When Sally Koob of Aquafinesse in West Wales learned that her close friend, June Holmes, had not seen her three sisters in over sixty years, she vowed she would do something about it.
Sally says that when she got home and told her husband Dieter about her conversation with June, she remembers remarking that she couldn’t bear the thought of being without any member of her family for more than sixty days, let alone sixty years. She told us, “June is loved by everyone in the community in Hayscastle as she will bend over backwards to help anyone who needs an errand run, or a lift somewhere, or just someone to have a chat to over a cuppa.”
So Sally got in touch with the producers of ‘Surprise Surprise‘ at ITV and told them the story of how June’s family had emigrated to Australia back in the early 1950s, but June decided to remain in the UK. She had kept in touch over the years but circumstances meant that they never got together in person. ITV said they would be interested in June’s story and arranged to fly her three sisters Beryl, Edna and Elsie to London.
Sally and daughter Kayli got June up to ITV’s studios on a ruse of having a day out in London before Christmas and taking in a theatre or TV show, so June had no idea and was very surprised when presenter Holly Willoughby came into the audience and asked June and Sally to join them on stage. After hearing June’s story, Holly said that she could arrange for them to talk to each other by satellite link. What June didn’t realise is that whilst talking on ‘satellite link’, her sisters were actually in an adjacent studio.
There were emotional scenes as June’s sisters were finally brought on and reunited with her for the first time in over sixty years. The piece was aired on primetime ITV1 a few days before Christmas as part of a ‘Surprise Surprise Christmas Special’. As well as spending time with her sisters in the UK, the programme also paid for June to fly out Australia to spend time with her sisters in their own homes and meet other members of her extended family for the first time. Well done to Sally for arranging such a wonderful event for a much loved, selfless, and highly deserving lady.