Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Postal Humour

From the Auckland Star, 14 May 1932.





Not long ago there was posted in Wellington a letter which as an address bore several bars of music and the word Dunedin -- nothing else. Within a day or two it was duly delivered at the office of the "Evening Star" Company. Wagner's Tannhauser excerpt, "O Star of Eve," was what the bars of music represented, so delivery was but a small puzzle to the postal sleuths, one of whom at least must have had a good knowledge of music. With regard to the delivery of this letter, the postmaster at Dunedin wrote: "The letter was posted at Courtenay Place on the 24th, was received on the morning of the 27th, and was delivered within a few minutes of receipt. The exhibit may possibly be of some interest, and certainly indicates the intelligence of postal officers."

Cryptic addresses, humorous and otherwise, form the subject of an interesting article in the Evening Post, Wellington. A self-styled humorist tried to flummox the post office by addressing a letter as follows:

Spud St.,

It was duly delivered to Mrs. Noel (no "L"), Murphy Street, Wellington, for whom it was intended.

For jokes of that kind postal officials have no great appreciation, but when it comes to deciphering addresses obviously not intended to perplex them purposely they leave no stone unturned to decipher the sender's intentions. For instance, "Ogairie King, c/o Er. B., Ltd.," presented few difficulties, and the letter thus addressed went to Ellis and Burnand, Ltd., Ongarue, King Country.

A letter addressed to "Kaupi Kanine, Wellington," ultimately got to the place it was intended for, namely, Kaupokonui, Taranaki.

"Jugesche Street, Manganiri," was rightly translated to be Ingestre Street, Wanganui.

A foreigner's attempt to address a letter to Shakespeare Road, Napier, resulted in "Sha Kesneera Road, Napfea" but the letter found the addressee.

The somewhat vague "Wa H. On, K. 78, N.Z." was on a letter which arrived recently from China. It was duly delivered to Wah On, a compatriot of the sender, who lives at that number in Molesworth Street.

A letter to the Cafe De Luxe in Willis Street was addressed "Coile De Waxe, Wes St., Niceineton, New Leacemp," and it got there!

Few would guess rightly to what address a letter with "Orient, St. Olla Bei, Newa Zelando," on it should be delivered. The Wellington postal officials took it to Trent Street, Island Bay, and they were right.

Hundreds of instances might be quoted of wrongly spelt place names on letters. The following few will suffice:
"3 A. E. Koa" for Paeroa;
"P. Line, Merton," for Plimmerton;
"Emclohsina" for Eketahuna;"
"Molincka," for Motieka;
"Gildrie" for Geraldine;
"Camary", for Oamaru;
"Lake Raw", for Takarahi.

On one letter "Wolliglesoan Geoft" was deciphered as being an attempt at Wellesley Street (Auckland), and on another "Thinane, Theodscia," was rightly interpreted to be Theodocia Street, Timaru. Who can accuse postal officials of lack of intelligence after that?

1 comment:

  1. Crikey!
    I'm impressed that half of those got where they were intended to go! LOL