Pen-pals Patsy Arnold, of Kyogle, left, and Marilyn Brown, of Canada, meet after 48 years of letter writing.
Pen-pals Patsy Arnold, of Kyogle, left, and Marilyn Brown, of Canada, meet after 48 years of letter writing.

Pen-pals meet at last

By RENEE REDMOND

GIGGLING like teenage girls in the school yard, pen-pals Patsy Arnold and Marilyn Brown chatted about the 48 years that had passed since they first wrote to each other.

Ms Arnold, of Kyogle, said she started writing to Canadian Marilyn Brown when they were both 16 years old, and on Thursday they met for the first time.

"The pen-pal program was run through school, but we've kept in touch every year since through letters," Patsy said.

"About a year ago we started using email to keep in touch, but there's something more exciting about getting a letter in the mail."

At 63 years old both women said they couldn't believe how much they had in common.

"We met our husbands around the same time, married within a few months of each other, and our children are similar ages," Marilyn said.

"We both have cats and when I first saw Patsy I thought 'we're even the same height'.

"I've talked about coming to Australia for the past 20 years and we're finally here."

Marilyn said she had come out to Australia for four weeks, but had been most excited about seeing Patsy.

"In Canada we know Crocodile Dundee and the crocodile man Steve Irwin. I read some travel books on Australia before we came out, and so far we've seen koalas and kangaroos and macadamia trees," Marilyn said.

Marilyn said she hoped to convince Patsy to visit her in Canada one day.

"We just clicked and have so much in common. I knew we would," she said.

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