Brothers reunited 57 years after baby was taken from family

2013-01-21 00:00

BETHLEHEM —The wish of a mother, who cried so hard when her fifth child was taken from her by welfare that it made a life-long impression on his toddler brother, has finally been honoured.

After 57 years of living very different lives, Durbanite Gordon Comley (57), who was adopted as a two-day-old baby, cried freely as he hugged his his older brother, Koos du Preez (60) from Bloemfontein.

They were reunited in Bethlehem, where Comley, who now lives in Durban, grew up until he was seven.

Since Du Preez managed to track down Comley in December, the two have been talking for hours over the phone.

Comley was taken away for adoption two days after his birth. Du Preez, who was only three at the time, still remembers how his mother cried when his baby brother was taken from their home in Steynsrus.

He explained their father did not have a job, and because they already had him and three sisters, the welfare authorities removed Comley for adoption.

Du Preez said he never gave up hope and kept up the search for his brother despite many obstacles.

He finally found him through Face­book and a social worker.

Comley said: “It feels like a dream world. Like a dream from which I am not waking.”

He said he developed a feeling that he had been adopted after his marriage in 1986, which left him “feeling very sad”.

But he dismissed the feelings, thinking that his family would have told him if he was adopted.

After Comley got the first call from his brother in December, he called his sister, Elmarie Greffrath, and told her of the news.

She confirmed he had been adopted, but said she was forbidden to speak to him about it.

Comley’s wife, Zelda, said they would never have known if Du Preez had not found him.

The brothers’ respective families met in Bethlehem on Saturday. Comley hugged his brother for a long time. “It was emotional. You can think for yourself: two strangers who have a 57-year link,” said André, Du Preez’s son, about the meeting between his father and his uncle.

Du Preez’s wife, Christine, said it had been the dream of her in-laws that their four siblings would meet their brother who was taken away for adoption.

Comley next looks forward to meeting his sisters also at a family reunion in Bloemfontein. They are Edna de Beer, Sarie van Rensburg and Adri de Beer.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.