A collection of old photographs that were found on the doorstep of a Johnsonville kindergarten earlier this year have been returned to their owner.
Nancy Macmillan, 83, has been reunited with her set of six early 20th century family photos, which had ended up in a box of Christmas cards dropped off at Johnsonville West Kindergarten.
Mrs Macmillan said she was thrilled to have her photos back.
'I'm very pleased. It's such a surprise. I didn't expect that after all these years they would turn up out of the blue,' she said.
She recognised the photos after seeing The Wellingtonian's August 2 story about them being found by Johnsonville kindergarten staff.
The story ignited readers' interest. We received many calls and emails, and ran out of copies of the paper.
Mrs Macmillan said the photos had been missing for more than four years.
Her cousin Etta, who lives in Glasgow, sent the photos with a letter in 2008, but she never received it, she said.
'Etta told me she sent me the photographs and I waited and waited and they never came.
"Eventually I just forgot about them,' Mrs Macmillan said.
'It wasn't until I saw the photos published in The Wellingtonian, that I remembered about them and realised they were mine.
"I contacted the kindergarten not long after that,' she said.
Mrs Macmillan said she did not know how the photos ended up at a kindergarten five years after they were sent.
She said she thought the mystery might be linked to the theft of her letterbox, which happened about the same time as her cousin had sent the letter.
'One day our letterbox was stolen. I think these photos would have to have been in that letterbox on the day it was stolen,' she said.
'There's no other explanation.'
She said she thought someone might have taken the contents of her letterbox and decided, years later, to give the photos to the children at the kindergarten to use for collage.
'That's the only explanation I can think of. It's really bizarre."
She said regardless of how the photos ended up at the kindergarten, she was grateful the staff had put them aside for her.
They depict Mrs Macmillan's father, Donald Makenzie - nicknamed Donald Geard - and her aunt, Peggie Makenzie.
'The photographs are very precious to me. They capture a lot of history and precious memories. I'm very pleased they have been returned to me.'
- The Wellingtonian