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"I've wondered where he is my whole life"

Monday 15 May 2017

"I've wondered where he is my whole life"

Monday 15 May 2017

A son who has gone nearly three decades without meeting his father is appealing to Jersey residents for help - and believes that the key to finding his Dutch dad might lie with local hockey players from the 1980's.

While most islanders browse the ‘Jersey 80s Fotos’ Facebook group for fun throwbacks to the era of Bergerac, shoulder pads and disco sparkle, 29-year-old Joshua Douglas took to the group in a bid for information on his father - Dutch national Hans Vanrijs (pictured).

Hans, from Weesp, North Holland, and thought to be around 25 at the time, visited Jersey with a Dutch hockey team for a tournament during March or April 1987.

During that time, he met Mr Douglas’ mother, Sharon, at the Pomme d’Or hotel where she worked. She later fell pregnant, before returning to York where Mr Douglas grew up.

He’s now spent nearly 30 years questioning who and where his father is, and how to track him down. Following failed pleas to ITV’s Long Lost Family, and a misnomer in the form of an advertising executive famed for connections with Tommy Cooper, he’s now looking to Jersey residents to answer what he believes is the piece of the puzzle needed to track Hans down.

Joshua Douglas

Pictured: Joshua Douglas (29), who is seeking his long lost father.

“I feel that finding out what hockey team he played for would be the key to finding him,” he told Express.

Various islanders have since provided suggestions, but so far, searches have apparently been fruitless, and confusion remains over the exact spelling of the name and surname of Hans, an engineer by trade.

Commenting on what it would mean to him to finally get in touch, he said:

“I've always wanted to find him since I was young… It would mean a lot to me to track him down even if it was just to get some closure, having wondered where he is my whole life.”

Anyone with any information is urged to get in contact with Mr Douglas via Facebook or email on [email protected]


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Posted by Jean Lelliott on
Surely the JEP archive would have a report on a match like this in the Sports section?
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