Heartbreaking story behind mystery ad
A RETIRED businessman from Sydney who went to school with Lismore MP Thomas George has revealed himself as the mystery identity behind a classified ad calling for a "Jamie from Casino/Grafton" to make contact.
The ad, printed in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, requested the following:
"If you are called JAMIE and were born in Casino about 1967 and moved to Grafton and have lived in Victoria and your mother's name was Robyn and stepfather's name was Arthur, please get in touch with Malcolm Carr of Metro Lawyers 0414 128 420".
The Northern Star can now reveal the person behind the intriguing advertisement is 69-year-old Patrick Murnin, of Sydney.
Mr Murnin said he grew up on a farm at Fairy Hill just north of Casino and attended Casino Marist Brothers school in the same year as Thomas George.
He even joked that he used to help Mr George with his maths papers.
The sad story behind the advertisement is Mr Murnin's loss of contact with his son almost 50 years ago due to a relationship breakdown with the boy's mother.
"She ended up running away with a mate of mine," Mr Murnin said.
Back then, son Jamie was just eight months old.
Mr Murnin said he tracked the family down in 1980, when they were living in Victoria, and rang the home.
But when his son, then 13, answered the phone, he couldn't summon the courage to reveal who he was.
He said he gave up efforts to get in touch because he had a new wife and stepchildren to look after.
Things have changed since, however.
Mr Murnin had a major stroke about 10 years ago and is now a single man.
"I'm not getting any younger and my health is not the best and I thought why don't I get in touch with my son," Mr Murnin said.
'Jamie' is the third son Mr Murnin has tried to make contact with. The other two, who have a different mother, live in Sydney and he has successfully tracked them down.
Mr Murnin said he had made "millions" after moving to Sydney by buying up failing businesses and turning them around.
He said he still has a property in Sutherland Shire he would like to hand down to his sons.
"I've never forgotten the boys, they were always on my mind," he said.
"Whatever I've got left in life has got to go to them."