RETURNED: Glen and Donna Ford and Coralyn Ellis and the returned accordion.
RETURNED: Glen and Donna Ford and Coralyn Ellis and the returned accordion. QPS MEDIA

Accordion brings joy to grieving family

A MAN with the best of intentions and policing resources has made for a heartwarming story that has given a grieving family a small measure of comfort after a harrowing fatal crash earlier this year.

The incredible story began when Bayside District Crime Prevention Senior Constable Brendon Winslow left his contact details at a home security presentation in Wynnum recently.

Glen Ford, a member of the Wynnum Manly Rotary Club, phoned Snr Const Winslow for help after he found an accordion in a van he bought at auction.

Mr Ford found the item inside and checks on the vehicle found it had been involved in a fatal traffic crash. On a police blog published this week, Snr Const Winslow said Mr Ford and his wife thought the accordion "may hold substantial sentimental value to, well, someone - only they didn't know who”.

Mr Ford recruited Snr Const Winslow to the cause, who made some phone calls and found the fatal crash occurred at Miles on the Western Downs.

"I phoned the first response officer, Senior Constable Scott Pogan, explained our little dilemma and he responded in a typical 'out west' manner,” Snr Const Winslow said.

"Oh ripper mate. It belonged to the poor bloke that died in the crash. The family are gunna be over the moon, ol' mate.

"They been askin' 'bout this thing but I ain't never even seen it. Don't s'pose ol' mate also found a walking cane as well?”

The crash victim was identified as Allen Henry Ellis, 90, who died in the crash near Chinchilla in April.

It was enough for Snr Const Winslow, who contacted the crash victim's next of kin, Coralyn Ellis.

On being told of the discovery, Snr Const Winslow said the woman "shed tears of joy”.

"She went on to explain both she and her sister had tried to no avail and had all but given up hope of locating their father's accordion and walking cane,” he said.

Snr Const Winslow paid tribute to Mr Ellis, a farmer of 70 years who at the "ripe age of 90 years old was still putting back into the community by attending retirement functions to play his accordion”.

"Since having put Glen and Coralyn in contact with each other, Glen and his wife drove to Toowoomba, where they hand-delivered the accordion to Coralyn.

"Not only that but they re-searched the van, locating Mr Ellis' walking cane, and returned that as well.”

For Snr Const Winslow, the investigation and reunion was a bittersweet moment and marked "one of those days when I was happy to have gone to work”.

"I also thank you, Glen, for doing the right thing and bringing immense pleasure to family members of Mr Ellis,” he said.

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