While visiting friends at Camp Mokulēʻia, Rush Randle, an avid windsurfer and metal detector hobbyist decided to hit the beach in front of the camp. With a metal detector in hand, Rush jumped into the water to explore the hidden treasures that lie beneath the ocean.
“I do metal detecting for a hobby,” he said, “I find all kinds of stuff from gold fillings for teeth, dentures, glasses, drones, Apple iPhones, watches, piles of fishing lead, and bullets! You name it and it’s out there! I come across a lot of different types of things and am very curious to know the history of the things I find.”
At first pass, his exploring yielded old fishing weights and some coins. After a little more hunting, he uncovered what looked to be a ring; specifically, a class ring. The corrosion on the ring made it difficult to discern the partially visible markings. Rush also didn’t know what kind of metal it was. Excitedly, he showed his treasure to the friends he was visiting, and they were able to make out a year that was inscribed on the side– 1867.
“I was blown away and got chicken skin,” he said “… but knew that there was no way it was that old,” he said. “But it did say 1867 or something on one side. After getting home I cleaned it up and saw the actual date of 1974 – that meant it was 48 years old!”
While Rush has found rings before - even class rings - he never found anything this old.
With the ring cleaned up, the school’s name was now visible – “St. Andrew’s Priory” – and so were the initials that were engraved in the back – “DH.” After searching the school’s website, Rush reached out to the Alumnae Relations Office, where they were able to figure out who it belonged to, Donna Honda ’74.
Donna attended St. Andrew’s Priory from seventh grade and had fond memories of her time at the school.
“I remember having loads of fun in our junior year with the making of the float for homecoming (which, if I remember correctly, our class won) and of course, decorating the cross with flowers for Ascension Day and spending the night in the gym with the rest of the girls talking about the ghosts that resided on the top floor of Main Hall.”
After receiving her class ring in junior year, Donna never wanted to take it off. So, when her class went on an excursion to Mokulēʻia, she was wearing her ring. While in the water, it somehow slipped off of her finger and was lost to the ocean. Donna was devastated.
“I was pretty upset because I didn't know how to tell my parents since deep down, I knew that it wasn't a good idea to be wearing it to the beach,” she said. “My parents did not get upset or at least not in front of me since they figured that I was sorry and sad for losing it. They purchased a replacement ring.”
When the Alumnae Relations department at St. Andrew’s Schools reached out to Donna to notify her that her ring was found, she was really surprised.
“I hadn't thought about the lost ring for so many years and when I read the message, I couldn't believe that it had been found. What are the chances?”
Since reuniting with her ring, she decided to keep it in the condition it was returned in.
“It sits in my ring case alongside the replacement ring. I appreciate the care and kindness Mr. Randal took in cleaning the ring and returning it to me.”