Brothers meet again – after six decades

George Sorrie from Earlston with photo of his family's reunion in Montrose.

George Sorrie from Earlston with photo of his family's reunion in Montrose.

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AN Earlston pensioner has been reunited with his baby brother – 61 years after he was given up for adoption in tragic circumstances.

George Sorrie and his four brothers and sisters had an emotional meeting with their youngest sibling, now called Allan Blain and living in Canada, before Christmas.

L-r (back row) Theodore Sorrie, George Sorrie, Syd Sorrie, (front row), Lizzie Sellar, Allan Blain and Katheline Murphy.

L-r (back row) Theodore Sorrie, George Sorrie, Syd Sorrie, (front row), Lizzie Sellar, Allan Blain and Katheline Murphy.

George, 73, said: “When we finally met it was as if we’d never been apart. We all just sort of clicked.”

The retired truck driver, who has lived in the Lauderdale village for around 40 years, is originally from the Aberdeen area, where his father Arthur and mother Jane raised a large family. But within a week of Allan, originally named John, being born in June 1951, Jane died at the age of 43 from acute bronchitis and heart failure. Her death came 13 months after nine-year-old daughter Sheila suffered rheumatic fever and passed away.

Farm worker Arthur was assisted by oldest daughter Elizabeth, then aged 16, in looking after the remaining family, but the authorities decided they would not be able to look after a new baby.

George explained: “Our mother died five days after childbirth and the baby was given away for adoption.”

The great-grandfather added: “I was around 12 or 13 at the time and it hit the family hard, but we never forgot about him. There was a letter once to say he was happy and living in Glasgow, but that was it.”

It was not until 2005, 54 years later, when new rules allowed biological families to search for relatives, that George tried to track down Allan. And after five years of efforts through a Scottish adoption contact register, he was successful, communicating with his sibling who now lives in Calgary.

George added: “We discovered that his adoptive parents had emigrated to Canada with him. We have Skype and Facebook and email, so we keep in touch now, and Allan has invited us over to Canada.” Allan, 60, says he only knew of his past family at the age of 17 when his adoptive mother died.

But he admits he never thought to look up who his parents and siblings were until George got in touch.

Incredibly, one of the Sorrie clan, 65-year-old Sydney, also emigrated to Canada in his teens, with Allan often passing his home without knowing who was inside.

But the remaining brothers and sisters finally met Allan for a momentous reunion in Montrose last year.