Every once in a while, an innocent action captures hearts all across the internet. Such an event took place when Ray Johnstone posted an ad for a fishing partner. The 75-year-old widower placed the ad on Gumtree, a classified ads website.
The ad read, “My name is Ray Johnstone. Australian. I’m a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate. My previous mate is now deceased. 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.”
The earnest plea for a friend struck a chord with all of those who read it. The ad even ended up inspiring a trending hashtag on Twitter, #illfishwithray.
People all across the world responded with positivity and good wishes for Johnstone. Daisy St. Patience said, “I hate fishing, but I would go every weekend and pack sandwiches and tea if I lived in Adelaide. Let’s be friends.” Many others expressed similar opinions.
Johnstone has been inundated with offers to go fishing from people all across Australia. The problem was that he needed someone who lived close to him so that they could regularly fish together. While the attention was nice, Johnstone really did just want someone to fish with.
He has since found someone, and the two are set to meet next week. Johnstone is thrilled, and so is his daughter, Pamela Edwards. She thanked everyone who responded positively to her father’s ad.
In addition to the kind words from the Twitterverse, others have taken to raising money for a trip for Johnstone. Sydney-based fisherman Joe Forza started a GoFundMe page for Johnstone. He raised $1,000 in less than a day.
The money is intended to fly Johnstone to Sydney. If he comes, Forza will take him out to fish with other local fisherman. It’s not yet clear if Johnstone will be making the trip, but the money is there waiting for him if he chooses to.
The story was not confined to the internet. An Adelaide newspaper put Johnstone on the cover of their paper after the story went viral. It seems that Johnstone’s ad is pulling on heartstrings in multiple formats.
We don’t know if Johnstone and his potential new fishing buddy will get along and be fast friends. What we do know is that the public responds when they sense someone in genuine need of something.
The story has been a bright spot in the world, where war and disagreements often get the spotlight. This simple request from an old man hit everyone right in the heart.
We hope that people can channel this positivity to people around them in need. After all, Johnstone isn’t the only lonely fisherman in need of a buddy.