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The mystery of the travellers cheque in the wall

David Welychko of Ripple Rock Restorations is hoping someone out there knows something about this traveller’s cheque – found in the wall of an apartment recently damaged by fire – so it can be returned to its rightful owner.

David Welychko and his crew at Ripple Rock Restorations find all kinds of things in walls.

They’ve found guns, old newspapers, even old tobacco cans full of cash.

“We found a tobacco can in a wall once that had $600 American in it,” Welychko says.

“We just about threw it in the dumpster. It was just all black and dirty mixed in with old appliances and tools, but we opened it up and found the cash inside, gave it back to the guy, and he just said, ‘Oh, I’d forgotten all about that.’ He didn’t even say thanks.”

This week, however, they found a mystery – a $100 mystery with a signature on it.

“We’re dismantling an apartment that had been burnt,” Welychko says.

“We took out the flooring and the cabinets and everything, and as we were taking out the drywall, one of the workers was cleaning up the bits on the floor and found this travellers cheque,” he says.

“We don’t know exactly where it came from, but it was in the wall somewhere.”

The apartment in question is at Ocean View Apartments, 541 7th Avenue, which burnt on the morning of Dec. 7.

“There’s all kinds of things hidden in walls,” he says, “but this is the first one we’ve found with someone’s name on it, so hopefully we can find the owner of it.”

One possibility is that the note belongs – or belonged – to Takao Matsunaga, who passed away on Christmas Day, 2013, according to an obituary in this very publication.

“It looks like it could be T. Matsunaga,” Welychko says.

“That’s a family that’s been here forever as far as I know,” he laughs, “but I don’t know what side of the family this is from or how to get ahold of them, so I thought I’d come to (the newspaper) and see if you could help track down the rightful owner.”

Anyone with information about the mysterious travellers cheque can contact Welychko by email at or by phone at 250-850-1168.


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