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Bermuda’s Rudolph delivers lost treasures

The famous red-nosed reindeer may have helped to deliver your gifts this Christmas, but his namesake has been bringing joy to households in Bermuda all year round.

For the past 15 years, refuse collector Rudolph Spence has spent his spare time returning lost and stolen items he has found while collecting trash around Hamilton.

If he cannot track down the owner, Mr Spence, who has a growing reputation as one of the Island's community heroes, will take items to the police station or donate them to charity.

Over the years he has found everything from wallets and money wrapped up in receipts, to items of jewellery and clothes with the tags still on.

“I lead the sleigh,” Mr Spence told The Royal Gazette. “I have helped a lot of people over the years.

“Once I started walking and collecting my bins I would just happen to see wallets, purses, things that people had lost or that had been stolen.

“I would take them out of the trash and look for ID and then try to find where they stay and return it to them. I work until 12 o'clock so then I go and look for the people.

“I have found DVDs, jewellery, clothes. A little while back I would take everything to the police station but they would ask me lots of questions, like I was the person who had took it.

“Some stuff I will take to the Salvation Army, sometimes I will take the cards to the bank. There has been a lot over the years.

“Sometimes people aren't paying attention and they throw their money away and then I might keep it. But if I was to find a wallet with money in it I would return it with the money.”

Most recently, Mr Spence returned a wallet to Anne Duzevic, who lives in Paget, with all her credit cards, licence and personal items of sentimental value still in place. He recalled: “I went to the Paget gas station first because I wasn't sure where the address was, and one of the guys knew who she was and told me where she stayed.

“I went down the alley and started calling out and then she came out. It was amazing.

“She was so happy, she couldn't believe it. She looked like she wanted to cry and she hugged me. She said her daughter had bought the wallet for her, so it was personal.”

Ms Duzevic was compelled to send a letter to this newspaper, praising Mr Spence and saying she had feared the wallet had been stolen and lost for ever.

“How wonderful it is to know that there are good, honest people in this world,” she wrote.

“Mr Rudolph Spence, my heartfelt thanks. Your kindness and honesty ­— overwhelming.”

Mr Spence, a cousin of Gina Spence, who also does work in the community, said he owed his good nature to his late sisters and his upbringing in a children's home.

He said: “I was brought up in a children's home — the Brangman Home.

“Lord bless all my sisters, they have all passed now, but they brought me up right and taught me to do the right thing.

“They took me to the church and taught me to respect my elders. So that is what I do.”

Community champion: Rudolph Spence goes out of his way to trace the owners of lost or stolen items he has found around Hamilton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 29, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 29, 2015 at 8:43 am)

Bermuda’s Rudolph delivers lost treasures

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