This postcard was bought by Dr Maurice Mishkel, a vascular doctor and ardent philatelist (stamp collector). Can you imagine his surprise when he turned the postcard over and discovered the coded message written on the back? He thought it was a message between teenagers but this is not so. Since 2009, when this postcard was rediscovered, no one has been able to crack the code.1
What we know:
- The postcard was sent to Mr Hector Gollan Junior who lived at Tinonee on 22 March 1906.
- It was sent from Wingham, just over the Manning River, by ‘Maud’ (if that is her real name).
- Hector Gollan Junior was born in 1884 at Wingham making him 22 years old when he received this postcard.2
- Hector attended Tinonee Public School and one of his classmates was called Mabel ‘Maud’ Gaggin.
- In January 1906, Hector’s close friend Henry George Grill was found drowned in the Manning River. When his body was retrieved they found an envelope in his pocket with the words “Don’t know; don’t take the trouble to find out. I am not like you, always inquiring about them.” It was never revealed what these words meant or to whom they were written.3
- The postcard from Maud to Hector arrived just two months later.
- In 1911, five years after receiving this postcard, Hector married Violet May Bird at Killawarra.4
The above information may or may not be relevant to the coded message. Can you crack this century-old secret??
Author: Janine Roberts
UPDATE: After this story was published we had three people contact us with their solution. Find the solution here.
1 Coded message: Wingham to Tinonee, NSW, Postcard: Manly Beach http://www.auspostalhistory.com/articles/1795.php
2 NSW BDM, Hector Gollan birth index, No. 21624/1884, Wingham.
3 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW,17 January 1906.
4 NSW BDM, Hector Gollan and Violet M Bird marriage index, No. 7597/1911, Wingham.