John and Irene Wigham (left) and Keitha and Leon Phillips show off the postcard the Phillips sent from Hawaii in 1980 that arrived at the Wighams’ house in Chilliwack last week, 38 years later. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

B.C. couple receive postcard mailed 38 years ago

Arrived in perfect condition from friends who visited Hawaii in January 1980

When John and Irene Wigham received a postcard last week at their Chilliwack home they were a little puzzled.

It came from Hawaii from their good friends Leon and Keitha Phillips.

But the Phillips hadn’t been to Hawaii for nearly four decades.

A postcard mailed by Keith and Leon Phillips on Jan. 22, 1980 from Hawaii that arrived at its destination in Chilliwack on Oct. 18, 2018. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Dated Jan. 22, 1980 with a postmark from the Honolulu postmaster that same day, the postcard took close to 39 years to be delivered.

The postcard, in near perfect condition, had a 10-cent U.S. stamp on it with the words: “People’s right to petition for redress,” a reference to a right under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

It arrived on Oct. 18, addressed to the Wighams where they still live on McSween Road. Missing on the postcard was the postal code, which back in 1980 hardly seems like a reason for mail to not get to its destination.

Where it sat all this time is a mystery to all of them. All four are in their 80s now, living in Chilliwack as they all have for most of their lives, and they are still close friends.

“It had been in such good shape you kind of wonder, where had it been?” Irene said during a recent visit.

“It doesn’t look like its been tossed around at all,” John said.

The Pearl Harbour memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii, the image on a postcard that took 38 years to arrive in Chilliwack. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

“It’s not unheard of that thing happens but it’s just the length of time,” Keitha added.

In 2014, there was a news story about a letter between two Alberta sisters that took 45 years to arrive, so it has been known for mail to be lost for decades.

The image on the postcard the Phillips sent to the Wighams is described on the back as “The World Famous U.S.S. Arizona Memorial” in Pearl Harbour. The photo is an aerial view of the silhouette of the Battleship Arizona resting on the ocean floor with the memorial on the surface “dedicated to the everlasting memory of those lives in the historic attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.”

On the card addressed to “Johnny & Irene,” the Phillips wrote a short message: “We have been lucky and had good weather, this place is sure not what I thought it would be. We have been almost all the way around this island of Oahu by bus and we did get a U-drive. See you soon.”

Upon hearing about the postcard the whole family had a good laugh.

• RELATED: Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

• RELATED: How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A postcard mailed by Keith and Leon Phillips on Jan. 22, 1980 from Hawaii that arrived at its destination in Chilliwack on Oct. 18, 2018. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The Pearl Harbour memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii, the image on a postcard that took 38 years to arrive in Chilliwack. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en clan launches civil lawsuit against Coastal GasLink

Gidimt’en seeking damages and costs over destruction of logging road encampment and gate

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

Most Read