Woensdag, 30 Oktober 2013
Pen pals, Lynne Crafford from Plattekloof Glen and Gene Hoyme from the USA finally met earlier this year in October after writing to each other for years.
Old pen pals finally meet
Two long-lost pen friends finally met each other for the first time after spending years writing letters between Cape Town and South Dakota in the USA. Lynne Crafford from Plattekloof Glen and Gene Hoyme from the USA, both 63 years of age, eventually met face to face earlier in October. This after Gene was conducting a study on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in Hanover Park. There were tears of joy when Gene read the very first letter that Lynne received from him. “After writing to each other since we were 12 years old till the age of 27 he read that letter to me after so many years,” Lynne said. Gene said that in those years their class had a school project where the students had to write to a pen friend in South Africa. “Their letters landed up at Good Hope Seminary Junior School in Gardens where I was, in what was then, Standard 5. “His name was given to me and my teacher had to read through my letter first before it was posted to him. “My parents, my younger sister and I were then living in Oranjezicht,” Lynne said. However, it was difficult to track each other down once Lynne moved and Gene used his second name – Eugene. “I used to write to him as Harold,” she said. She says that after her mother passed away, her sister Eileen, went to clean up her parents’ house earlier this year. “While sifting through the papers, Eileen came across Gene’s letter and asked me if I still wanted it. I said that she might as well give it me. About a week or two later, I decided to Google him
and lo and behold, I managed to track him down,” she says. She then decided to phone him up. “We spoke for such a long time and he could still rattle off my whole address, word for word, after all those years. “I knew I had found the right person. He then told me about his name change and we couldn’t believe that we were actually speaking to each other,” she adds. The surprise was yet to come as he told her he was coming to South Africa in October this year. “He is a very well respected professor in paediatrics and a researcher who has been coming to South Africa for the past 15 years – all this time we did not manage to track each other down. Every year he had thought of me, but just could not remember my married surname – Crafford – as my maiden name was Mills. He is married with three children and I was married and have two children. “By now both of us are grandparents. What really struck me is that he spoke so well and highly of his wife Gloria. They got married when we were still writing to each other,” she said. After chatting away and catching up on the years, they realised that they didn’t feel like strangers. “We felt like two good old friends who had known each other forever,” she says. “While he was here I took him to Oranjezicht and showed him the exact address where I had received all his letters over the years,” she says.
WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT
Diwali The Speaker and Members of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament wish the Hindu community of the Western Cape heartfelt best wishes on Diwali. Diwali kiHaardikShubkamana. May the light celebrated at Diwali show you the way and lead you on the path to peace and social harmony. www.ayandambanga.co.za 114978
TYGERBURGER Parow 23
Published on Oct 30, 2013