#105 Writing their way to friendship

Joan Rayment and Aunty Grace Dick together in Cairns

Joan Rayment and Aunty Grace Dick together in Cairns (Photo thanks to Sam Davis, ABC)

People send me links that give them hope. This one comes from the wonderful folk at Guurrbi Tours.

For nearly fifty years Joan Rayment and Aunty Grace Dick have been pen pals. Through all the years of letters, through marriage and childbirth and shared confidences, they had only met once until recently. That was early in their friendship, when Joan invited Aunty Grace to visit for Christmas. The young teacher’s aid from northern Queensland took her first plane and train rides to reach Joan in New South Wales.

More than forty years later, Joan’s son proposed a reunion in Cairns, to celebrate his mother’s 80th birthday. Their visit flowed as seamlessly as their letters. The best of pen pals, an interview and article by ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Sam Davis, honours these two beautiful women and their long years of connecting through letters.

Sam asks Joan, “What do you enjoy about Aunty Grace’s friendship?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Joan answers. “We just seem to rattle on when we’re talking, you know, about different things in general and grandchildren and all that sort of thing. …Just things in general like two other ladies would sit and talk.”

Aunty Grace responds, “I just like writing to her and telling her about my part of the stories.”

Hearing the affection in their voices and reading Sam Davis’s gentle and respectful article made me feel the warmth of their circle of love.

Stop by ABC for a visit. Joan and Aunty Grace will give you hope.

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About the author

Cathryn Wellner

Writer, storyteller, foodie, enviro, animal lover, photo enthusiast, traveler - opinionated but open. I wake up eager to start the day.

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