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.

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@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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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)

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