When Ted chanced upon an ad for international pen friends he didn’t realise it would lead to a five-year round the world trip – and a wife.

Edwin (Ted) Plummer, now a resident at Courtlands Aged Care in North Parramatta, was born on April 17, 1936 in Sydney, and sadly lost his mother early on and was adopted by his aunt and uncle.

He didn’t take to school, but eventually ended up manager at four companies, including Bird’s Eye Frozen Foods, after working in warehouses and sales.

It was during his stint in a warehouse when he discovered an ad for international pen friends mixed up in a roll of material.

Ted applied and got in touch with a girl from Sweden, whom he began a friendly correspondence.

He recalls that when her picture came back all of his co-workers at the warehouse wanted to write to her too but he wouldn’t give them her address!

Eventually Ted decided to take a trip over to Europe to meet her, a trip that would turn into a five-year country-hopping sojourn and a marriage to an English woman named Rita.

He began with a boat trip to Italy via stopovers in ports such as Jakarta, India, Sri Lanka, and Aden, through the Suez Canal, Cairo, and an eventual disembarking in Genoa, Italy.

Ted then took a train up through Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark into Sweden, where having decided he didn’t know enough of the local language, he left for work in England.

Ted laughs at himself, telling stories of how he befriended the crew of the boat as well as a bunch of girls from New Zealand and showing pictures of all his girlfriends, before hurriedly mentioning that this was all before Rita and once he’d met Rita, he knew that there was no other girl for him but her.

He worked in England for five years, and then Ted and Rita flew back to Australia – which was much easier than in the boat. They had four children and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Since his retirement at the age of 65 Ted has taken up woodworking and continues to keep himself busy by brightening up the Terrace at Courtlands Village every single day.ues to keep himself busy by brightening up the Terrace at Courtlands Village every single day.