NEWS

Family photos fished from lake, sent back to Winnipeg

07/03/2015 07:00 EDT | Updated 07/03/2016 05:59 EDT
A Winnipeg actress is being reunited with hundreds of lost family photos after her camera was fished out of a lake in northern Ontario.

Sharon Bajer is receiving 317 photographs found in a digital camera that had spent six years on the bottom of Harmon Lake, located 185 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

Last week, a group of fishermen reeled in the camera. While the camera was destroyed, the SD memory card remained intact.

Three of the photos from the card were posted on Facebook. The post received 864 shares, and one of those shares made it to Bajer, who is an actress, playwright and director.

"My immediate reaction was, 'There's no way. I didn't lose a camera,'" Bajer recalled saying after she received a message from a friend who recognized her face in one of the photographs.

In that photo, she was posing with her husband and their son, who was then six months old.

The other two photographs were of a blue movie trailer and two middle-aged men, who Bajer recognized as actor Ben Elton and Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

"Turns out my husband had shot a movie with Andrew Lloyd Webber in Winnipeg," she said.

Lloyd Webber and Elton were in the city in the spring of 2009 for the Manitoba Theatre Centre's production of The Boys in the Photograph.

"I thought there's no other explanation — these are our pictures," she said.

Bajer is still putting the pieces together, but she believes the missing link is a six-week canoe trip that summer. Her older daughter was a regular at Camp Stephens and might have taken the camera on the trip, she said.

So far, Bajer has only seen the three of the 317 photos retrieved from the lake. She believes the others will hold some precious memories of her son's first year of life and a summer spent with friends and family in Manitoba in 2009.

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