Brother finds sister... after decades
FINDING his long lost sister has been Paul Slade's dream for 46 years and now it has finally become a reality.Mr Slade, of Rendlesham Court, off Bramford Road, Ipswich, was just five years old when he was separated from his sister, Janet O'Gorman, at the time of their parents' divorce.
FINDING his long lost sister has been Paul Slade's dream for 46 years and now it has finally become a reality.
Mr Slade, of Rendlesham Court, off Bramford Road, Ipswich, was just five years old when he was separated from his sister, Janet O'Gorman, at the time of their parents' divorce.
Now, at the age of 51, Mr Slade has managed to make contact with his sister at last and is already forming a close bond which had been lost all those years ago.
Mr Slade said: “I started looking for my sister 20 years ago but gave up because I wasn't getting anywhere and didn't know where else to look. I had always known I had a sister and wanted to find her. When our parents split up, they didn't keep in touch so we never had any contact.
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“It is brilliant to see her again. We have got the same sense of humour. It is like we haven't been apart.”
Mr Slade, a father of two, has a vague childhood memory of being in a courtroom during his parents' divorce and choosing to live with his father, Barry, as he had a “big truck”.
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While his sister, Janet, and older brother, John, went off to live with their mother, Betty, in their home town of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Mr Slade accompanied his father to Walton, near Felixstowe, to stay with his aunt.
When he began searching for his sister years later, he kept running into dead ends. He has since learned that his sister changed her surname twice over the years, once when taking on her stepfather's name, Czovek, and then again through marriage, meaning she was much more difficult to trace.
With both parents having died in the last four years, the siblings began to search for each other again.
Mr Slade recently created a family tree on a genealogy website and then got a random e-mail asking if he had ever lived in the Stevenage area.
After a few e-mails back and forth, Mrs O'Gorman realised that Mr Slade was her brother.
They met up at Mrs O'Gorman's home in Stevenage at the weekend and since then, have been in constant touch.
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Throughout her childhood, Mrs O'Gorman had no idea about her other family. It was only when she needed her birth certificate to get a passport for a holiday with friends that she discovered her surname was actually Slade, not Czovek.
She said: “I could never get a straight answer from my mum as to the whereabouts of my real dad or brother. Mum passed away in March 2006, which is when I decided to step up my efforts to find Paul.”
She tried to find him through the genealogy website but after two years of not getting anywhere, she gave up. It was only by chance that she went onto the website recently when she was bored and had a reply to her search.
She added: “Over several days of e-mailing, I built up the courage to telephone Paul and speak to him for the first time. We both cried with joy, and rang each another for the next two weeks nearly every day.
“Now we have found each other, I will make sure I never lose contact again.”