Repaying a Debt

Usually the news stories we read nowadays show us the darker side of human nature. Robberies, murders and other crimes, embezzlement, politicians’ manipulations, terror attacks,- stories about these are in plenty.
So we feel heartened when we read an occasional story about something positive. I came across such a story today about something that happened recently, and thought I would share it here.
 LONDON: A British man who had lent a penniless Australian tourist £5 in 1969 has received his money back… after 39 years.
Jim Webb, from Sheffield, was paid £200, five pounds for every year that had gone by.

A card and the money were hand-delivered to the 72-year-old Webb’s home by Gary Fenton to repay money he had borrowed when they met in Ostend, Belgium, the BBC reported.

A note inside read: “To Jim Webb, a good man. From Gary Fenton, a tardy payer of debts.”

It seems that 39 years ago, Gary Fenton had run out of money while travelling in Europe and did not have enough left to get back home to Australia. Webb lent him the money, but never heard from him again.

 Till 39 years later. 

Fenton had forgotten about the debt, but remembered so many years later while going through some old papers.

Webb was quite emotional when he read the note and said that it was a lovely gesture. 

Maybe there is still hope for the human race!



  1. Manju, I mentioned somewhere that we have become too negative that positive things don’t matter to us anymore. Media sells bad news for TRPs and we lap it up too. Thanks for this beautiful piece.


  2. Really uplifting stuff. Perhaps there is a need or a newspaper/TV channel that focuses on many such positive stories that keep our faith and hope alive…This is like a good morning cup of tea after a restless night.


  3. Solilo- I wish the media would highlight the positive news from time to time. But as you say, they have to print/show the news that sells.Vinodji- I liked to watch the Hallmark channel which usually showed positive stories. My children used to tease me for that.But now our cable operator has discontinued this channel. Probably it was not very popular- no sensational stories.


  4. May be we all want to watch something exciting and dramatic, even if negative, all the time…a break from the rather dull, mechanical, predictive lives most of us lead.


  5. Thanks for the news Manju..Yes,we still have hope..We need to believe in ourselves,and then have trust on others..If we are not confident about ourselves,we will be cribbing at somebody esle’s fortune..Media is stuffed with these bad news bcoz,over a course of time,we have grown insensitive to such incidents,that we bother to appreciate the positive side.We are always in search for next best worst news…Spreading these type of news will impart positive energy to others who read it.. Thanks again.I got rid of my bad feeling i ahd afdter reading a post on a baby getting raped 😦


  6. Vinodji, Nimmy, Kavi- I think that we have become so accustomed to negativism that we do not think of positive answers to anything.If we see any social/ political wrong being done all we can think of is morchas, protests or bans. We have forgotten how to do anything positive or constructive.Perhaps because that takes more effort or commitment on our part?


  7. Proves that conscience does prick even if it did after 39 years.I think that there is immense goodness existing but we refuse to believe. There is too much focus and hype on negativity and there fore we feel that we are being overwhelmed.Mind is also very funny. It will always doubt anything good and immediately accept anything negative as the absolute truth.


  8. >>We have forgotten how to do anything positive or constructive.Perhaps because that takes more effort or commitment on our part?Of course that is the reason Manju..It is easy to point fingers,but it is difficult,indeed very difficult to come out of the cozy shell and do somethign in real.. the point is in we identifying our role in the society..Not everybody can go on streets..we ahve our own role in our society,but what is it,how is it and are we committed to it,these are the questions to be answered…


  9. Beautiful story Manju! Maybe finally human interest stories can be focused. We need more such stories today to remove the cynicism around.One of the main reasons I enjoy reading your posts.Rashmi


  10. Beth- Thanks for visiting my blog! Yes, I am tired of reading negative stories, too.Rashmi- I think we need ‘feel good’ stories from time to time to restore our faith in the goodness of human beings.


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