By Don Farmer
An unsolicited act of kindness in a Masterton supermarket has restored a 94-year-old woman’s faith in mankind.
Sheila Pocknall was stunned to learn an unknown shopper had picked up the tab for her groceries when she fronted up at the checkout at Pak‘n Save recently.
Earlier her Good Samaritan had smiled at her and offered her a chance to “jump the queue”.
Mrs Pocknall, who lives at Wairarapa Village in Chapel St, said she had got in a few days’ supplies and lined up to pay for them when an unknown woman immediately ahead of her asked her if she would like to go first.
“I said ‘No, no I’m fine thank you’.
“She had a trolley full of groceries, I didn’t take too much notice because its bad manners to do so but she stood off to the side having put her card across to pay for the groceries.
“When I went to pay the check-out girl said ‘Wasn’t that kind of her, she paid for your groceries too’.
“I said ‘Oh my god, who is she?’ but the check-out girl didn’t know and hadn’t seen her before.”
It turned out the woman had stayed long enough to make sure Mrs Pocknall’s grocery bill could be added to hers and then had left the supermarket.
“I was overwhelmed but I was unable to thank her personally as she had disappeared into the car park and was out of sight.
“I would not have recognised her anyway,” Mrs Pocknall said.
She said with all the “bad things” happening in the world the act of kindness had reminded her there are still good people around.
Mrs Pocknall’s good fortune didn’t end with the paid grocery bill.
Only a few days later she had been shopping, this time at Countdown, when a downpour started and she expected to be drenched trying to make the short journey home.
“I said to the staff that I was going to be drenched but two very nice young women from Wellington said ‘No you won’t, we will run you home’.”
They popped her into the car and took her right to her front door.
“My friends and family told me I’ve been blessed, and I believe so.
“When I told one of my daughters she said good luck comes in threes, the next one could be Lotto.”
Mrs Pocknall, originally from Waikato, is the widow of Derek Pocknall, a returned World War II soldier who fought mostly in Italy, and is the mother of three sons and two daughters.