Penpals Celebrate 70 Years of Letter Writing

Jill Stretton (left) and Cathie Alexander (right). Source: Good News Network

Jill Stretton of Australia and Cathie Alexander (then McIntosh) of Scotland began exchanging letters in 1950 when the women were just 12-years-old.  At that time, letters could take up to six weeks to arrive through international airmail.

Meeting for the first time in person in 1982, the women describe their relationship as only having grown stronger with time. 

Stretton told ABC North Queensland. “She is just like one of the family and we are still as together as we ever were 70 years ago. It is quite an achievement.”

Stretton and Alexander reunited twice more in 1988 and 2000.  Despite advances in technology, the two have never stopped exchanging letters containing hopes, dreams, plans, photos, and family updates through the years. Occasionally, their letters have contained small missives as mementos that have become cherished family suggestions.

Though the pair today communicate via email and phone calls, they admitted that nothing takes the place of a handwritten note. Stretton said, “We do tend at the moment to send postcards of where we have been and what we are doing rather than write big letters because we email now.”

Stretton and Alexander are grateful for the relationship they have forged over the years and consider each other parts of their respective families. Despite the pair being in their 80s, they have no intention to stop writing.

Source: Good News Network