The snack vendor who played a role in returning a lost wallet to its owner last Monday is feeling proud and satisfied.
As she plied her trade outside of the Princess Margaret Secondary School this morning, Margaret Payne told Barbados TODAY she was pleased that she was able to help Reynold Weekes Primary students Nathan Leon Blackman, his twin sister Natalia Blackman, their cousin Jaquon Blackman, and friend Jerome Forde, return the property to its owner Reginald Jones, with all of the money and other personal intact.
But according to the vendor of almost 25 years, what gave her true satisfaction was the fact that “those four children were honest to not touch that money, but try to get it back to the owner”.
“For me, what those children did is what really makes me proud,” Payne said.
The Lead Vale, Christ Church resident was selling outside the Four Roads, St Philip primary school when the students approached her with the wallet, which they had found nearby.
“The kids came to me and say ‘Aunty Margaret, Aunty Margaret, we found this purse’. But I didn’t pay them no mind because I thought they were fooling around. I just glanced and say that is good. When I look I see the purse there. I asked ‘where you all get that? Give it to me’, she recalled.
Payne said she immediately contacted a friend whom she believed would have known Jones. Before Jones met with Payne, he asked her if money was in the purse.
“I asked him how much money was in the purse. He told me how much money was in the purse and when I checked, the exact money was there. When he came over in Six Roads and he come to me, I presented him with the purse, and he was very glad to see that he got back his money, ID card and everything.
“And I was very glad the children bring it to me because there were four other people out there. There was the pizza man and another younger vendor. They didn’t return it to the school. So I say the children trusted me and I was very pleased,” she said.
Payne said she decided to take a picture of the children and asked her daughter to post it on Facebook along with a story about the good deed they did because she believed they deserved the publicity and praise. She said, at a time when Barbados was trying to recover from the spate of crime in January, it was a breath of fresh air to see young people do something positive.
“I say let me take this picture and show that we still have honest kids here in Barbados. Not only all of this fighting should be on social media. But it is not only me to get the praise; I think charity begins at home. If those children were children that in a home accustomed to stealing I guess they would have taken home the money,” she said.
The mother of three indicated that she is constantly reminding the students who buy from her, both at Reynold Weekes, and at Princess Margaret, that they should always be on their best behaviour, which includes practicing honesty.
“My mother always told me that it does not matter how poor you are, you should always be honest. If something does not belong to you, do not keep it because it is not yours. I am glad to see that those four children’s parents teaching them the same thing my mother taught me,” Payne stressed.