You can go online and type a few words and get anything you could ever want or need. You can get food to be delivered, buy new shoes, find a date for Friday night and you can even pay your bills without getting off your couch.
A 75-year-old man named Ray Johnstone from Adelaide, Australia posted a request on the site Gumtree last month. Gumtree is a site like Angie’s List or Craigslist where you can look for jobs, cars, appliances or even homes. Johnstone was looking for a fishing mate.
His post read, “My Name is Ray Johnstone Australian I’m a widowed pensioner who is Looking [sic] for a fishing mate my previous fishing mate is now deceased I am a Land Based Fisherman I have all the gear for all types of Fish that is required for Land Based Fishing 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.”
Johnstone started getting lots of responses from people in Australia offering to fish with him. Eventually people from all over the world reached out to Ray asking him to join them in their fishing adventures.
Not only have individuals reached out, but companies have as well. Johnstone was offered free fishing gear, all-expense-paid vacations and exclusive trips on fishing charters. All because he wanted a friend to fish with.
A carpenter from Brisbane named Mati Batsinilas was moved to tears when he read Johnstone’s post. After learning of his story, he offered him a two-day fishing trip off Stradbroke Island on a fishing boat.
Mati explained why he offered him the trip. “That is the worst thing — I would not want to be in that position because we love fishing so much. I’m happy to pay for flights for him from SA to Brisbane, pick him up from the airport. This is just something where I feel like I can help and I do it with passion. I want him to have the best experience of his life.”
Johnstone's daughter Pamela Joy Edwards thanked everyone who has reached out in support of her father. In a Facebook post she expresses how lonely he has been and how wonderful this whole experience has been for Ray.