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Bonza! Star reunites farflung family

PUBLISHED: 06:42 23 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:54 03 March 2010

FOUR cousins who live on opposite sides of the world have been reunited - thanks to The Evening Star.

Michael Hutchinson wrote a letter to The Star in April asking for help in tracing part of his family, formerly of Cambridge Road, Kesgrave, who he had not seen for more than 50 years.

FOUR cousins who live on opposite sides of the world have been reunited - thanks to The Evening Star.

Michael Hutchinson wrote a letter to The Star in April asking for help in tracing part of his family, formerly of Cambridge Road, Kesgrave, who he had not seen for more than 50 years.

When he began his search, he never thought sisters Stella Guy, Sonia Hodgson and Sylvia Kirk (all nee Hutchinson) would be living nearly 10,000 miles away in Australia.

But distance proved to be no barrier as a former colleague of Stella, 62, who worked at Footman's department store, in Ipswich, read Mr Hutchinson's plea and passed on Stella's contact details.

Marina Potter, 68, of Selkirk Road, Ipswich, who visited Stella in Australia nine years ago, said: "I read the letter and just rang the number. The man was so pleased to hear from me."

The 57-year-old was then able to make a surprise phone call to his long-lost cousin, who lives within 12 miles of her two sisters Sonia, 61, and Sylvia, 65, in Mandurah, West Australia.

He said: "It was quite a shock to find out she was living in Australia and a shock that we traced them so easily.

"We had given up hope of the reunion ever happening and it wouldn't have worked without The Star."

Mr Hutchinson, who lived with his cousins in Kesgrave for a short time after World War Two, then moved to Ufford before leaving the area to study in London.

He now lives in Huddersfield and is busy making plans with his wife, Lynne, for a reunion trip to Australia to meet all three cousins.

"We're quite excited about going over to Australia and meeting up after such a long time," said Mr Hutchinson, who is in regular contact with Stella via e-mail.

Sylvia emigrated to Australia in the 1960s, while her sister Sonia followed suit in 1983, two years after Stella uprooted.

Stella said: "I was very surprised to hear from Michael. It was such a coincidence that he called as I have recently started tracing my family tree.

"We're so pleased and excited to be in touch that some of us may well visit the UK in the not too distant future to meet some of the family."

* Visit the Evening Star's website at www.eveningstar.co.uk and click on Finding Friends if you want to reunite with loved ones – and call the Evening Star newsdesk to tell us your stories.


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