The World's Oldest Pen Pals, Both 100, Have Kept In Touch Across the Atlantic Since They Were 16

The world’s oldest pen pals, who have enjoyed a transatlantic friendship for over 80 years, have revealed that they’ve brought their relationship into the 21st century by now communicating on Zoom. Centenarians Geoff Banks, from Devon, UK, and Celesta Byrne, who lives in Texas, started writing to each other when they were just 16, after meeting through a project uniting teens across the Atlantic. Geoff, a former engineer, even kept in touch with Celesta during World War II, when he served as a mechanic on the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious in the Pacific. The pair met for the first time in person in 2002 when they both traveled to New York. Despite having a friendship that has spanned almost 9 decades, they both insist that there’s no romance involved. Now that the pen pals have both turned 100, they have switched from pen and paper to Zoom calls — with the help of their children — in order to keep in touch. The pair say they talk about their daily lives, their families, Celesta’s pet chickens, but never football. Both have been married, with Geoff’s wife of 63 years passing away in 2011.