Two long-lost sisters are getting to know each other better by spending lockdown together.
Sue Bremner, 65, travelled from Shropshire with husband David over to New Zealand to see Margaret Hannay again in New Zealand as part of a planned two-month trip at the beginning of March.
They were stranded there amid the coronavirus crisis and were unable to get back to the UK when international travel was suspended. But Sue said the prolonged stay has been ‘an absolutely fantastic silver lining’ for them.
She added: ‘It’s given us an opportunity to make up for lost time.’
Sue only discovered she had an older sister in 2000 when her dad told her he had fathered another child before meeting her mum.
He asked her to try and find Margaret ‘because he wanted her to know there’s never been a day gone past when he hadn’t thought about the child that had been adopted’, she told the BBC.
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After passing her details to the General Register Office she trawled ancestry sites and social media to no avail.
The register office told her she would not be able to find any information about Margaret unless her sister got in touch saying she wanted to be found.
But Margaret, who emigrated to New Zealand more than 40 years ago and always knew she was adopted, finally decided to get in touch to see whether she had any siblings of her own.
Within two weeks she was given Sue’s contact details and sent her an email introducing herself.
Sue said it was ‘amazing’ to receive the message – comparing the feeling to ‘winning the pools’.
However, her dad sadly died before the two were reunited.
The pair also have two brothers, and all four met up for the first time in the UK last year.
Margaret said it was a great chance to ‘see how we all got on’, adding that she has already spotted ‘so many similarities it’s uncanny’.
During the sisters’ latest meeting, the Covid-19 pandemic really took hold and Sue’s daughter, a doctor, advised her and David to stay in New Zealand, where only one person has so far died after contracting it.
Sue added: ‘She says stay where you are, it’s very safe in New Zealand. But we’ve got children back in the UK and grandchildren. It’s a hard decision. Your heart is pulled to come back. We need to get back really but we’re having a wonderful time.’
She also said their plans to meet up in the UK later this year have now been put back to 2021.
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