Galapagos Postman delivers letters to homes around the world – including Winnipeg

Jon Beardmore, aka the 'Galapagos Postman', is in Winnipeg to hand-deliver a letter all the way from Ecuador. Joanne Roberts has the story.

Jon Beardmore is not your usual postal worker.

He’s not dropping off bills or flyers or even Amazon packages. His deliveries are far more special.

Beardmore is in Winnipeg this week with a postcard addressed to a home in the Luxton neighbourhood. He tells CityNews reporter Joanne Roberts about his unique adventure.

Joanne: Jon, tell me all about this postcard in your hand. It is for somebody here, but it didn’t come from here.

Jon: No. This is a letter from Mandy. She posted it to herself in the Galapagos Islands back in February of this year, and I’ve collected it and I’m delivering it to her by hand.

Joanne: Oh my goodness, is that why you’re called the Galapagos Postman?

Jon: That’s exactly why I’m called the Galapagos Postman.

Joanne: That’s amazing. So for people who aren’t aware of how these letters from the Galapagos Islands work, can you tell me how it works?

Jon: Sure. There’s an ancient letter box there that’s been there since 1793, I believe. Sailors and whalers used to put their mail there because they’d be away from home for a couple of years. And people would take them out as they were sailing past and they would deliver them. And they would deliver them by hand. Now, that tradition is still going today but it’s tourists that put their letters in, and tourists that take them out. Most people might take one or two letters, I’ve taken 50.

Jon Beardmore at the 1793 mailbox on the Galapagos Islands. (Submitted by: Jon Beardmore)

Joanne: (To deliver) here in Winnipeg?

Jon: No, I’ve got one for Winnipeg but I’ve got 50 for all around the world. I’m going to all seven continents this year to deliver them all by hand.

Joanne: Wow, that’s incredible. So, you do have this one for Winnipeg, though. Have you tried to deliver this already?

Jon: Yes, I knocked on the door a couple of days ago and nobody was home. But fortunately, they had a doorbell ringer cam, and I was able to speak to the owners of the house and it turned out they were Mandy’s parents. So I’ve re-arranged to go back and see them tomorrow and deliver the letter in person.

Joanne: Is Mandy going to be there?

Jon: No, Mandy now lives in British Columbia, so we’re going to surprise her with a call and I’m going to go, “got your letter!”

Joanne: Before we started talking, you said you like to imagine how people are going to react when they receive the letter. How do you think Mandy’s going to react?

Jon: I think she’ll be excited. She knows what this is about, right? She’s posted it. The people that are recipients are generally unaware, so it’s an initial bit of surprise, whereas she’ll know instantaneously what this is and she’ll be excited because it’s been delivered. I think she’ll be stoked.

Jon Beardmore delivering one of 50 postcards in Guatemala City. (Submitted by: Jon Beardmore)

Joanne: So, Jon, you want other people to get involved with this, right?

Jon: Absolutely!

Joanne: Do they have to be at the Galapagos to do that?

Jon: Not necessarily. I think thousands upon thousands of these letters have been delivered around the world, and I think there’s connections and stories across the globe and I’d love to hear those stories. People (can) get in touch with me and share a picture and background of who was involved in the letter that they may have delivered, or they may have received, so I can track it on a global map and we can see the network of links that come from the “Tales from the Galapagos Postbox.”

Joanne: Ooh, that sounds like a documentary in the making!

Jon: Are you available? Do you want to come and help?

Joanne: I would love to, give me a call! … So what is it about connecting with these letters that you find so important to do?

Jon: I just think in recent times, we’ve got a little bit away from those personal relations and I, myself, was struggling to catch up with my friends. We’re in London, where I live, and I just wanted to try and reconnect and do it on a personal level so I’m out exploring and meeting people face to face, which I think is great.

Joanne: You also have a personal connection with the cause that you are working for with this. Can you tell me about that?

Jon: The inspiration behind this is my father. He passed away from ALS 18 months ago, and I wanted to, his legacy, I wanted to do something in remembrance of him, and so this is the challenge that I came up with. I’m trying to raise awareness for ALS sufferers around the world.

Beardmore’s goal is to raise $100,000 for ALS research. His journey can be tracked using this online map or through his Instagram page.

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