Emotional reunion for former Brechiners

Pictured at a gathering in the Northern Hotel, Brechin, are, from left:- standing at the back - James Harper, Connor Harper and Evelyn Harper; front - Marian Harper, Jean Bickford, George Harper, Zara Aitken and Sue Harper.

Pictured at a gathering in the Northern Hotel, Brechin, are, from left:- standing at the back - James Harper, Connor Harper and Evelyn Harper; front - Marian Harper, Jean Bickford, George Harper, Zara Aitken and Sue Harper.

1
Have your say

Two long lost siblings met for the first time last week, fifteen years after they first got in contact with each other.

George Harper, 69, originally from Edzell, travelled to Brechin to meet his step-sister Jean, who had travelled from America, for this touching occasion.

George was born at the Mains of Edzell to parents George and Mary Harper, of Brechin High Street.

During the post war period George’s parents split and went their separate ways and George spent time living between parents before moving in with his father at Cookston Crescent.

At the age of ten George was moved to Australia with the Child Migrant Scheme where he lived in a home for seven years.

After his departure, George’s father re-married to a woman called Bertha Dunoon, and had a further three children, William (who has since died), Jean and James.

Jean married a serviceman at the U.S. Base at Edzell and, when the base shut down, she moved to America.

This is the first time in fifteen years that Jean has returned to her home town.

She returned to meet with her brother James who stays in Brechin and to meet up with George, for the the first time.

George said: “Six years ago I contracted Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I have had massive doses of radiation and chemotherapy. This is my last trip home.

“I wanted to meet Jean so that is what we did.

“The English Government paid for us to come back and Gordon Brown did an apology to the Child Migrants last year.

“Under the apology, anyone who was part of the Child Migrant scheme who wanted to come back to meet siblings, family or whatever, could and the Government would pay.

“This has allowed me to meet my family and to meet Jean.

“Jean came from America and is staying with James and I came from Australia and we met for the first time last Thursday.

“I have been in contact with Jean for about 15 years and, since Facebook came along we have been on touch through that and have shared family albums.

“It was great meeting her. It was fantastic.

“We got on very well and got to share many memories.

“Unfortunately we did not get to spend as long in Brechin as we had planned because we lost a day and a half with the Tay Bridge being closed.”

George was accompanied on his trip to Brechin by Sue, who he married in Scotland in 2002, and their son Connor.