'My life lit up': Councillor's joy at reuniting with daughter after more than 30 years
- Credit: Bob Perry
A Havering councillor has revealed his joy at reuniting with his daughter after losing contact with her for more than 30 years.
Bob Perry spoke to daughter Lindsay Gibbons shortly before Christmas after last seeing her as a baby in 1989.
He described their first telephone contact as "incredible", adding: "There were a few awkward moments but when she said 'it's Lindsay', my life lit up. It was a wonderful moment."
The Emerson Park ward councillor said they have been unable to meet yet due to the Covid-19 pandemic but revealed that they live just three miles apart - he lives in Ardleigh Green while Lindsay resides in Collier Row.
He added: "We talk virtually every day on the phone. We're getting on really well and we can't wait to meet each other."
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After he had split from Lindsay's mother, Bob lost contact but said he had looked for his daughter "many, many times" over the years to no avail.
Lindsay said she did not know about her dad until October when she found out from a family member, at which point she connected with Bob's son Tim on social media.
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Bob said: "She came across him by chance. Saw the name Perry and she had been told her dad was this guy called Bob Perry.
"She saw Tim Perry and thought I wonder?
"She messaged him and said 'Is your dad's name Bob?' He said yeah and he figured it out and said 'I think you're my sister'.
"They've started to communicate and they're getting on like a house on fire."
Lindsay explained that finding out about Bob was "a shock" but admitted it had been really nice to get to know him.
She said: "I connected with my brother first on social media and it just went from there."
The mum-of-five admitted that it was strange that she and Bob had lived so near each other, adding: "I could have walked past him in Romford and not known."
She is hoping to have a get-together once Covid restrictions have lifted and said her children, aged between five months and 13, are looking forward to meeting their grandfather.