Around the early 1870’s Harriet Whiteman moved to Noumea, New Caledonia and from that time my ancestors in Tamworth, New South Wales received postcards and letters from her. Harriet was my great, great Aunt. The correspondence between Harriet and her Australian family continued over many years, and then as her daughter Madeleine grew the tradition continue when Madeleine began to correspond with my grand mother Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith. I have featured a few of the post cards on my blog that were sent from Noumea around 1904 and 1905 before.
My 3rd cousin Audrey Breckler, who lives in Paris, recently travelled to New Zealand and then on to New Caledonia for a holiday, catching up with another cousin who showed her some of the sites that Noumea has to offer. We emailed each other a couple of times throughout her trip, and it was in one of these emails that Audrey asked for my home address, commenting that it would be an extraordinary thing to have a postcard sent between family from Noumea to Tamworth all these many years later!
On January 14, 2016 110 years after correspondence between our family ancestors began, I received the postcard from Audrey. The front showcases some of best scenery this lovely pacific island offers and on the back Audrey has written:
110 years after our ancestors Madeleine and Ines, a postcard is sent from Noumea to Tamworth. New Caledonia is a very beautiful country with amazing beaches. Noumea has changed since 1905, but the streets still exist with old colonial houses, the cathedral where the family were baptised is still here watching the sea.
What a absolute thrill it was to receive the postcard. Audrey was right – there was something very special indeed about following the tradition set down by our ancestors. I think this postcard has earned a place in the back of my grand fathers postcard collection!