Two weeks ago, Ray Johnstone, an elderly man living alone in South Australia, posted a classified ad in search of a friend. Specifically, he was on the hunt for a fishing partner, as he no longer had anyone to share his hobby with. “I'm a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate,” he wrote on Gumtree. “My previous fishing mate is now deceased. I am a land based fisherman. I have all the gear for all types of fish that is required for land based fishing.”
Like all of us, 22-year-old Mati Batsinilas was touched by the man's advertisement, so he reached out to him and arranged an outing. Rather than simply spend the day with Johnstone somewhere local, however, he and his family offered to take him on an all-inclusive weekend fishing trip off of Stradbroke Island in Queensland. And, as expected, they had a blast. “Whilst on the island we covered four wheel driving, site seeing, fishing, swimming, chats with the locals and the best of all… just relaxing and chatting like mates,” Batsinilas wrote in a Facebook post. “Once you reach a level of maturity in life, age should only be a number. My respect for Ray is obviously very high, but I treated him exactly the way I would have treated one of my 22 yr old mates.”
Fortunately, it sounds like Johnstone won't have to place more classifieds any time soon. In addition to finding a friend in Batsinilas, the pensioner has found Internet stardom, with many social media users voicing their interests in meeting the now-famous fisherman.
After posting a classified ad looking for a fishing partner, Ray Johnstone found a friend in 22-year-old Mati Batsinilas.
Batsinilas and his family took Johnstone on an all-inclusive fishing trip for the weekend.
Here's to a lifelong friendship!