GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A British man's mission to track down a Malaysian woman he almost married 47 years ago has come to a fruitful end.
Warren Holbrook, 69, found Wan Jamilah Wan Hussein - now living in Australia - through her former brother-in-law.
Holbrook, whose story was published in The Star on Monday, was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from Wan Jamilah.
"The first call I received was from Jamilah's former brother-in-law at around 9.30am. He was in Kuala Lumpur when he called me," said the ecstatic former British soldier.
"At around 10.15am, I got a call from her," he added.
"Jamilah now lives in Melbourne and was surprised that I was looking for her. She was pleased and we spoke for about 10 minutes," he said, adding that Jamilah married an Australian in 1971 and has two children and a grandchild.
"She has a daughter who is 41 and a son who is 39. I now have her contact number and we will keep in touch.
"Jamilah still comes back to Penang at least once a year, usually in April, to visit relatives," said Holbrook, who was thankful for the former brother-in-law's effort.
"I used to stay with him whenever I came down from Kluang, Johor, to see Jamilah (in Penang), and he would lend me his motorcycle so I could go see her," he recalled.
Holbrook's mobile phone has been ringing almost non-stop since his story was published.
"I received numerous calls and text messages. Some of them wished me luck in finding Jamilah, while others said they would help me find her.
"Some even had ideas as to where she might be," he said.
"Overwhelmed is an understatement. I am grateful for everyone's help and concern, and would like to thank everyone for their well wishes," said Holbrook, who spent the whole of Monday morning answering calls and replying to text messages.
He was also interviewed over the phone by a Malaysian radio station.
"I told them all that I had found her," said Holbrook, who has never married.
Holbrook met Jamilah in June 1967 and got engaged in October that year. He said when the British army found out about their relationship, he was transferred to another army base in Kluang, Johor as a white man in the army was not allowed to marry a local woman back then.
He went back to England in 1968 after his stint with the army ended.