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'It's what we do': Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran's stolen guitar


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an elderly veteran whose guitar went missing earlier this month.

Edward Sheppard, 82, was devastated after his guitar — a gift from his late wife — was stolen from his home in Stephenville Crossing, N.L.

"It meant a lot to all of us, it was a labour of love," Sheppard's daughter, Yolanda, said in an interview on Saturday.

"She saved for years, she rolled a lot of change to save it. And when she had enough, I helped her out and we went and got dad a guitar. It wasn't fancy, but it was all she could afford."

Yolanda said the guitar, which her father had decorated with floral patterns, went missing sometime in the last two weeks.

After Edward's story received media attention, comedian Mark Critch sent out a tweet on Friday asking if his any of musician friends had a guitar they could spare for him.

"I know that nothing can replace the sentimental arrangement of the real one but does anyone know of an instrument to match?" he wrote.

Musician Alan Doyle, most famous for his work with Canadian folk band Great Big Sea, responded: "I got one he can have for sure." 

On Saturday morning, he hand-delivered the guitar to Sheppard, who was staying at his son's home in St. John's.

The two had an impromptu jam session, and Doyle tweeted out a short video of Edward playing the new guitar and whistling.

"Wonderful hang with a wonderful man," wrote the musician in another post. "Hope you get your stolen guitar back. This one should keep u going till then."

Yolanda said she's grateful for Critch's and Doyle's quick responses, but she isn't surprised that fellow Newfoundlanders stepped in to help.

"Being a good Newfoundland girl, I always tell everyone: it's what we do," she said.

"We always come together to help out each other and help everyone that we can. It doesn't surprise me whatsoever, not a bit."

She added that many other people also offered to help her dad get another guitar.

While Edward is "very, very excited" to be strumming again, Yolanda said she hopes the missing guitar finds its way back to her father, since it holds a lot of sentimental value for him.

"He's a really nice man who didn't deserve something like that to happen to him," she said. "Sometimes an item can mean so much to someone."

The Canadian Press

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