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Mystery solved! Why Australia Post delivered a postcard 50 years too late

Earlier in the week, the internet lit up with a story about how Australia Post issued an apology for delivering a postcard 50 years too late. But with a little digging, the mystery has been solved, reuniting two friends in the process.

As originally reported in the Adelaide Advertiser, a postcard was delivered to an Adelaide address despite having originally been sent in 1966 – almost 50 years ago to the day.

Australia Post apologised for their tardiness, saying “It is clear something went wrong 50 years ago after the postcard was posted in French Polynesia, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

“Australia Post takes great pride in the timely, safe and efficient delivery of mail and we are confident that the vast majority of mail and parcels arrive on time.”

They did, however, suggest that the lateness was beyond their control, suggesting the card must have spent most of its time abroad.

The front of a postcard

The writing on the postcard was still legible, even if the picture on the front had faded somewhat, but the intended recipient – a Mr Robert Giorgio – was no longer at the address.

While the original story exploded online, being featured in The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Independent, the Advertiser did a little more digging, reuniting the original sender and recipient, who hadn’t spoken for over 30 years. Giorgio received the card from Chris Reynolds, who sent it when he was 15 years old and on holiday with his family.

The back of a postcard

Reynolds said he didn’t remember sending the postcard, but recognised the handwriting as part of the news story. The pair said they lost contact in the 1980s and it wasn’t until the story broke that they were able to see each other again.

But in another twist, it turns out that Australia Post need not have apologised for the lateness. The postcard was indeed delivered in 1966! Tim Duffy – the current occupant of the house who brought the story to the media – said he was contacted by a man who found the postcard among his father’s belongings, and decided to send it on.

The man did not wish to be named, but probably would have felt a little silly that Australia Post copped the blame, despite having delivered the postcard on time 50 years ago.