AN AMAZING, heartwarming tale came our way at the weekend, as four brothers and two sisters get together for the first time in 60 years.
Moreover, for almost all of those 60 years, none of the other five had any idea of the whereabouts of the sixth - known to them as John Sorrie, but called Allan Blain by his adoptive parents.
The story was told by Mrs Lizzie Sellar, Dunrossie Terrace. Allan was the youngest of the family comprising herself, sister Mrs Kathleen Murphy and brothers Theodore, George and Sydney Sorrie.
Their mother died a few days after he was born in July, 1951. Lizzie, as the eldest, was allowed to look after the other four at their home at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, but Allan was too young for her to bring up and so he was put up for adoption.
He lived with a family in Glasgow who wrote that he “had a good home” but that was all they ever said, and contact was lost.
The years passed and although Allan was not forgotten, there was no contact.
Until, that is, the family decided last year to make a definite effort to trace their long-lost brother.
With the aid of a computer they enlisted the help of Scotland’s Registrar in Edinburgh, and started to make contact with cousins of the adoptive family.
Mrs Sellar said that initially they went off on the wrong track, but the people doing the investigating actually found Allan.
He had to be contacted and asked if he wanted to meet up with his blood relatives which he did, and to their amazement they found that Allan’s family had emigrated to Canada when he was two-and-a-half years old.
Not only that, but Sydney, who had gone to Canada when he was 18, lived only about 12 miles from him! Indeed, one of Allan’s relatives passed Sydney’s door regularly for 40 years.
The family also learned that Allan’s adoptive mother died when he was 16. His father re-married and subsequently there were six children.
Plans were then laid for the big get-together.
Allan, now a widower, and Sydney travelled from Canada, George came from Earlston in the Borders, Theodore from Forres, and Kathleen from Brechin.
Lizzie told us that when Allan came to her house on Monday last week she would have known he was a brother. She added: “He didn’t feel like a stranger!”
And it will come as no surprise that they talked well into the night.
Then on Saturday there was a grand party at the Black Abbot, with all six reunited.
The following day Allan set off on the first leg of his journey back to Canada - with memories he could never have dreamed even a year ago that he would have.
And with the family all connected by computer, it is a fair bet that e-mails and photographs will be flying to and fro across the Atlantic from now on.