The last wish of a Falklands war veteran from Lichfield has led to a pen set being sold on eBay for more than £300 in aid of St Giles Hospice.
Five items belonging to former Navy Petty Officer Adrian Lote, including the Dufold Parker pen with a solid gold nib, were donated to St Giles Hospice following his death aged 58 from liver disease caused by a genetic disorder in September 2016.
Rather than send the pen to one of its stores, the charity instead opted to sell it via online auction, where it fetched £328.
His wife Dianne explained: “Adrian’s last wish was that I donated his collection to St Giles Hospice because their staff were instrumental in helping me care for him in his final days.
“Without their help, he never would have been able to come home from hospital so I’m thrilled the collection has made so much money.
“We don’t have any children so it’s really helped me to know the money will help others in the same position as we were just over a year ago.”
A former steward at Lichfield Cathedral, pens had always been a part of Adrian’s life, even to the point where he become pen pals with Dianne during the Gulf War in 1992.
Adrian picked her letter at random from a pile of hundreds delivered to his ship but it wasn’t until he read it later that he realised she lived just a few miles from him in Sutton Coldfield. The pair met for coffee after he returned home and they were married within a year.
“He only picked up my letter because he was told he had to take one,” said Dianne, a retired senior civil servant. “Once we were married he’d be away for months at a time but he used to write me lovely letters which I’d look forward to.”
When Adrian retired from the navy he became a postman but he continued collecting pens and watches.
“He had a thing about fountain pens and watches but I had no idea they were worth that much,” said Dianne. “It was a lovely surprise to get a call from the shop letting me know what they’d made.”
Vicky Jeffs, manager of the St Giles Hospice shop in Tamworth Street, said she was delighted the small collection had netted over £500 on eBay.
“Adrian and Dianne have been coming into our shop for more than 14 years and Adrian always had a smile on his face,” said Vicky. “We were very sad to hear Adrian had died but extremely touched that he’d asked for his collection of pens and watches to be passed to us.
“Items sold on eBay can bring in three to four times the value of goods sold in the shop so we were thrilled to find out it had done so well. We can’t thank Dianne and Adrian enough for their kindness.”