Sunday, May 13, 2007

Trip to the Big Smoke

Peter and I are going to visit his brother in Vancouver this week. I don't know if you'll remember, but we had a telephone call last September, from a funeral home. Peter picked up the 'phone and I overheard a very subdued conversation: "Yes...uh-huh...yes...yes...uh, sure, that would be fine" I sat nearby drinking tea and wondering if I should offer advice along the line of "Just tell them you're not interested!". He hung up the 'phone and said "That was Sand's Funeral Home. They said they've been contacted by a retired Vancouver police officer who thinks your father was also his father. They wanted to know if I was willing to talk with him."

We had our first telephone conversation with The Brother on September 10 which, coincidentally, was The Brother's birthday. There's been a lot of e-mailing back and forth and photo sharing, etc. (the brother looks to be a virtual clone of Peter's father) and there was a brief meeting on December 26. We really like the fellow. His demeanor is so like Peter's that I felt instantly at ease with him. I sent him an email after the visit and asked if he was o.k. with my posting pictures on this blog. He didn't respond, so I let it go. It's possible that he missed the question in all the excitement, so I'll broach the subject again on this visit. Of course, the trick will be to ask when Peter's not around. (I've been blogging for almost a year now and my boys are still blissfully unaware!)

We've been assembling a collection of photos to take with us as a gift. I scanned quite a variety of family pictures - mainly the father-in-law, but the rest of us too. There are some excellent WWI RNAS pictures and I've carefully deciphered and copied the captions. Here's one: "Returning from a spotting patrol over Chanak. I had to ditch just short of the island of Tenedos, August 1915." It actually seems remarkable that we have so many good quality pictures from the First World War.

Fred (Peter's father) is in uniform in most pictures. He served in the Grand Fleet, RNAS and during the Second World War he joined the Canadian forces. A very robust man, he took ten years off his age in order to serve in WWII and the doctor who did the enlistment physical told my mother-in-law that he had the physique and constitution of a man in his thirties. Fred was born in 1892, so he had to be close to fifty at the time.

I found a photo box for the pictures we've been scanning and chose one of the 'older' pictures of Fred for the lid.

I do hope I'll be able to post some pictures of Peter and his brother here later.

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At 2:09 AM, Blogger martha said...

What a sweet, thoughtful present!!

Your horrible, thoughtless daughter totally missed Mother's Day because she was in transit between Malta and London. I'm so sorry. I feel awful now. Happy Belated Mother's Day!!! I love you!

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Susan said...

Thank you, Blossom! And don't worry - I knew you were distracted. Did you know that Mother's Day is celebrated at least a month earlier in G.B.? There was nothing to jog your memory.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

This is a wonderful story about long-lost brothers meeting.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous clare said...

Astonishing resemblance - this adds such a poignancy to the tale. It must have been quite weird to actually meet this person that looks so much like this photo!


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