From Malta with love, penpals for 47 years

Tralee’s Esther Truslove and penpal Rita Gauci from Malta
Tralee’s Esther Truslove and penpal Rita Gauci from Malta
Tralee’s Esther Truslove (second from left) finally welcomes her penpal of 47 years, Rita Gauci from Malta, to Tralee for the first time. The pair have been writing letters to each other for almost five decades. Pictured alongside the women are Simon and Daniel Gauci, Rita’s sons

Fergus Dennehy

With the 'Beast from the East' bearing down on us, a heartwarming tale of penpals, who have been writing letters to each other for over 47 years, is a welcome one.

Esther Truslove, from 80 Kevin Barry's Villas has been writing to Rita Gauci from Malta for almost five decades after seeing an advertisement for penpals in a magazine.

"I got her name and her address and we started writing letters to each other once a month about different things going on in our lives and we have continued talking ever since," said Esther talking to The Kerryman on Tuesday.

Having been over to Malta several times - they met for the first time in real life in 1980 when Esther was 20 and Rita 21 - over the years and now Rita has now made her first ever trip over to Tralee and Kerry to visit Esther, where Esther has been showing her the sights of Dingle, Slea Head and Killarney.

"We have been reminiscing over old photos that we have sent to each other over the years - one old photo that I had of her even when she was 14 years old, even made her cry," Esther said of Rita's visit to Kerry.

And, while they may no longer communicate through letters, instead choosing more modern methods such as Facebook or email, Esther assures me they'll be keeping in touch for many more years to come.

Kerryman

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