A 19-year-old delivery! French woman receives postcard mailed from Seychelles in 1996
Rack of postcards in a souvenir shop in Seychelles. A postcard sent from the archipelago's second most populated island of Praslin 19 years ago only reached its destined recipient in western France late last month. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Luckily it was not an urgent message! This must have been the thought of Marie-Thérèse Anézo from Western France recently as she was issued with a most unexpected and rather late piece of mail.
After almost two decades a postcard sent from Grand Anse on the Seychelles' second most populated island of Praslin, finally reached Anézo, who lives at Saint Lyphard in the Loire-Atlantique department, almost 400 kilometres from the French capital of Paris.
According to an article published on local French news site, ouest france, the much-delayed mail with a post date of July 10, 1996 was only delivered on June 30, 2015
The postcard had been sent to Anézo by her cousin Monique 19 years ago while she was on holiday in the Seychelles.
“I did not realize this straight away but after some thought I had a slight doubt,” Anézo was quoted as saying in the article, adding that she remembered her cousin, who is now 90 years old, had long ceased to travel to such far-flung destinations.
“I nevertheless called to thank her for the nice postcard sent from Grand Anse Praslin on June 10, 1996.”
According to the article, Anézo is yet to find out what had exactly happened to her postcard.
Postcards are usually what people send out to family and friends while they are on holiday mostly to showcase sights and scenery of the place they are enjoying.
Julienne Michel, a Senior Supervisor at the Seychelles Postal Services, told SNA that although the number of postcards sent through the post nowadays is no longer what they used to be, there are still many tourists who do send postcards back home showing pictures of the Seychelles' famed powder-white beaches and crystal clear waters among other sights.
She told SNA that letters to France are flown out thrice weekly.
“From the island of Praslin for example we get them on a daily basis to our office on Mahe where they are sorted out to be expedited to the specific countries where they are later re-distributed to the correct recipients by the main post office there.”
Michel, who has worked at the Post Office for over 30 years said she has never come to know of a letter or postcard that had been sent from Seychelles that had taken so long to be delivered, although she has read about such things happening elsewhere.
“In such cases what may have happened is that the mail got stuck at the post office upon reaching the destined country or may have been mis-sent, meaning it was sent to the wrong address… in such cases there is an agreement signed between the postal services worldwide that makes provision for the mail to be sent back and delivered to the right recipient,” said Michel.
This is certainly not the first time such an event has been recorded.
Among examples of letters that have reached their destinations way beyond the intended timeframe include a love letter which was sent to a US college student by his girlfriend.
According to an article published by the BBC in 2011, the letter finally got delivered that year after it was posted in 1958, some 53 years later.
In another incident recounted by mailonline in 2010 a letter that should have been delivered relatively quickly considering that it was being sent to an address only 150 miles away, took 220 years, due to a tiny error in the recipient’s address.