Orphaned Siblings Reunite 80 Years After Parents’ Passing And Refuse To ‘Let Each Other Go’

An Australian merchant ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine off the coast of Victoria in June 1942. It wasn’t until April 2019 that marine archaeologists located the wreck. In spite of its significance to historians, the discovery of the sunken ship had a greater impact on one man’s life.

The shipwreck claimed the life of Frank Stewart, the father of 90-year-old Sydney resident Bill Stewart. Youngster had been living in an orphanage while his father and sister were at sea when he learned the terrible news. Several years earlier, the two kids had already lost their mother, leaving them orphaned.

Amazingly, the brothers and sisters were subsequently separated. While his sister, Beryl, was being adopted, Bill was placed in a boys’ home in Adelaide. They were believed to need a “clean split” from their other family members. “We wrapped our arms around each other and sobbed uncontrollably,” Bill recalled in an interview with ABC Net News. My instructions were to leave the room, and I never saw Beryl again.”

Over time, each person searched for the other. Despite their lack of success, they persevered. According to Bill, “we were searching for each other, but the orphanage couldn’t help us.” Bill eventually relocated to Sydney, but he never stopped searching. He said he would return to Adelaide every year to search for Beryl.

Additionally, Beryl searched for her long-lost brother. “I searched for years in vain for information about Bill’s location and where he had gone. After I gave up searching, I began to believe that he might be dead, but I had always believed that we would meet again.

Nothing seemed to link the two until the Hobart-based CSIRO research vessel Investigator uncovered their father’s ship in 2019. A memorial service was organized for the crew members’ surviving ancestors after the wreck was discovered. According to Emily Jateff of the Australian National Maritime Museum, more than 50 crew members attended the memorial ceremony at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on Merchant Navy Day.

Bill learned about the memorial. As a result of it, he was able to connect with distant relative Kylie Watson, who volunteered to assist him in finding his sister. As a result of their investigation, the two placed an advertisement in the neighborhood paper in Adelaide. Adelaide then called Bill. The same Sunday, my granddaughter notified me that Beryl was alive and would contact me within ten minutes.

“I cried when I heard Billy was alive,” Beryl remembered the moment she received the news. Soon after, they met again in person. After that difficult day, Beryl recalled, “I couldn’t get into Bill’s arms fast enough; we hugged each other and couldn’t let go.” The siblings began talking regularly on the phone.

“I love him sincerely, and meeting him after nearly 80 years has been a miracle in my eyes.”. After meeting Bill, she said, “I simply don’t want it to end.”.

The heartwarming reunion serves as a reminder of the importance and influence of family.

Source: abc.net.au

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