Posted on 03 October 2012 by Keith Lacey
Sometimes small things happen in your life that restore your faith in humanity and put a smile on your face.
One of those incidents happened to Osoyoos resident Murray Robertson 10 days ago.
Sitting at the kitchen table with his wife enjoying his first cup of morning coffee at his 78 Street home in downtown Osoyoos on Saturday, Sept. 22, Robertson was surprised to hear a knock on the door around 9:30 a.m.
When he answered the door, Robertson was greeted by five smiling teenagers.
“They told me they were from a church group and they asked me if there was anything around the house or yard that I might need a hand with,” said Robertson, who moved to Osoyoos eight years ago from Alberta to be closer to several family members who live in the South Okanagan.
“My plans for that Saturday were to pick the peaches from my peach tree in the front yard. The peaches were very late coming in this year and I figured this was my last chance to clean the tree. I had a number of things I could have asked these kids to do, but I mentioned I had plans to clean my peach tree, so they offered to help and jumped right in.”
Within half an hour, the five teenagers had filled a huge basket full of peaches.
“I asked them if they had ever picked peaches before and none of them had, so I told them which ones were ready for picking, which was most of them, and which ones not to touch,” he said. “They didn’t hesitate and had picked the tree clean in about half an hour. I was very impressed.”
Robertson didn’t ask them what church they were from and he didn’t ask their names, but said they were all extremely friendly and more than willing to do anything he asked as an act of random kindness.
“They were all very nice kids and seemed to really get a kick out of helping out,” he said. “I had never met any of these kids before and for them to just show up and offer to help a stranger, well, it kind of touched me. I still hadn’t forgotten about it a couple of days later.”
Robertson sent an email to the Osoyoos Times describing the incident and was more than willing to share his story when contacted early last week.
There are a lot of young people who garner attention for doing bad things, but Robertson said he felt he wanted to speak out about a great group of youngsters in this community who happily engaged in doing a good deed for no other reason than they wanted to.
“I offered them a few bucks for helping me out, but they wouldn’t take it,” he said. “I don’t know if the pastor or priest from the church they belong to encouraged them to do this or if they did it on their own, but I do know I really appreciated it and couldn’t thank them enough.”
The only thing the members of the group asked were if they could say a prayer after they had finished picking the peaches, said Robertson.
“I’m not a particularly religious person, but I said, ‘of course they could say a prayer,’ ” said Robertson.
“They said a nice little prayer and they went on their way. I don’t know how many other people they helped that day, but I did see them later in the day in the neighbourhood, so I figure I’m not the only person they helped out that day.”
At age 66, Robertson said he’s never been the recipient of such a decent act of kindness.
“It made my day, that’s for sure,” he said.
Robertson was so touched by the random act of kindness, that he told many friends and family members and actually posted a message on Facebook.
“I couldn’t get it out of my head and I wanted to let people know what these kids did for me,” he said. “It was a very nice thing and they were very nice kids. I just want everyone in town to know not all kids are ruffians and trouble makers and there are a lot of great kids like this doing good work.”