Suffolk reunion for brother and sister

JACK Allen tentatively walked across the lounge and held out a bunch of flowers to his sister Pat Collins yesterday.The pair embraced and 67-year-old Mr Allen said: ''This is surreal, isn't it? There was me thinking I was an only child and here I am with my sister - and there are another eight siblings!''This was the first time that Mr Allen had ever met his sister and the last time Mrs Collins saw him, he was just four weeks old and about to be fostered.

JACK Allen tentatively walked across the lounge and held out a bunch of flowers to his sister Pat Collins yesterday.

The pair embraced and 67-year-old Mr Allen said: ''This is surreal, isn't it? There was me thinking I was an only child and here I am with my sister - and there are another eight siblings!''

This was the first time that Mr Allen had ever met his sister and the last time Mrs Collins saw him, he was just four weeks old and about to be fostered.

The emotional reunion took place in Willow Way, Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, at the home of Mrs Collins's daughter, Carole Dzierozynski, who was the catalyst for the extraordinary meeting.

It was a one in a million chance that brought the brother and sister together and they had a great deal of catching up to do as they talked about their lives and families.

Mr Allen was named Joseph McIver at birth - his unmarried mother was Josephine McIver and his father was Douglas MacDonald - and his name changed when he was adopted at the age of seven.

Most Read

Mr Allen and his wife, May, clerk to Wantisden, Butley and Capel St Andrew parish council, moved from Wantisden to Rendlesham a few years ago.

Mr Allen started using the village shop, Costcutter, and struck up a friendship with Mrs Dzierozynski, the bakery supervisor.

They had no idea that they were related until October when a chance remark sparked off a chain of events which ended in yesterday's reunion.

Mrs Dzierozynksi recalled: ''I have known Jack for three years - everyone knows everyone in the village - and I said to him he had a public school accent.

''He said he actually came from the east end of London and that his name had been Joseph. Well, my grandmother was called Josephine and I said 'your last name is not McIver is it?' - and he said yes.''

Mr Allen said: ''To begin with I could not get my head round it, as I thought I was born an only child. The idea now is, I think, to get everybody together but I don't think I can afford it.''

His 75-year-old sister said: ''This is nice, isn't it - I never knew where he was and now there is only one unaccounted for and he went to Canada.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter