CBS 60 Minutes | The Lost Children: Update

Since 60 Minutes II's "Lost Children" first aired in 1999, much has happened. Many viewers wrote emails and letters to tell the stories of their own experiences as lost children. 

Some had reunions with family members not seen in half a century. 60 Minutes II Correspondent Bob Simon reports on these developments.

In 1999, Mary Molloy, profiled in the original broadcast, had an emotional reunion with her mother. She had four weeks to make up for 50 years of loneliness. 

"It was just like coming home," says Molloy. "The circle had come full circle. It was great."

But the circle was much larger than Molloy had imagined. She discovered in Dublin that she not only had a mother, but also nine brothers and sisters. They were all there to celebrate Molloy's 56th birthday. 

But for Molloy, the reunion was bittersweet. "I got home; three days later, it was Mother's Day," she says. "And I kept thinking of all the Mother's Days I missed out on. And it wasn't fair."

For Mary Molloy and her mother, after half a century of separation, followed by one reunion, there was separation again, with only letters to fill the void…

John Hennessy, who had been abused at Bindoon, a Catholic institution in the Australian bush, felt so empowered by the first broadcast that he decided to run for public office. Hennessy is campaigning to become deputy mayor of Campbelltown, Australia, a suburb of Sydney. He, too, was reunited with his mother, who lives in England.

"When you think that I'm 65, and she's 86, a frail, gentle loving woman, for the first time meeting her only child," Hennessy explained in 1999.

"And to look into her eyes, she got tears, I got tears. We're both trembling. And she said, 'Michael John, where have you been all these years?'" he recalled.

Click here to read the full CBS news item

Published on .

No Comments

BBC News | UK Politics | Uncovering 'Britain's most shameful secret'

British officials have been involved in a "top level cover-up" over the forced migration of vulnerable children, a Labour MP claimed on Wednesday.
David Hinchliffe, chairman of the Commons Health Select Committee, told the House of Commons that 150,000 children in care had been shipped to Australia and New Zealand as part of an experiment in child migration which he called "Britain's most shameful secret".

The practice of shipping orphans to Britain's former colonies began in 1618 and only ended in 1967.

It has only recently come to light and the Health Select Committee has been investigating it.

Its members travelled to Australia and New Zealand to meet people who had been affected.

Click here to read the BBC news item in full.

Published on .

No Comments

CBS 60 Minutes | The Lost Children

Not only had these lost children been shipped 12,000 miles from Britain to the bottom of the world. Not only had they been exploited and abused. They had been deceived. 

They weren't orphans. They had families back in Britain, families which had dropped them off at institutions with every intention of getting them back.

When Tony Jones discovered that his mother was still alive in England, he was shocked: "All them years, and they didn't even tell me I had a family?" he says. 

Too poor to care for him, Maud Jones had placed Tony in a children's home in England after she divorced his father. She never gave consent for Tony to be shipped to Australia. She was never even asked.

It took Jones months to save enough money to return home to see his mom. Their reunion was set for the middle of January 1993. But she died just two weeks before that.

Jones went back for the funeral. "I saw my mother in the coffin," he says. "It's the most heartbreaking time of my life. And they knew she was alive. They knew. Bastards." 

When he was a boy, the Church of England told him his parents were dead. That was a lie. When he grew up, the British and Australian governments told him his records didn't exist. That was another lie. And Tony Jones was far from alone.

That was the conclusion reached by Margaret Humphreys, an English social worker who began lifting the lid on this sordid chapter in Britain's history.

Click here to read the full CBS 60 Minutes II article

Published on .

No Comments
Web Design