FOUND: Arthur and Evelyn Leitch discovered a letter which floated from Maryborough to their Yackandandah farm. Picture: MARK JESSER ARTHUR and Evelyn Leitch were sitting on their verandah one afternoon when they noticed the cows staring atsomething that had dropped into their paddock.
The retired Yackandandah dairy farmersdiscovered four balloons tied to a letter by black and white ribbons.
“I sent Arthur out to see what it was,” Mrs Leitch said.
“He found two white balloons and two black balloons with a letter attached with ribbons from a little girl in Maryborough.”
“She had addressed it to “Poppy”, soit lookedlike shewas trying to send a letter to her grandfather in heaven.”
The letter traveled more than 350kmfrom Maryborough to Back Creek Road in Yackandandah.
The letter came with a stamped envelop and the instructions to please return to sender.
Mr Leitch put his address on the back of the envelope and later received a phone call from another Yackandandah resident who knew the family of the writer.
The ownerof the letter was five-year-old Imogen Andriske,whose grandfather died from sufferingbrain tumors only monthsafter she was born.
Imogen shares the same birthday as her late grandfather on December 5.
Imogen’s father Jason Andriske said his daughter sent a birthday present to her “Poppy” each year.
“She just learned how to write so I told her to write a letter to Poppy and we’ll send it to him in heaven,” he said.
“We usedblack and white balloons and ribbonbecause Poppy was a big Collingwood and Maryborough Magpies football club supporter,”
“Imogen has recently informed me that she too is a Collingwood supporter when I was hoping to get her to follow Geelong like myself.”
The Andriskes sent the letter on December 5 and received it back four days later from the Leitchs.
Mr Andriske said it was very surprisingthe letter arrived in the area whenhe had friends in Yackandandahand family close byin Albury.
“We never expected to get it back,” he said.
“We put a return address on it just to see where it would end up and it almost made it to the Albury Andriskes’.”
Mrs Leitch said she was very touched by the little girl’s tribute.
“As a grandparent,you can really feel for the poor girl who must really be missing her Poppy,” she said.“It’s so wonderful that it’s come so far without being damaged.
Mr and Mrs Leitch said they had spoken to Imogenwho was in the process of writing them a letter back to say thank you and for finding and returningher message.