It turns out that it’s not only travel memories that Sure Travel helps to create. No one could have predicted that a small competition run on the Sure Travel blog in February this year could change the lives of one family forever…
In July this year, Sure Millway Travel in Cape Town passed on an email they had received from Heather Moscos in East London to Sure Travel Head Office. Heather was emailing to say thank you. After many years searching for her son that had been given up for adoption 39 years ago in Zimbabwe, she had found him – through a small competition run on the Sure Travel blog.
In 1974 in Zimbabwe, Heather Moscos had had to give up a son for adoption. For a number of years she and her niece, Tammy Howard, had been trying to find him but without a name to go on, the search was looking fruitless. Then came the breakthrough – Heather received a possible name of “Bruce Bartie”. Tammy Howard starting searching on Google and came across the Sure Travel competition page – a man named Bruce Bartie in South Africa had entered the competition.
While Heather and Tammy were making progress with their search, the Bruce Bartie in question had all but given up hope of finding his biological mother. For as long as he could remember, he had always wanted to find his biological parents. In 2008, after about 15 years of research, he eventually found out their names.
After finding out that his biological father had passed away, he carried on searching for his mother – this proved to be a lot more challenging. After putting the information on various adoption registries and searching unsuccessfully on the internet, in 2012 Bruce made the decision not to pursue the search any longer. “Four years of intensive searching and a lifetime of wondering had taken its toll and it was time to move on” said Bruce.
On the 27th February 2013, Bruce entered his name on the Sure Travel blog to win a Woolworths voucher.
That’s where Tammy came across his name. Accepting it was a long shot as there were so many Bruce Barties out there, Tammy got in touch with him. After a few emails back and forth, Tammy got the confirmation - Bruce mentioned his parents’ names to her first and that he had been searching for his birth mother for over 20 years. Almost against all the odds, it turned out to be the right Bruce Bartie!
“Tears were rolling over the phone between myself and Aunt Heather [when she told her]… It was truly an amazing moment” said Tammy. No time was wasted – Bruce and his mother spoke on the phone that very evening. On the 31st July, Bruce and his family travelled from Knysna to East London to meet his mother and his new-found family.
“It’s truly amazing how things work in life. Had he not entered [the competition] who knows how many more years it would have taken to find him” said Heather.
“To the Sure Travel family we want to thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for your kindness that you have extended to us. And for having a competition responsible for bringing two people together after a period of 39 years. Yours in joy and happiness” - Heather, Bruce, Tammy and families.
To Heather, Bruce and family: Thank you for sharing your story with us. We are honoured to have played a part in your incredible reunion and wish you many happy years of creating special family memories together.
We at Sure Travel were so touched by this story and decided to sponsor a reunion dinner for the family in East London. Some photos from the special dinner below.
|Bruce, Errol (Heather's husband), Heather|
|Done' (Bruce's fiancé), Bruce, Heather |
Bruce and Done' kids' Kendra & Keira-Leigh (left and right) and Tammy's daughter Chloe (centre)
|Keira-Leigh, Chloe, Kendra|
|Kendra and Chloe|
|Tammy and Bruce|