memories of her father.

As Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County was winding down renovations to a house for its new office, contractors found a surprise hidden in a wall. A wooden box with the name KT Copeland scrawled on nearly every side of it was found with a mint condition Japanese fishing rod in the case.

Green’s Point resident Peter Boyles, who is also a councillor in District 9 for the Municipality of Pictou County, saw the news story about the fishing rod on TV and he called his wife, Sadie, and told her that he had taped the story. As they watched the newscast, they realized they knew the relative that the fishing rod belonged to. They immediately called Copeland Brunelle and realized that the rod must belong to her father.

Morgan Boyles, daughter of Peter and Sadie, sent the video to Copeland Brunelle so she could see the writing on the case. Once she saw the inscription she knew it was her father’s fishing rod.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that this was my father’s,” said Copeland Brunelle. She recalled her father, Kenneth Thomas Copeland, writing KT Copeland on most of his possessions as he generally went by KT rather than Kenneth. Although she lives in P.E.I. now, Copeland Brunelle said that her parents lived in New Glasgow in the 1950s and had befriended a couple that lived in the house where the fishing rod was found.

“Mildred and Nelson Kellock lived in that house, they were lifelong friends,” said Copeland Brunelle. “I remember going to visit them in that house.”

The fact that the fishing rod was Japanese even made sense to Copeland Brunelle as her father had served in the Korean War and was stationed in Tokyo at one point. As all the pieces began to fall together for her, Copeland Brunelle was overwhelmed with the opportunity to find something new of her father’s after his passing 13 years earlier.

“If it weren’t for Sadie and her husband Peter I may have never heard about the fishing rod,” she said. She even explained that the fact that she knew the Boyles family was coincidence as Morgan had stayed with Copeland Brunelle and her late husband while attending school at Holland College, which is how the two families because connected.

As someone who has experienced loss in their life, Margie Grant-Walsh of Big Brothers Big Sisters knew the importance of having this item returned to Copeland Brunelle.

“I don’t believe in coincidence, I believe things happen for a reason,” said Grant-Walsh, a little teary-eyed at the whole presentation ceremony during the non-profit’s annual Christmas party on Sunday. Grant-Walsh wasn’t the only one teary-eyed as the whole hall applauded the reuniting of the fishing rod to Copeland Brunelle.

“What a better way to give a gift back then at a Christmas party?” smiled Grant-Walsh.

Copeland Brunelle was thrilled to be able to make her way from P.E.I. for the presentation wich took place at the North End Recreation Centre.

“This is like an early Christmas gift to me… it’s something that you can’t put into words,” Copeland Brunelle said.

Story provided by the Pictou Advocate.  It can be viewed online at