Kosha and Doug Lipke take a look at a couple of the slides from among the box containing hundreds of photos that Clayton Rogers found last year. Photo by Terry Farrell

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Vancouver Island city returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

The mystery of the missing slides has been solved, thanks to local media sources.

Last summer, Courtenay resident Clayton Rogers came across a box in a Courtenay parking lot. The box was filled with photo slides of family memories.

RELATED: Box of family slides found in Courtenay parking lot

Rogers held onto the box for a while, not knowing what to do.

His mother, Karen, reached out to The Comox Valley Record last week, hoping the local Black Press publication could help solve the mystery.

An article was posted to the Record website on May 22, grabbing the attention of the local television station.

On Monday, CTV Vancouver Island ran a clip on its 6 p.m. newscast, and soon thereafter, the dots were connected.

Tuesday morning, Kosha and Gord Lipke came to the Record office to pick up their long-lost family treasures.

“I have no idea how they got here,” said Kosha. “We used to live in Ontario, and we moved to the Island 10 years ago. But we live in Bowser. I have no idea how that box of slides could have ended up in a parking lot in Courtenay. We do come to Courtenay occasionally, to do shopping, but that part of the mystery remains. We were unaware they were even missing.”

Kosha said she and her husband, Gord, received a phone call from CTV reporter Gord Kurbis, telling her about the box.

“He had already been in touch with my daughter who lives on Salt Spring,” said Kosha. “I guess he showed her a link to his story and there was a picture of her and her brother when they were seven or eight.”

Kurbis said he received a phone call immediately after his clip ran on the evening news.

“It was actually right after dinner,” he said. “There was a viewer from Victoria who said ‘I think I recognize Shelley Lipke’ because the one photo was of her (Koshi’s) daughter, Shelley, and her son, standing in front of a barrel that said ‘Lipke’ on it. So I started leaving messages for people last night, and it wasn’t until this morning that people started getting back to me. I sent the photo to Shelley and she said ‘yeah, that’s me.’ ”

Rogers said he was surprised to get the call Tuesday morning that the mystery had been solved.

“My mom called me to tell me that the people were found, who they belong to. I was surprised to hear … they were actually from around here. They live so close.”

“We are so grateful to everyone involved – especially the young man who found these,” said Kosha.



terry.farrell@blackpress.ca

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