Pen pals, Celesta Byrne and Geoff Banks celebrated their 100th birthdays with their first Zoom video call. They were also celebrating 84 years of letter writing. Celesta in the US and Geoff in the UK, they began corresponding as part of an educational program in 1938 – both at the age of 16.
The program was created to match up US and UK students. Despite the fact that one year later World War II broke out, the pair continued to write. Some times it was a struggle to stay in touch, particularly when Geoff was stationed as a mechanic on the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious in the Pacific. But the pair prevailed. They each went on to marry and have families, but continued to share their daily lives with each other via the mail. Geoff said that writing over the years gave him “a source of great satisfaction.”
The pair even met twice over the years when Geoff’s travels brought him to the US. Today, both centenarians, they take advantage of technology to send emails instead of paper and pen letters through the mail. They also Zoom on occasion – with the help of family.
Celesta and Geoff each lived very different lives, in different parts of the world, yet they shared a connection. And by maintaining that connection, they built a friendship that has clearly become part of each of their 100 Year Lifestyles. At the 100 Year Lifestyle we have always said that “no man is an island. ” Relationships – whatever form they take – are not only important but crucial during the course of our lives and as we age. No one wants to live to 100 alone. When asked about Celesta, Geoff replied, “She’s a very interesting person. We exchange stories and she’s very good to talk to.” Sounds like a truly supportive relationship.
Want to read the details of this unique 100 Year Lifestyle relationship? Keep reading…