News

Man reunites with family after 28 years

FAMILY: Salwyn Johnson Senior, Jane Smith, Fredrick Abel and Kel Nagas Senior are overwhelmed with emotion after they were reunited after 28 years. 
Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
FAMILY: Salwyn Johnson Senior, Jane Smith, Fredrick Abel and Kel Nagas Senior are overwhelmed with emotion after they were reunited after 28 years. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds

After 28 years, a man has finally been reunited with his family.

Fredrick Abel, 49, originally from Vanuatu, attempted to find his family across the east coast of Australia.

His Bundaberg sponsor family Jeffrey and Jane Smith were astounded to hear the tale.

"We had three people down here for a seasonal worker program including Fredrick," Mr Smith said.

"And then Chief David Richards said Frederick had been coming to Australia for 28 years in search of his family."

When Mr and Mrs Smith arrived in Rockhampton for their seasonal work with the sponsored men, Fredrick's story would take on a more personal significance.

In a twist of Hollywood proportions it turned out the sponsor family was actually related to Fredrick.

 

 

"We were sitting around talking about our family history and then the penny dropped," Mr Smith said

"Fredrick and Jane were brother and sister."

Mr Smith said it was Bundaberg South Sea Island Action Group president Mathew Nagas, also attending the gathering, who put it together.

"After hearing all the details from Fredrick, Matthew said 'we're related'," Mr Smith said.

"Fredrick had discovered family in Mackay."

Mr Abel was overwhelmed with the discovery.

"I was really happy that I found my family and my beautiful sister," Mr Abel said.

"Ever since I was little I was told by my father that family had come to Australia long time ago."

Next year marks the 150th anniversary since the first ships sailed into Brisbane carrying South Sea Island people."

Mrs Smith said the family including Kel Nagas Sr and Salwyn Johnson Sr, both cousins, were extremely sad he was leaving next Tuesday.

"We're going to miss him but we'll make sure he comes back here on a regular basis from now on," she said.

Topics:  blackbirding, family, vanuatu




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

820 LNG workers set to re-enter Gladstone job market

Onsite at Australia Pacific LNG. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

"I’m trying to stay because I like Gladstone"

Plans for a huge resort at Burua: photos

NEW RESORT: Proposed site of a massive new resort at Burua.

Shops, cabins, a health centre, mini golf and driving range expected

Election donations revealed for Gladstone council candidates

Gladstone region mayor Matt Burnett.

Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett received the most money with $15,000

Latest deals and offers

Public art at Goondoon St

Gladstone artist Geoff Head created the ten linocuts of Gladstone buildings that are now displayed on Goondoon St.

Gladstone artist Geoff Head explains where his idea came from to create linocuts of...

Ken cheers up Barnaby

Professor Owen Niven with deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and Ken O'Dowd.

Ken O'Dowd's slip of the tongue cheered up deputy premier Barnaby Joyce this...

Ernie Els dunks for eagle

Smooth swing, great shot.

Ernie Els lives up to his reputation for one of the best swings in golf.

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%