Home African Caribbean Honesty Is Always The Best Policy

Honesty Is Always The Best Policy

by Tony Kelly
1 comment

In fairness sometimes I struggle to find a topic to write on a fortnightly basis for this online magazine but this one is a no-brainer as it happened over the weekend and remains vivid in my memory. I will relay a true story which shows that there are indeed some honest, trustworthy people in the world, and we must never lose sight of that fact.

Every year in Birmingham in the rush up to Christmas the Black Business Initiative and Black Owned Businesses display their goods/wares at the Legacy Centre of Excellence in Aston for what is referred to as Black Pound Day Market. So, on Saturday 2nd December I went as usual to offer support and purchase unique Christmas gifts of which there is always a large variety on display for sale. Saturday’s event was well attended and after I had finished shopping, I could not find my Samsung Galaxy S20 mobile phone. I had used the device in the car via Bluetooth mode on the way to the venue so assumed I left it on one of the vendor’s tables but it was nowhere to be seen despite repeatedly tracing my steps. The staff at the Legacy Centre were very helpful and kept dialing the number on several occasions as the place was buzzing with the noise of shoppers and sellers. Although it rang, the distinctive ring tone was not sounding anywhere in the building so I went home and gave it up as a lost cause having resigned myself to buying a new mobile phone since I never do rental packages because they tend to be too expensive in the long run. I was not overly optimistic of ever getting the phone back.

Whilst driving home as a well-known technophobe, my head was spinning with thoughts of how to retrieve the stored contact names/numbers as well as WhatsApp messages and videos. Also, how will I remember all the forthcoming diary appointments stored in the phone? I was feeling a bit stressed but decided to keep calm and hope for the best outcome.

On arriving home, I immediately rang EE the phone service provider and whilst speaking to the customer service advisor noticed an email message on my laptop computer from someone stating that he had found my mobile phone near to where my car had been parked opposite  the Legacy Centre of Excellence.  Clearly it fell out of my pocket and with the autumn leaves on the ground I did not hear the sound as they cushioned the fall. Diabetes really saved the day so to speak as in the phone’s  protective case  I always  keep some of my diabetes contact cards which contain our home phone number and email address  [email protected]  The Black African man who found my phone had the presence of mind to send me an email while I was literally speaking to the EE customer representative as to how best to temporarily block the sim card.  Even though to make calls on the phone was set up with fingerprint recognition another sim card could have been put in it. I have to make mention of his ethnicity as with so much negativity in the press/media pertaining to Black men, here was a clear case of accentuating the positives. His values, attitude and belief system were apparent and proved that he had a good upbringing.  From the function he was attending at the Iqbal Banqueting Suite in Aston, he also rang the Legacy Centre of Excellence as he surmised that was where I had been. One of the staff from the Legacy Centre rang me from the contact card that I had left with them informing me of this person’s mobile number and name so that I could establish contact with him.

I made arrangements to meet him in order to retrieve the phone and despite offering him a reward he refused to accept it. I thanked him but he remained adamant that he did not require a financial reward for what was without doubt a good, worthy and honourable deed.  It is an incident like this which restores one’s faith in human nature and reaffirms the well-known adage that honesty is the best policy. I will be eternally grateful for his act of selflessness and wish more people would display such traits in their daily lives. There are still many decent, law-abiding and honest people that behave in the way that my elders also instilled in me but all that seems to be newsworthy these days is of a negative nature. Stories such as this need to be told and highlighted in the press and on social media platforms.

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


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1 comment

Tony Kelly December 4, 2023 - 9:09 pm

The comment below is the response I got from the person who found my mobile phone and I invited him to read the fortnightly article that I wrote.

” Wow, that was a good read. Thank you so much for the appreciation. I’m glad I was able to be a source of inspiration for your article, while at the same time being instrumental to your device being found. I guess worthwhile relationships are established over little gestures as this; maybe this could be one of them. Stay well and blessed.

By the way I’m Nigerian and hope to meet more of your acquaintance as time goes by.”


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