After 72 years, two dear friends see each other’s faces for the first time
A Zoom call has connected Resthaven Murray Bridge resident Maureen Green with a high school pen pal in the UK.
This post was contributed by Madelyn Hanna and Resthaven.
Resthaven Murray Bridge resident Maureen Green, aged 86, has continued her friendship with her long-time pen pal Shirley by upgrading from traditional handwritten letters to Zoom calls.
When settling into Resthaven in November 2021, Ms Green’s daughter Pam shared information about Shirley and Maureen’s relationship with site staff.
“I have been writing to Shirley, who lives in England, from the age of 14, when it was organised through my school,” Ms Green said.
“Since then we have shared a lot of our life experiences with each other.”
“Over the years, we have sent so many letters and photographs, but, for some reason, we had never actually seen one another in person.
“We’ve only spoken on the phone twice: once when my daughter Pam won a radio competition for the first international phone call placed from local radio station 5MU, and once again many years later.”
Eager to take Maureen and Shirley’s friendship to the next level, Pam and the site staff located Shirley in aged care home N-Vision, in Blackpool, England.
The next three months consisted of back-and-forth communication between staff at Resthaven and N-Vision to plan a Zoom call, taking into consideration time zone differences and COVID restrictions.
Excitingly, Maureen and Shirley were finally able to speak and see one another in real-time via Zoom recently.
Needless to say, there were tears of joy from both of them.
“It would not have been possible for me to connect with Shirley on Zoom without the wonderful assistance of my family and the staff’s dedication across both sites,” Ms Green said.
“I look forward to regularly being able to communicate with Shirley and share stories in the future with the help of modern technology.”
Established in 1935, Resthaven is a South Australian not-for-profit aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church in Australia.
The organisation’s nursing home on Swanport Road is home to 96 older people.
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