As I’m now writing up my childhood on the island, I am going through all the old letters my parents kept from when we lived on the island of Tristan da Cunha.  Some of them are a bit strange … and some are downright hilarious.  I came across this, typed on very thin airmail paper and all curled up down one side.  It’s dated 17 January 1957 and sent from Segovia in Spain.


We want to apologize you for all the troubles that this letter may cause you.

Our purpose is to leave this continent that is getting worse and worse because of moral imbecility and cruelty.  We should like to enter a peaceful community like yours.  We have been told Tristan da Cuhna (sic) is a beautiful island wherein Goodness rules, and we are longing to reach that pleasant land.

We should hope to deserve your hospitality were our purpose well received.  We are three young Spaniards that have got tired of our present life in this  world of sin and anguish.  We stare at that far land wherein mankind keeps its best qualities.  We love work and simple life.

If our requirement were available, we should be much acknowledged to you for information about work, life and another things regarding that country, and so you would be very kind to instruct us about the travelling conditions.

Attending your kind news,

Sincerely yours,

Luis … Jaime … J. Luis ….’  (I won’t give full names here)

Dad has written at the bottom:  ‘this letter was answered by the Administrator’.

Pity.  I’m absolutely AGOG to know what the answer was

Awww … bless them.  Human nature is pretty much the same everywhere, senors … but no getting away from it, Tristan was special in many ways.  No stealing, leave your doors unlocked all the time, kids could run anywhere …

… and we did.

(Wikipedia image)


18 thoughts on “MORAL IMBECILITY …

    1. I’m certain they were turned down – but have no idea what reasons would have been given. As it was the 50s I imagine it was some kind of stiff-upper-lipped British dusty answer!


  1. What an extraordinary letter! I am fascinated, I would love to know what happened to those guys, moral imbecility….y’know I have plans to use that….OFTEN!Yes indeedy!!!xxx


      1. I was just thinking, I still have too much of a tendency to think things are going to be just great … I need to remember that some bits will be … and other bits won’t :**:


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