COMOX, B.C. – The tonals are back where they belong.

All 26 of the goal posts belonging to the Comox Valley Disc Golf Club have been returned, after they were taken from the 3L property on Duncan Bay Main some time before the Easter Weekend.

READ MORE: Disc golf players frustrated after goalposts, including one with caretaker’s ashes, stolen from 3L property

One of the tonals contained the ashes of the previous caretaker, Mike Barrett.

Many of the tonals have been carefully painted by the players, including one that had Mike’s ashes inside of it.

The alleged thief left a note with the tonals, saying he “had no idea of the personal and private connection of the game pieces I alone stole.”

The note also said that the suspect “wanted to be an anonymous Robin Hood, rescuing the local artwork from potential loss from neglect and abandonment.”

According to the note, the motivation for the theft was the preservation and refurbishment of the tonals, “reinstalling them when a new playing field had been established.”

“I had no idea the removal of the tonals could injure any person in any way and I am deeply ashamed of my actions,” the alleged thief added. “I am sincerely sorry that my actions have resulted in the desecration of a final resting place.”

Comox Valley Disc Golf Club treasurer Ralph Rey said it was “pretty terrific” to have the tonals returned.

“I kind of expected it with all the support we had from the media and the people in the community,” Rey said. “There’s a pretty bizarre letter that goes with it. The guy sounds sincerely remorseful about having done it so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

However, a key missing element was the ashes of Mike, who passed away on Sept. 10, 2018 after a battle with cancer.

“The guy said that he didn’t see them, and the nuts that had the dragon tonal which had the ashes in it were finger tight” Rey said. “Yet I fashioned it with two nuts and locked tight in between so I find that really surprising.”

Rey said that is the hardest loss: “Mike was a good friend for years and years, way back in the beginning, getting on 10 years ago when we were looking for land to play and getting no cooperation whatsoever from the city.”

Mike was integral in securing the 3L lands for the players to use as a course, Rey said.

“Just wondering where the heck he is now,” Rey said. “Where is his little bag of ashes. Hopefully it was just overlooked and left on the property. And that’s okay, too.”

Looking ahead, Rey said the hope is to set up a course in a different location, using the tonals.

“We don’t have money for baskets, so these tonals are second best.”