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G'day, But Don't I Know You From Somewhere?

A NEWS Shopper worker who jetted half-way round the world to meet up with long-lost relatives had the shock of her life.

A million-to-one coincidence left our receptionist Joan `The Phone' Saxby lost for words after she stepped off the plane in Australia -- and bumped straight into a work colleague.

The small family reunion in Oz, with relatives coming together from around the world, quickly turned into a bizarre works outing.

At a party in Adelaide, Joan was introduced to a whole series of relatives she had either never met or not seen for years.

Several friendly pecks on the cheek later, Joan, of The Avenue, West Wickham, was surprised to hear someone shout out "Is there anyone here from the News Shopper?".

But surprise turned to disbelief when a fellow she kissed half an hour before stood up in front of her. It was Bert Howell, who had just arrived Down Under and dashed to the surprise party.

Mind you, nothing surprised Joan or Bert as much as realising they both work together at the News Shopper every day!

Joan said: "He'd just stepped off the plane but when he kissed me I thought his face looked a bit familiar. It really is a million-to-one chance.

"When I first heard News Shopper mentioned I thought there must be another one in Australia.

"Everyone at the party was astonished -- neither of us had any idea the other was flying out there, let alone that we were distant relatives.

"I even asked if he had a twin because he looked so familar and, believe it or not, he has got a twin brother."

Typesetter Bert's brother-in-law John is married to Maureen, whose brother, another John, is married to Gladys, who is Joan's cousin -- I'm glad we got that clear!

Bert, 62, from Crockenhill, said: "You could have knocked me over with a feather. It was really spooky.

"You fly half way round the world to find you're related to someone you work with.

"I must have been a bit jet-lagged or I would have recognised her straight away."

Bert and Joan are both back working at the News Shopper in Petts Wood -- and both reckon they met someone in Australia who looks a lot like the other one!

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

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