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Carnival Australia Connection Sees Priceless Family Link Restored to US Family

December 19, 2016 Cruise No Comments Email Email

The chance discovery of a 1938 American high school ring during a cruise from Australia to Papua New Guinea (PNG) has seen a precious piece of history returned to a New Jersey family.

When Alotau villager Liam Ngahan showed former PNG patrol officer, John Hocknull, a ring that he had found on the site of a new house being built in the village for his mother, John instinctively knew it was a significant find.

A guest lecturer on Carnival Australia cruise ships sailing to PNG, John has strong links to the American education system and knew the Audubon High School ring would be of huge sentimental value to the original owner’s family in New Jersey.

He set about finding out who owned the ring with the letters ‘EDD’ inscribed on it and with the help of the school and the internet, managed to trace the original owner, Edward Dodds.

From there Mr Dodds’ connection to the Milne Bay district of PNG fell into place. In 1943, Mr Dodds was serving in the US military and was stationed at Alotau where a field hospital was located during World War Two.It seems Mr Dodds lost the ring while he was based there and no doubt thought it was gone forever.

When John returned to Alotauthe following month, he was able to tell Liam what he had discovered about the origins and ownership of the ring and arrange for its return.

Mr Dodds’ surviving family now have this prized family link restored after the ring was returned to them in time for the holiday season.

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