A decades-old family photo album collecting dust in an airport lost property section looks set to make its way back to its owner thanks to social media.
The brown and gold album and a framed and faded woman’s portrait photograph turned up at Darwin International Airport.
A couple of months ago one of the airport’s duty managers was handed it and then passed it onto the airport’s communications adviser, Claire Eltringham.
“We’re not actually sure when it arrived at the airport. It was in a shopping bag with the album, frame and some other bits and pieces,” Ms Eltringham said.
“[The duty manager] didn’t know what to do with it, and I wasn’t sure, so I spoke to our legal counsel.
“It’s obviously something that somebody would want back.”
On Wednesday Ms Eltringham posted images from the album to the airport’s Facebook page with the faces of people partially redacted for privacy purposes.
“The album is circa 1985 and includes the names Cherie, Jason, Glenn, Natasha, Ryan, Sean, Brandy and Alayne,” the post read.
Within hours the post was being shared many times and people were commenting on it with their own detective work about all the Darwin locations pictured and the possible Queensland location of a photographed “big orange”.
“OMG that’s my mum’s photo album,” one comment read.
“My mum will be so happy.”
Airport comes across items of sentimental value
Ms Eltringham said the airport believed the claim was genuine and that, going off comments, a woman had lost the album several years ago when moving from Darwin to Adelaide.
“It’s amazing. I actually didn’t expect that we would find the owner,” she said.
“It’s just by chance that somebody went to school with [the owner's daughter].”
The airport is in the process of verifying the claim and returning the album.
Ms Eltringham said she did not “imagine something like [the album] would turn up very often” in lost property but that the airport did encounter lots of items with clear sentimental value.
“It’s been such a good news story that I spoke to our legal counsel today to send around something to staff that if stuff like this happens again, we can get it back to its rightful owner,” she said.
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