Message in bottle’s short 34-year journey

  • Mar. 28, 2015 11:00 a.m.

By Kelsey SollosySpecial to the ObserverOn a recent trip to Sandspit, I discovered on the beach a message in a bottle. We were going out for one last walk on the beach as my husband and I were flying out that afternoon back to Saskatchewan. We were only on the beach for maybe a couple minutes when I asked my husband, Justin, what that round glass thing looked like to him. Of course we were looking for glass balls, the prized beach find. But with this object all I could make out was the bottom of the bottle, which happened to look like a glass ball. So I investigated.The bottle was wedged under a tree, and as I got closer I realized what it was. I immediately started singing the classic Police song, Message in a Bottle. I snapped a few pictures with me and my new find and off we went back to the house to share with my brother and sister-in-law my great discovery.There we carefully unscrewed the cap of the one-litre glass Coke bottle, and carefully removed the letter. We were shocked that the date on the letter was December 4, 1981. I couldn’t believe it – this message was older than me by eight years. The message was a simple introduction of the sender, visiting Queen Charlotte from Chatham, Ontario, asking the finder to get in touch should this letter ever be found. The author, Mary Theresa Sterling, drew a map of where she was from, listed the address of her daughter and grandsons on Haida Gwaii and then wrote this brief message:”Clatham is in the Great Lakes area. Between Lake Huron and Erie. It is the best farm land in all of Canada but I love the fish, game and scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Please reply regardless of age. Thank you.”I quickly did some research on my phone, curious if I could find the sender and if her daughter still lived in Sandspit. I have since discovered that the sender had unfortunately passed away in 2004, followed shortly after by Ms. Sterling’s daughter back in 2009. I then began to dig deeper and came across her two grandsons on Facebook. Both who now live in Ontario. I have messaged them, but with no response. Today I am mailing out a letter to the grandson Michael, as he was the only one I could find with an address. And now I wait impatiently to hopefully here a response!My sister-in-law convinced me to write this down, as she was reading the Observer on our trip there and came across a news article about another message in a bottle that was found on East Beach, and that was written only six months prior to it being found. The message is already on display in my house – next to the bottle of course.

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