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Alberta man gets Christmas letter 69 years late

Canada Post can't be blamed for the 69-year delay it took Jack Speers to get a letter from his mother.An elderly Alberta man received a nice holiday letter from his mother last week — unfortunately, it was sent nearly 70 years ago.

Jack Speers from Namao, Alta., told the St. Albert Gazette that the RCMP called and said they'd found a letter addressed to him. An officer brought the letter over to the 87-year-old's house and to his surprise, it was dated Dec. 24, 1943.

The author, Bertha May Speers, has been dead for 20 years. But judging from the smile on Speers' face in his television interview with CTV, this ghostly visit was a welcome one.

"I knew it was from my mother," Speers told the newspaper, adding that he recognized the address.

Speers was only 18 when his mother sent that letter. He said he was stationed at a military base in St. Thomas, Ont.

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The letter describes a Christmas that seems frozen in another time. Jack's mother says she bought a $12 pen for his father as a Christmas gift. That sum would amount to nearly $160 today, according to the Bank of Canada's inflation calculator.

His mother also writes that she tried to buy a 22-calibre rifle for her other son but she couldn't find one, probably because of a shortage during World War II, Jack says.

Speers, a historian, remarked that the letter hadn't faded that much during its long lifetime. It came with postcards of St. Andrews Locks in Winnipeg and several Harvard airplanes.

He plans to put it on display in the Namao museum.

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RCMP officer Cpl. Bryce Tarzwell said a youth had the letter before his guardian gave it to police, according to CTV News.

Tarzwell said he didn't know how it ended up in someone else's hands but he told the Gazette he was planning to look into the note's 69-year journey.

"It actually sends shivers up your spine because it's just one of those It's a Wonderful Life kind of moments," Tarzwell said to CTV.

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