Stories of families reunited
The Family Tracing Service urges people to keep in touch. People say that "not knowing" is the hard part to bear. Just a modest Birthday card or Christmas card says, "Hey, I'm still alive!"
Some good news from our casework records:
- German Man searching for his daughter who he had not seen for 44 years. His ex wife had left and taken their daughter with her. He was told not to communicate with daughter again. He had followed his daughter through her schooling and then lost track of her. Our NSW office located the daughter who had married and had two children. She too was wondering about her father and thought he had returned to Germany and she would never see him again. Contact made and our enquirer was overjoyed.
- Sister searching for sister, one Sister had escaped an abusive marriage and had no other family except for a sister she had lost touch with 10 years before. That sister who had also suffered at the hands of her abusive husband was located. She had been told that her sister was “dead” and she was alone.
When she received word that her sister was searching for her she was shocked and in tears. They were eager for contact and are now inseparable.
- The Simple Joys. We found Ken's youngest sister and he was so, so happy. He wrote "This puts new meaning to the words of the song My cup runneth over with joy! "
- Separated by War for 60 Years. When Maude looked at her photo, taken when was a baby with her two little sisters, she would think "Where is my oldest sister? " The sisters were separated because of WWII. She was located quickly and the sisters were reunited. Amazing considering one sister was in Australia and the other in Great Britain!
- Please Pass a Message. Sandy phoned in to ask us to apologize to his parents for all the upset he had caused. He said "Tell them I'll phone when I am sorted out."
- Ecstasy in Knowing. A care worker wrote to our service saying thank you on behalf of her client. "Felicity is ecstatically happy that you found her loved ones."
- Happy Valentine! Reg wrote to tell us that on Valentine's Day he would be on the bus heading for Queensland to see his long lost daughter. She bought him the ticket and promised he could stay as long as he liked.
- Birthday Surprise! Glenda phoned to say her long lost father had written to her and the letter arrived on her 50th birthday. She was overjoyed at this birthday surprise.
- Much Better Than A Bill! Sally painted her letter box one weekend. On the Monday when she came home from work she stood for a moment and admired her good work. Then she reached in and found a letter from the Family Tracing Service. The letter was to advise a cousin she knew nothing was seeking contact with her. She rang to tell us how happy she was
- A Near Miss. A father in South Australia contacted us to help find his son after 25 years. Six months later, the son replied to a re-directed letter, and we phoned to let him know that his father was looking for him.
The son was overjoyed with the news, and immediately bought a train ticket to South Australia. When we tried to notify the father about the upcoming visit, we learnt that he had bought a bus ticket and was about to depart for Melbourne. Fortunately we reached him in time to ask him to wait for his son.
The son arrived in South Australia the next day, supported by a Salvation Army officer, for a happy and emotional reunion with his father.
- Meeting For The First Time. A 75 year old woman named Nancy came from the UK to Australia to find her two half-brothers. The last-known address for one brother was near Ballarat. We assisted Nancy to locate him and the next day they met for the first time (see photo at right).
- Never Too Late. Imagine our consternation when we received a request from an 85 year old lady who was looking for her aunt. One might reasonably expect that the elderly aunt had passed away, but we held onto the chance that we might still be able to find her.
The enquiry was sent to The Salvation Army in the UK, and within 6 weeks we received a reply that the dear old aunt was alive and well at age 101.
- Miracle or Coincidence? Last year we received a call from a man who asked for help tracing his sister in Canada. He told us he was inspired by a surprise phone call he received from his brother in the UK, whom he had not heard from in 35 years. It seems the brother in England called the international operator and asked for persons with his surname living in Melbourne. The operator told him the list was quite extensive, so he asked the operator to pick a name at random and give the person a call. Lo and behold, the person the operator chose to call was the man's brother, living in Melbourne, and together they were now searching for their sister in Canada.