COURTESY OF BERNARD YUEN
Bernard Yuen, a McKinley High School alumnus, shows off his returned class ring.
Class ring returned to owner 33 years later
1973 McKinley graduate gets reacquainted with class ring
STORY SUMMARY »
A high school class ring lost at Waikiki Beach 33 years ago has come full circle.
McKinley High School alumnus Bernard Yuen gave the ring to his girlfriend in 1975, but she lost it after placing it on a towel before a swim.
Now Yuen has the black onyx keepsake back thanks to Brian and Jodi Sheley of Adams Center, N.Y., who tracked him down via the Internet using his inscribed initials as a clue.
Jodi Sheley had received the ring years ago from her uncle, a Hawaii resident who in turn got it from someone who, she speculates, found it using a metal detector.
FULL STORY »
A long-lost token of romance was returned to Bernard Yuen of Honolulu last week after a New York resident discovered the class ring that Yuen had given to his high school sweetheart 33 years ago.
"This story is not so much about me as it is the story of the caring heart and kindness of Brian and Jodi Sheley of Adams Center, N.Y., and for their effort towards returning my ring," said Yuen.
In 1975 his girlfriend had taken off the too-large 1973 McKinley High School ring and placed it on a beach towel so she would not lose it while swimming, said Yuen.
Then-girlfriend Leila Hee (now Olsen of Alhambra, Calif.) told Yuen she still remembers the day she lost the black onyx ring at Kuhio Beach. Hee, a 1975 Kalani High School graduate, forgot about it when it was time to roll up the towel and leave, he added.
Yuen remembers being upset about it but keeping silent. Though Yuen broke up with his sweetheart two years later, it was not because of her losing the keepsake, he said. They are still good friends.
They speculate that someone with a metal detector must have found the ring, which ended up in the hands of an uncle of Jodi Sheley. The uncle, a Hawaii resident, gave the trinket to Sheley when she was a little girl, Yuen said.
Sheley had forgotten all about it until her husband, Brian, found the ring in a dresser and asked who her boyfriend was in Hawaii. The Sheleys thought it would be fun to find the owner and return the ring.
So began the Internet search, which led them to a former McKinley High class president who is a friend of Yuen.
"It must be you," the friend said, seeing the initials, "BHKY," on it.
Brian Sheley called Yuen two weeks before Valentine's Day, and their TV interview was conducted Feb. 14 by WNYF, a Fox affiliate station in Watertown, N.Y. (To watch the report, visit www.wwnytv.net.)
Yuen said he will not be giving the ring to his wife, Chicky, to wear, at least at first. "Because it's been lost for so long," he said, he wants to get reacquainted with it.
"I'm squeezing the ring onto my left ring finger. It's too tight for my right hand. I've grown quite a bit. I was real skinny before -- 125 pounds. I ran for the McKinley team," said Yuen, who works for the Honolulu Police Department's information division.