Ballymena woman meets South African pen pal after 51 years

Linda and Peter Radmanovich, from Cape Town in South Africa, are pictured signing the visitors book at The Braid, during their reception with the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr. Billy Ashe. Linda and Peter are over visiting friends Glynnis and Liam Getty. Linda and Glynnis have been pen pals for 50 years and this is the first time they have met. INBT28-250AC

Linda and Peter Radmanovich, from Cape Town in South Africa, are pictured signing the visitors book at The Braid, during their reception with the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr. Billy Ashe. Linda and Peter are over visiting friends Glynnis and Liam Getty. Linda and Glynnis have been pen pals for 50 years and this is the first time they have met. INBT28-250AC

0
Have your say

A new chapter was written for a Ballymena woman and her South African pen pal after they finally met after over 50 years of friendship.

For over five decades Glynnis Getty from Ballymena and Lynda Radmanovich from Cape Town, have been in contact via letter and their friendship has blossomed.

While visiting a cousin in Scotland, Lynda and her husband Peter, decided to finally visit Northern Ireland and meet Glynnis for the very first time on Sunday, July 5.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Billy Ashe held a special reception for the pair and their husbands at the Braid last Monday.

Speaking at the reception, Lynda said: “My husband and I have never been overseas and this is our 40th anniversary year. He has cousins in Scotland who have been nagging at us for over 20 years to come and see.

“We looked at the map and realised that Stranraer is in line with Dumfries so we could come to Ireland.”

“I was very excited. It is very special to be here, this is a real highlight for me to meet Glynnis. We have kept up the contact over all these years, even if sometimes it has only been once or twice a year.”

The friendship started back in 1964 when Lynda befriended an Irish girl at her school, she said wanted a pen pal and the Irish girl put her in contact with her cousin who gave her Glynnis’s details.

Glynis said: “In the early years we wrote to one another very often and always made sure we sent letters at birthdays, Christmas and special occasions.

“We have shared the most important events in our life, we have grown up in parallel. We will always be best friends because we know too much about one another.”

Glynnis said they have a lot planned in the three days that Lynda and Peter are in Northern Ireland, with her husband Liam being the designated driver.

“We are going to take them to the Giant’s Causeway and down to Belfast for an Open Top Bus Tour, we will fit in as much as we can but we don’t want to tire out the driver too much.”

What started out as letters and photos has now became regular updates via emails and phone calls, “I can talk much better than I can type,” Glynnis said.

The pair said they are looking forward to continuing this friendship for years to come.