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A gift from Andy

Helen Coffin made this ceramic boot 33 years ago, and her son Andy gave it to his teacher. Andy Coffin died 21 years ago, but the boot just made it back to his mother Helen recently.
Helen Coffin made this ceramic boot 33 years ago, and her son Andy gave it to his teacher. Andy Coffin died 21 years ago, but the boot just made it back to his mother Helen recently.

Helen Coffin got an early Christmas gift this year, a precious memory of a son lost two decades ago.

A small ceramic boot Coffin had made and given to her son Andy 33 years ago to give to his teacher was returned to the family.

Coffin said she was making ceramic items at the time.

"My initials were on it, and I had marked on it 'To Mrs. Bungay from Andy' on the bottom of the ceramic boot," she said, referring to Sandra Bungay.

Andy Coffin is a well-known name on the southwest coast.

The young man died in July 1995, having drowned in Little Barachois near J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park. Andy's Rainbow Park in Port aux Basques was built in his memory.

"I guess somewhere either she (Bungay) put it in a yard sale or she gave it to someone," Coffin said.

The boot ended up in the hands of Nicole Street's mother-in-law, although Coffin said she isn't sure how.

Street was looking through some items her mother-in-law had and came across the boot.

Coffin said Street brought the boot home and decided to give it to a friend's child as a gift.

But when Street handed the boot to her friend, she saw the engraving on the bottom.

Coffin said Street immediately told her friend she couldn't give the boot away because she knew what the engraving meant.

Coffin got a message from Street about the boot.

"I thought 'My God, I just can't believe this,' " Coffin said. "This boot, to show up like this now is really strange."

Coffin took the boot and made it into a centrepiece for the table this Christmas.

In a Facebook post after she received the boot, Coffin said she cried tears of joy when she found out about the remarkable gift.

"Most of you may think that it's silly that this little outdated ceramic boot would mean so much but what are the chances of something 33 years old finding its way home to me," she wrote.

bryan.tait@tc.tc

A small ceramic boot Coffin had made and given to her son Andy 33 years ago to give to his teacher was returned to the family.

Coffin said she was making ceramic items at the time.

"My initials were on it, and I had marked on it 'To Mrs. Bungay from Andy' on the bottom of the ceramic boot," she said, referring to Sandra Bungay.

Andy Coffin is a well-known name on the southwest coast.

The young man died in July 1995, having drowned in Little Barachois near J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park. Andy's Rainbow Park in Port aux Basques was built in his memory.

"I guess somewhere either she (Bungay) put it in a yard sale or she gave it to someone," Coffin said.

The boot ended up in the hands of Nicole Street's mother-in-law, although Coffin said she isn't sure how.

Street was looking through some items her mother-in-law had and came across the boot.

Coffin said Street brought the boot home and decided to give it to a friend's child as a gift.

But when Street handed the boot to her friend, she saw the engraving on the bottom.

Coffin said Street immediately told her friend she couldn't give the boot away because she knew what the engraving meant.

Coffin got a message from Street about the boot.

"I thought 'My God, I just can't believe this,' " Coffin said. "This boot, to show up like this now is really strange."

Coffin took the boot and made it into a centrepiece for the table this Christmas.

In a Facebook post after she received the boot, Coffin said she cried tears of joy when she found out about the remarkable gift.

"Most of you may think that it's silly that this little outdated ceramic boot would mean so much but what are the chances of something 33 years old finding its way home to me," she wrote.

bryan.tait@tc.tc

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