Emotional Hong Kong journey

Jessie Chan (right) with her mum Rose and sister Miriam Tankersley on David Lomas Investigates in Hong Kong.
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High profile Mid Canterbury dairy farmer Jessie Chan went on an emotional journey of discovery as she featured in an episode of David Lomas Investigates.

Jessie Chan and her sister Miriam Tankersley accompanied their mother Rose to Hong Kong in an effort to find members of Rose’s family in the episode, which aired on Tuesday night.

The trio met up with Lomas in Hong Kong, where Rose was raised in an orphanage until the age of 14 after being found as a baby abandoned in a slum.

Lomas’s investigations were helped by DNA tests Rose and other family members had done previously and uploaded online. He found the identity of her father, a man who apparently had seven wives, quite a number of children, and died in 1962. He found Rose had a half sister living in Hong Kong, Suzanna.

In Hong Kong, Rose and her two daughters were overjoyed to meet Suzanna and her son Bruce Yim for the first time.

Jessie Chan’s mum Rose met her nephew Bruce Yim for the first time on the episode.

‘‘Bruce went to a lot of effort to bring his mum down to meet our mum, it was different, I guess it just reminds us that every family has its own different complexities,’’ Chan told Lomas.

‘‘I feel very close and I feel I should have known them a long time ago, this is what I have always dreamed of,’’ Yim said.

The trio also visited the vault where Rose’s father’s ashes were interred, and visited the orphanage where Rose was brought up. At the orphanage they met some of the now grown-up children Rose had been in the orphanage with, and also one of the nuns who helped care for her.

Rose (right) and her two daughters visited the Hong Kong orphanage where she grew up, and met one of the nuns who helped care for Rose as a child.

‘‘The identity of Rose’s birth mother remains a mystery,’’ Lomas said at the conclusion of the episode.

Chan and Tankersley were looking forward to returning to Hong Kong so their children could meet their relatives and grow up with a sense of being connected with their Chinese heritage.