Message heading back to sender — some 46 years later

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

A message in a bottle, sent more than 46 years ago, will soon be reunited with its sender.

The message was written by Sea Cadet Michael Lockhart in 1971.

It reads: “Better late ‘n’ never, says me. Albany Sea Cadet — Breaksea Island, Easter 1971, Michael Lockhart.”

Bremer Bay man John Sugg found the bottle containing the handwritten note on Fosters Beach almost a decade ago.

“I was driving along the beach when I saw the old beer stubby in the sand, so I stopped and picked it up and saw it was sealed with the message inside, I wasn’t expecting that,” he said.

“I took it home and we tried to hunt down the owner. We called the marine rescue down here but no luck, so we sort of forgot about it.”

It was only recently that a friend of Mr Suggs, Jackie Dye, came across the message and decided to again try to track down the owner.

“We made lots of calls and tracked the numbers of many Lockharts in Albany and ended up with his aunty, who was so surprised when we told her we had the bottle and Michael’s message after all these years,” Mrs Dye said.

“We eventually made contact with Michael and told him we had his message and he was very surprised. He said there were a few sea cadets out there and after the weather came in they needed to send a rescue team to get them.”

Mr Lockhart is now an aircraft mechanic in Darwin.

Mr Sugg said he was glad he found the message and had traced the owner after all these years.

“We plan on giving it to his relatives and it will be making its way up to him soon,” he said.

“It’s been great to find the person who wrote it, I didn’t think we would ever find him. It’s also funny to think of how many beaches the bottle may have landed on.”

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