A lucky find, an honest man, and a Facebook group help return a long lost treasure

News

A family heirloom is now back with its rightful owner thanks to social media and Stolen Stuff Hawaii.

Three weeks ago, KHON2 first reported about a Waikiki man who found a gold cross.

On Tuesday night, KHON2 was there for the emotional reunion.

In May, Jon Abila went diving in the waters off Waikiki, partly for exercise and partly to look for hidden treasures.

And boy did he strike gold.

“I glanced across a shiny object under the coral and I looked back and saw this gold object, so I went down and went to retrieve it and plucked it out of the reef,” said Waikiki resident Jon Abila on May 14. 

It turned out to be a gold cross dated 1932, and with the name Alexander Morison on it.

“I felt like somebody earned it and wanted to get it to the rightful owner,” Abila explained on May 14.

Abila put the pictures on Stolen Stuff Hawaii’s Facebook page, and a few days later, someone came forward — Alexander Morison’s son, Sandy.

The cross belonged to Sandy’s late father, who earned it while singing in a choir in New York.

Sandy had taken the cross from his mother’s jewelry box, and was wearing it while surfing off Waikiki.

The cross fell off on that day back in 1966.

“They contacted me on Facebook, messaged me and said ‘Been to Hawaii? Lost something, this cross?’ That’s how the message went and there was a picture and I just fell apart, I was overwhelmed. I was so emotional I couldn’t even believe it.,” said Alexander Sandy Morrison, Jr. from his home in California on May 14.

Abila was planning to mail it to Morison in California, but the folks at Stolen Stuff Hawaii stepped in to help, once again.

“It was just one of those things where we didn’t want to just mail the cross. What if it got lost in the mail? So what we did is we went ahead and did a GoFundMe and we raised enough money to bring himself and his wife down to do this,” said Stolen Stuff Hawaii creator Michael Kitchens.

Tuesday night in Ko Olina there was a reunion more than 50 years in the making.

“Sandy, the wait is over. Today’s the day,” said Abila.

“Oh my gosh, can’t even do this. Oh my God, oh my God, it’s beautiful. I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it,” Morison said as he hugged Abila. “Thank you man, thank you from my heart man. You’re such an awesome person, I can’t believe you even found it in the first place.”

In return, Morison gave Abila a token of his appreciation — framed artwork, painted by his sister.

“If I was a millionaire I would give him a huge cash reward for this,” Morison said.

A new friendship grew between these two men, separated by the Pacific Ocean, but brought together by a gold cross, social media, and thanks to an honest man.

“I’m just glad I did what I did because if it happened to me I would want them to do the same thing,” Abila said.

“He’s the most righteous person. I hope our friendship lasts ’til the day that I die. I hope we become closer friends,” Morison said.

Abila works for the City and County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department.

On Tuesday night, he was recognized by City Council Chairman Ernie Martin, and Lieutenant Governor Doug Chin for being an everyday hero.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories