Maryvale couple Ian and Joan Bean, with a wedding invitation from long-lost friends who contacted them after spotting Ian in the Daily News.
Maryvale couple Ian and Joan Bean, with a wedding invitation from long-lost friends who contacted them after spotting Ian in the Daily News. Georja Ryan

Paper reunites old friends

IN 1987, a Vietnamese family boarded a rickety flat-bottomed boat bound for the shores of Australia.

After arriving in Ipswich, the kindness of one family, the Beans, made Duc, Yen, and children Da and Hoa feel truly welcome in the Land Down Under.

After years of chatting over the fence and helping the immigrants adjust to life in Australia, the families lost contact.

Duc and his family moved to Forest Lake and Ian and Joan Bean headed to Maryvale.

But a Daily News article on flooding at the Beans' property, published online in March, brought the two families back together and, in just over a week, Mr and Mrs Bean will watch Da, the boy they remember as a generous four year old all those years ago, get married.

"I knew Duc's voice immediately (when he phoned)," Mrs Bean said.

Mr Bean used to help the Vietnamese family with tasks around the house, show them how to do such things as taxes and how to adjust to the Australian way of living.

Mrs Bean said although it didn't seem they did much more than be friendly neighbours, Duc and his family considered them a part of their own.

"(When Duc phoned) I became quite emotional," Mrs Bean said.

"To realise something so neighbourly to us had meant so much to them was quite incredible."

The Beans heard from Duc, who admitted he had been trying to track them down to invite them to the wedding, but until he saw the story in the Daily News, had no idea where the couple might have been.



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