1993: Reuniting…


After the Trip – we went our separate ways…

As young men tend to do.  Within a few months we had lost all contact with each other – as young men also tend to do.  Careers flourished – families formed.   Years passed – old address books lost.  We now know that we were each trying to contact the others – and there were some near misses – but we always ‘came up empty’ – for the next 30 years… 

Hong Kong 1975In 1975 John made his first visit to Hong Kong – to buy camera equipment for his publishing company.  During the negotiations he mentioned that 10 years earlier he had travelled with an Australian photographer who later moved to Hong Kong.  An hour later the camera shop owner drove him to Peter’s studio – he met his business partner – but Peter had returned to Australia a few weeks earlier! 

Later that same year John was in New York and on a whim – called Fort Henry in Kingston, Ontario – and asked to speak to Keith – or anyone who might remember him. 

New York 1975He was given a phone number of a government department “where someone may be able to help you…”  He was told that Keith was ‘on a training course’ and would not be available for 2 or 3 days.  It was a long shot but he left a message with a phone number of a San Diego hotel.  Four days later he was in San Diego and returned to the hotel to find a message from Keith – with a phone number.  Which had been written incorrectly by the hotel staff!  Worse – the phone number for that mysterious government department had been lost somewhere between New York and San Diego…  And… another 20 years passed without success…

Then, when it finally happened, it was not through internet searches or skilled detective work – just a series of incredible coincidences…

John & Keith - Tokyo 1993
Tokyo – 1993.  JATA (Japan Assn of Travel Agents) Congress.  Opening Ceremony – reserved seating – 5,000 international delegates in the auditorium.  VERY formal – VERY boring.  John was browsing the contents of his registration satchel.  Nothing to read – just the delegates’ directory – the name leapt off the page…  Keith de Bellefeuille Percy – not a name designed to leap off pages… It HAD to be him.  But – how to find him?  It didn’t take long…  John and Keith were seated one chair appart – Keith in the row in front!  It was a noisy reunion – caught on Congress cameras – and featured that night on NTV.   The reunion lasted a week – but it took another 6 years to find the other two…

Late August, 2001.   John was preparing for a trip to England and Europe.  Late one night, the computer beeps – email from David – he had done a Yahoo search – found two John Polsons – and one was not a film star… 

John & David 2001Two weeks later John arrived at David’s home in Kent… at EXACTLY 2:00pm GMT on September 11 – 9:00am in New York City. 

The world had changed a lot in 35 years – but it changed a lot more in the following 35 minutes… for three days, our reunion took place in front of the TV – with BBC and CNN broadcasts from New York.

Since then – contact has been continual.  David found Peter in 2002 – and they have visited each other in both Adelaide and Kent.  David & Patricia visited Australia early in 2002.  Keith has visited Australia twice (2002 & 2004) and the UK twice (2002 & 2004).  Planning for the Second Trip began in early 2002 – further details below…



2003 – Keith visited Australia – looking decidedly more relaxed in this picture!

 

 

 

 

 
2004 – Peter & Anne attended David’s 60th birthday in London.   David is MUCH older than the rest of us…

 

 

 

2005 – Very bad form.  Neither David nor Keith attended John’s 60th birthday – but they tried to make up for it by phoning – and phoning…

 

 

 

 The Second Trip?
 
In June/July 2006 – we will meet in Ickham, Kent and return to Le Mans, France – where we reunite with Florence and her family.  And then – to Agen – we have hired a boat and will spend two weeks cruising through the locks on the Canal du Midi…  We won’t spoil it for you – follow it all here…

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