When Dorothy Wallis and Valda Dawson moved to Ingenia Gardens Melton in late 2019 they had no idea they were about to reunite with a long lost family member.
It had been 66 years since the two cousins had seen each other, and after almost a lifetime apart it took some time for them to re-establish a connection.
Ms Wallis, 82, moved to the senior independent living community in August. She began talking to Ms Dawson soon after she moved there in November.
“As she was new to our community, I decided to strike up a conversation with Valda by mentioning I had a cousin with the same name – at this point we didn’t recognise each other,” Ms Wallis said.
“I then mentioned my cousin had married the man who started Dawson Pest Control, she then looked at me and exclaimed ‘that’s me!’.”
The pair both grew up in Williamstown, where their families would often see each other, but they lost contact shortly after Ms Dawson’s wedding when she moved away.
Ms Dawson, 86, said it was great to be re-united after nearly seven decades apart.
“It’s nice to reconnect with a side of the family I hadn’t seen for a long time.
“I honestly never thought we would see each other again, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out she was my new neighbour decades later.
“We always have lunch at the same table now and it’s been great to reconnect.”