Search returns accordion to Miles crash victims family

Farmer's family reunited with precious accordion


When 90-year-old Alan Ellis was killed in a car accident at Miles, his family feared his precious accordion was lost with him.

Mr Alan Ellis with his beloved accordian.

Mr Alan Ellis with his beloved accordian.

A Brisbane Bayside police officer has helped reunite a Miles farming family with a valuable accordion feared lost after a fatal car accident.

The story began when Senior Constable Brendon Winslow did a presentation on home security at the Wynnum Manly Rotary Club recently.

A member of the audience, Glen Ford, contacted Snr Const. Winslow after the event, asking for help to find the owner of a valuable accordion.

Mr Ford owns a car wreckers business in Zillmere, Brisbane, and had found the stunning accordion located inside a van he had purchased that had been in a fatal crash. 

Given the circumstances, Mr Ford and his wife Donna believed the accordion might hold substantial sentimental value. 

After doing their own investigation and coming up empty handed, the Fords turned to Snr Const. Winslow.

“I asked him to leave it with me and I’d see what I can do,” Snr Const. Winslow said. 

“I managed to locate the fatal crash which actually occurred 400kms away near Miles. I phoned the first response officer Senior Constable Scott Pogan, explained our little dilemma and he responded in a typical ‘out west’ manner.

“’Oh ripper mate.  It belonged to the poor bloke that died in the crash. The family are going to be over the moon’.”

Senior Constable Pogan said the family had been asking after the accordion and a walking cane but he had been unable to locate them following the crash. 

“I phoned the next of kin, a lovely dear lady called Coralyn who when I explained why I was calling, she shed tears of joy,” Senior Constable Winslow said.

“She went on to explain both she and her sister had tried to no avail and had all but given up hope of locating their father’s accordion and walking cane.

“Although they knew they would never get their father back, they really wanted his accordion back in their family.”

The owner of the accordion turned out to be Allen Henry Ellis, a farmer of 70 years who at the ripely age of 90-years was still putting back into the community by attending retirement functions to play his accordion for the residents. 

The Ford’s drove from Brisbane to Miles to return the accordion and cane to Mr Ellis’ daughter, Coralyn. 

Senior Constable Winslow said it was a great outcome for all involved and he wanted to pay tribute to the contribution of Mr Ellis. 

“Although you are no longer with us sir, I thank you Mr Ellis for doing your part in bringing pleasure to people with your music,” he said. 

Glen and Donna Ford and Coralyn Ellis

Glen and Donna Ford and Coralyn Ellis

“I also thank you Glen for doing the right thing and bringing immense pleasure to family members of Mr Ellis.

“And I also thank Senior Constable Scott Pogan and the other police officers who attended the crash.” 


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