Last week, we reported the theft of a one-of-a-kind First Nations walking stick from a Songhees elder. The walking stick was stolen last Monday from Billy Joseph’s parked car on Ned Williams Road, off Craigflower Road. It had been taken through an open window.
The walking stick holds sentimental value for the 64-year-old Songhees First Nation elder, as it had been given to him by his late cousin, Rudy Charlie, 33 years ago.
Mid-afternoon Monday, Victoria Buzz received a tweet message from West Shore RCMP telling us the cane had been turned over to them by a good Samaritan. The finder had discovered it in some bushes and turned in after hearing the news of the theft.
Victoria Buzz founder, Mike Kelly, was in constant communication throughout the week with Katie Joseph, daughter of Billy. When Mike received the tweet, he immediately informed Katie.
“From talking to Katie, I knew how much this cane meant to her and the family. It was designed by her late uncle Rudy, so it had tremendous sentimental value, and we wanted to do all we could to help get the cane back for them,” says Mike.
“I sent Katie a message on Facebook, and she had no idea the cane had been turned in yet, her response to me through Facebook messenger was:” “Really?? I’m calling him. Oh my gosh. I’m literally crying. I’m blowing up his cell with text messages lol. Thank you so much for all the help!”
“I could hear it in his voice, I could hear how happy he was,” his step-daughter Lisa Mallette told the Times Colonist, who talked to Billy Joseph Sr. as he was on his way to the police detachment to pick up the intricately carved and brightly painted walking stick. “It was one-of-a-kind,” Mallette said. “It was a huge sentimental value to him.”
The stick was originally used in the longhouse, but Joseph, who suffers from fibromyalgia, now uses it as a cane to help him walk.
With the help of the West Shore RCMP, Billy Joseph Sr, and the family, were able locate the lady who found the cane.
Lizy and her dog peanut were off on a walk in Cairn Park Monday afternoon. Peanut had taken off in the opposite direction of their usual route. Lizy found her dog poking her nose at the cane, she picked it up and went to her friend’s house explaining what had happen.
Her friend informed her that it was the same cane they had seen in the news.
“We met her today and she had no idea that there was even a reward until this morning, when the RCMP contacted her explaining we wished to meet with her,” Katie Joseph, Billy’s daughter tells Victoria buzz.
Have you seen this one of a kind native designed walking stick?
Katie Joseph tells Victoria Buzz it is very sentimental to the family. Her late uncle Rudy made it for her dad before he passed.
“I am so frustrated and disappointed right now… SOMEBODY STOLE my dad’s native-designed walking stick.. It is very sentimental, as it was made by my late uncle Rudy” Katie Joseph wrote on Facebook. “We want it back please. It’s one of a kind… No other like it.”
Joseph says her dad had left the walking stick in the back seat of his mustang and it was stolen on Monday while the car was parked outside their home, on Ned Williams Road in Esquimalt. Billy Joseph Sr didn’t notice the walking stick was missing until the next day when he went to go use it.
The family is offering a $400 cash reward for its return. No questions asked. If you know the whereabouts, you may email Victoria Buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact the West Shore RCMP at (250) 474-2264. The police file number is 2015-12502.
- The top hand is a wolf head
- A silver eagle bracket
- And a green snake on the bottom
- Gold studs on both sides going down