On an envelope addressed to my mother containing her Dad's 100th birthday cards and telegrams, I noticed for the first time the customs declaration.
The top line reads: "Wedding ring of deceased parent".
I've always known that the ring I wear was Grandpa's wedding ring re-sized to fit Mum and bequeathed to me after Mum died. But somehow seeing the actual envelope in which it travelled (safely!) from UK to NZ in 1977 was a special link to the past.
Grandpa was born in 1876 and died four weeks after his 100th birthday. Sadly he had a fall and broke his femur just two weeks before his birthday. The Home for Retired Teachers, where he had been living had planned a wonderful party for him and were very disappointed that he had to celebrate his birthday in hospital.
The beginning and end of the article read:
"Boxing Day was to have been the proudest day in the long life of Mr Frederick Emlyn Phillips, of Trentham. A fabulous party was planned at the Teachers Benevolent Home, New Park, and visitors were due from all parts of the country to attend Mr Phillips 100th birthday celebrations.
And the 40-odd residents and staff were also excited and ready to make the occasion one to remember. By alas, the big party was forestalled by an accident. Mr Phillips suffered a nasty fall and was taken to the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, where it was found he had fractured a femur.
Miss Sarah M. Jones (social secretary) and Mr. Albert Arrowsmith (administrative officer) were also very disappointed at the cancellation of the party. "He is a gracious person and one of nature's 'true gentlemen,' said Mr Arrowsmith."
How's this for his telegram from the Queen!
Amazing to think that the Queen who had this sent to my Grandpa in 1976 is still our Queen today!
Grandpa in his younger years (note the tie-pin!)