Over the course of the past 36 hours, it’s been made abundantly clear that Ray Johnstone – the 75 year-old Adelaide widower who posted an ad on Gumtree searching for a fishing mate – needs to be given an honorary Australian Of The Year title, or something that reflects how he has truly captured the heart of our nation.
We told you yesterday that the heart, body and soul of the internet was exploding with pathos and adoration over Ray and his frank declaration of wanting some quality company, and by god, did he find some friends – one, in particular, was confirmed to be meeting up with him later in the week.
Blessed Ray then popped up on 7 News last night to express his disbelief re: the way this all went down. I don’t know about you, but the closeup of his quivering hands threading bait onto the line was almost too much for my ticker to bear.
Of course, the only tragic element of Ray’s happy ending is he will fade out of the news cycle; keen to reflect on his stupendous achievements, hopefully with his new unnamed companion at the mouth of a fish-laden river.
Well, in this case, the hungry journos aren’t giving up, and thank Christ for that. Ray made another appearance on 7 News earlier this evening, because everyone knows that the world needs some pure joy right about now.
When asked about what’s been happening in the past day, Ray seemingly found it difficult to even capture his newfound fame into words:
“The phone’s been going nonstop. Went ’til 11 o’clock last night from about 7.30 in the morning.
“I had to have it on charge about three times during the day.”
He’s even getting a bit tired of it, tbh – confessing that he hopes the incessant phone calls “stop soon”.
We also learn the identity of the bloke who responded to Ray’s ad (fkn finally; the suspense was killing me). In this case, it’s actually two dudes – Brisbane brothers Peter and Mati Batsinilas.
“I think he wasn’t too sure if I was being serious or not,” said Mati, so, to prove it, they’re bringing Ray and his grandson over on an all-expenses-paid trip to their favourite fishing hole – Stradbroke Island.
“Something that is almost nothing to us has the potential to change someone’s life, and that’s just amazing.”
More charters in Sydney and South Australia have also been confirmed.
Then, there is ANOTHER shock reveal: the angels at BCF (Boating Camping Fishing) have signed up as a sponsor of Ray’s adventure, and have gifted him with a range of super slick fishing gear, including a brand new reel and a couple of matching broad-rimmed hats that I can only assume are for him and his grandson, or Peter or Mati (maybe they can share).
It truly is a sight to behold, and Ray continues to be really stoked (albeit slightly fed up). Have a gander below:
Source: Facebook / 7 News.