Father and daughter reunited after 51 years

family law

A London woman has managed to track down her long lost father in Australia after 51 years apart.

Katie Bergin’s father, Anthony Brown, was originally from Wrexham but left the town when he joined the armed forces as a 17 year-old. A few years later he had a brief relationship with Bergin’s mother and he only met his daughter once when she was only nine months old, the BBC reports. But the reason why he did so only once is unclear. When Brown did meet the infant girl, however, he gave her a panda teddy as a gift.

The now-77 year-old Brown emigrated to Australia in 1975 and began a career as a car salesman. He has since retired and now lives in the city of Albury in New South Wales with his wife. Despite travelling 11,000 miles from Wrexham the man always dreamed that someday he would be reunited with his daughter.

Unbeknownst to him, Katie had the same desire. She began searching for him years ago, telling the BBC that she had spent her life “searching phone books, calling random A Browns or latterly searching for A Browns on the internet but as you can imagine, A Brown is quite a popular name”.

Bergin’s luck changed in April when a Facebook posts about her search was spotted by someone who worked at a probate research firm. These organisations track down missing heirs of estates. This person volunteered to help the woman and after a few weeks, broke the news that Brown was probably overseas.

This news was “a huge blow” to Bergin, who thought her “needle in a haystack search in the UK had just got much, much bigger” but the researcher fortunately found some contact information for the father’s sister-in-law. She told Bergin that Brown was in Australia and provided a phone number he could be reached on.

The woman described hearing her father’s voice for the first time as “an amazing moment” during which the two of them “cried and cried”. Brown told her that in the years they had been apart he “suffered a heart attack and cancer but said he couldn’t go” until he had seen her again.

Bergin travelled to Australia and brought the panda teddy with her. She told the BBC that she plans to spend her 52nd birthday with him next month: “my first with my dad”.

Photo of Albury, New South Wales, by Tim J Keegan via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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