WICHIT, PHUKET: Cynics take note: Like chivalry, honesty is not yet totally dead in Phuket.
A gas station attendant returned a purse containing 10,000 baht (approx US$300) in cash and other valuables to a British woman who had accidentally dropped it while filling up on Sunday morning.
English expat Kathleen (‘Katie’) Gooch-Firmin pulled into the PTT filling station on Chao Fah East Road at about 8:30 Sunday morning to fill up gasoline canisters in preparation for the King’s Cup Regatta, now underway in Kata.
Katie, Commodore of the Phuket Yacht Club in Ao Yon, has lived in Phuket three years. She was hurriedly preparing children for dinghy racing in the regatta at the time.
In her rush to fill the canisters and get the kids to the starting line on time, she dropped her purse in the parking lot.
“I didn’t realize it until I’d reached my destination in Kata. I started to drive back, but thought there was really little chance of finding it. But on my way back to the station, I received a telephone call from Tops Supermarket giving me a number to call as someone had found my purse,” she explained.
Staff at the PTT station had opened the purse to look for contact information about its owner. Inside was a ‘TOPS Spot Award Card’ issued by the TOPS Supermarket at Central Festival Phuket.
The PTT staff then coordinated with TOPS staff in getting Mrs Gooch-Firmin’s wallet back to her.
“On arriving back at the filling station my purse was returned. The young pump attendant, Ms Kanuengjit Ditsara, had found it and handed it in…. I was so relieved to see the cash, ATM cards, credit cards, personal membership cards, my Thai driving license… everything was there. Losing all of this would have caused me a tremendous hassle,” she said.
After a great deal of persuasion by Mrs Gooch-Firmin, Ms Kanuengjit finally accepted a 1,000 baht reward for her honesty and good work.
Ms Kanuengjit declined the Gazette’s request to photograph her for this story. The newspaper has also offered to match Mrs Gooch-Firmin’s cash reward, but that, too, has been declined.
— Stephen Michael Fein
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