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'Mystery' postcard sent from Australia 42 years ago finally finds its way to England

42 years after it was sent, there is still hope that it will find its rightful recipient.

'Mystery' postcard sent from Australia 42 years ago finally finds its way to England
Cover Image Source: YouTube | 9 News Australia

The practice of sending letters and postcards has been a cherished tradition for generations, offering a heartfelt way to maintain relationships and relive shared memories. Many eagerly anticipate letters and cards, especially during special occasions. But what if a letter took decades to arrive? This is the story of a postcard that took 42 years to travel from Australia to England, reports BBC News. Sent by a man named Gerry to Steve Padgett on August 27, 1981, the postcard finally reached its destination, now home to a woman named Samantha Williams, four decades later.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Angela Roma
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Angela Roma

The letter arrived in December and the family assumed it to be a holiday greeting card. However, they were astonished to find a “mystery” letter. “It had been sent from a man called Gerry in Sydney and addressed to Steve Padgett or Padge, who we believe lived here with his parents in the 1980s,” Williams said. She shared the possible reason it has been missed out or not delivered on time. She said, “It’s only got a 32-cent stamp on it, so maybe it’s been stuck at a sorting office in Australia or in the UK for more than 40 years.” The woman mentioned that the postcard contained a handwritten note as well.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Andrea Piacquadio

She concluded that the duo may have been great friends. “We would love to find the man it was addressed to and give it to him. They were good friends and it may mean a lot to him,” she said. The postcard consisted of a picture of Sydney’s Opera House with the message at the back. A spokesperson for Royal Mail mentioned that they were unsure about what may have happened to the letter over the years. However, they added that there may be a reason for its delayed delivery, “It is likely that it was put back into the postal system by someone recently rather than being lost or stuck somewhere. Royal Mail regularly checks all its delivery offices and clears its processing machines daily. Once an item is in the postal system, it will be delivered to the address on the card.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Ylanite Koppens
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Ylanite Koppens

9 News Australia shared a glimpse of the postcard along with the contents. The postcard seemed to be in great condition even though it had been touring for 42 years. However, it had begun to wear out from the corners. Sent in the 1980s, the note at the back of the postcard was a casual conversation between the two men. It seemed to be a follow-up from the previous postcards they had been writing to each other.

It read, “Dear Padge, you won’t believe this, but I’ve just read your letter dated 8th May! Sorry not to have been in touch, but what can you say about colonial practices.” The letter had a few more sentences that weren’t as legible. The conclusion read, “Write tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed the summer. Have a brilliant time! All the best.” It was also signed with Gerry’s name below.  Williams hopes she can locate Padge and give the letter he duly deserves to read.


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