Man wants to hug sister he never knew

Laurence Dempsey would like to see his sister and twin brother.
Laurence Dempsey would like to see his sister and twin brother. Crystal Jones

TEARS well up in Laurence Dempsey's eyes as he says all he wants is to give his sister a hug.

It's been 70 years and they've never met.

Mr Dempsey said he was brought to Australia as a child migrant around the age of 2 and never knew his parents.

Up until recently, he didn't know he had a sister and a twin brother who were both living in Western Australia.

"I was taken from my family 70 years ago," he said.

Mr Dempsey said he went most of his life believing he was born in Australia, before finding out was actually born in Bristol, England.

In an effort to find out more about his past, Mr Dempsey set about making inquiries.

"It's cost me a fortune in phone calls and running here and there," he said.

"I didn't know who I was and I didn't know I was born in Bristol until a couple of months ago."

Mr Dempsey said finally calling his sister, Marlene, was a dream come true.

"The dream came into effect," he said.

"The old ticker she was pumping away and I was thinking 'oh God I found my sister'.

"We spoke hours on end on the phone, God help me it cost me a fortune but it was worth it."

Mr Dempsey said his sister came out to Australia at a later stage.

"Marlene had been out here since she was 13 years old or something," he said.

"My father and my mother they came out when she was that age.

Mr Dempsey says he can't help but "get a bit emotional".

"More than anything in the world I want to give my sister a cuddle, I know that sounds a bit stupid, but 70 years, I've been waiting a long time."

Mr Dempsey said his experiences as a migrant orphan had been harrowing, but now he just wanted to focus on the good and was hoping the community could help him get to Western Australia to see his siblings at last.

"I said look if we can get over there we'll have a family reunion," he said.

According to an article in the Independent, the British government ordered the migration of tens of thousands of its children to countries belonging to the British empire.

Child migration peaked around 1947 to 1950, but children were still being brought to Australia as late as the 1960s.

If you can help Mr Dempsey, call 0458 439 927.

Topics:  bundaberg family general-seniors-news hugs lost orphan western australia

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