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

Not near our backyards: outcry at 'oversize' shed

NOT IN OUR BACKYARD: Concerned neighbours Shirley and David Tognolini, Gabby and Ian King and Denise and Bill Hannon in front of the shed.

"'Light industrial area opens in Burnett Heads'.”

Meet the new farm robot smoking weeds

EXTERMINATOR: QUT's Tristan Perez and Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson with the AgBot II.

Bundaberg farmers saw it in action

New campaign targets complacency on our farms

SAFETY MESSAGE: Leanne Donaldson, Eddy Zaina and Grace Grace at the SnapFresh farm.

Farms have 3% of jobs, 30% of accidents

Local Partners

Get help at financial info day

A FREE information day to help anyone in need of financial help or advice is being held today as part of Anti-Poverty Week.

Workshops to show you how to bring puppets to life

STRING SECTION: Two puppet-making workshops will be held in the region.

Ever wanted to know how to make puppets?

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Air-con upgrade for Moncrieff theatre

Moncrieff Entertainment Centre.Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

Cooler theatre on the way

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E10 - hometown visits

Georgia Love in a scene from season two episode 10 of The Bachelorette.

Georgia meets the families of her four beaus tonight.

The Bachelorette: Courtney too slow for Georgia's love train

Courtney Dober in a scene from The Bachelorette.

FORMER favourite eliminated after introducing Georgia to his family.

Singing ex-diplomat brings Afghanistan war to life

Folk singer Fred Smith's concert draws on his experience as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Fred Smith's regional Queensland tour focuses on the Afghanistan war

Shaynna'a blazing a stylish trail on television

Shaynna Blaze hosts the new TV show Deadline Design.

SHE'S the designer with no less than three shows on ours screens.

Ciara felt "empowered" after losing her baby weight


The 'I Bet' hitmaker was glad to drop the 60 pounds

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.