Tauranga man wants walking stick back

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Peter Coombe, 82, has lost his dad's and granddad's walking, which is stick similar to this one. Photo/George Novak
Peter Coombe, 82, has lost his dad's and granddad's walking, which is stick similar to this one. Photo/George Novak

A 120-year-old walking stick has gone missing and its owner is appealing for help to find it.

Bellevue resident Hoppy Coombe was dropping off a bed in Matua on Wednesday when he put the walking stick on the back of his trailer before driving home about 10am.

"I used my walking stick, but I left it on the side of the trailer and drove off. I turned around and came back almost immediately but I couldn't find it."

My grandfather used it all his life, then my father did and now I have had it for 40 odd years.
Hoppy Coombe

Mr Coombe had only driven between one and two kilometres along Matua Rd and Levers Rd, Matua when he realised it was not in the car with him.

The walking stick was passed down to him by his father Albert Coombe, who received it from his father, Henry Coombe.

"My grandfather used it all his life, then my father did and now I have had it for 40-odd years."

Henry Coombe had the walking stick made out of native timber after he arrived in New Zealand in about 1896.

There were two walking stick badges glued on to the front of the stick, one of them was of Loch Ness "Nessy", the other was a Scottish emblem of a set of pipes.

It had a curved handle and a rubber stopper on the bottom.

Mr Coombe described it as a gent's walking stick which was in mint condition. It was a light to medium wood colour with natural knots in the grain.

Mr Coombe said the walking stick was very sentimental to him.

"It's a family thing. I am a bit of a collector but I can't replace it. I would really just love to get it back," he said.

Mr Coombe remembered his father using the stick growing up.

"My father was a very distinguished person, he would wear gloves, trilby hats and use his walking stick. He was very proper. My father used the walking stick because it was customary to do so."

Mr Coombe described his father as a "very dapper fellow" .

"He, like me and my father, was a Freemason. It was customary for him to be in evening dress."

Not only loved for its sentimental purposes, Mr Coombe needed the stick everyday to help him walk because he suffers from myasthenia, a condition causing abnormal weakness of certain muscles.

"I would love my stick back."

Have you seen or heard anything about Hoppy's walking stick? Call 576 5054

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