Sighting spurs hope for family of missing woman
JENNY Batty was doing her weekly shop at Woolworths Plainland when she thought she locked eyes with her long-lost aunt Pauline Hutt.
The sighting was about a month ago, but the Hatton Vale grandmother has ever since found herself looking around every corner to find Pauline.
Mrs Batty's motivation to find her aunt is not just for her own benefit or that of her cousins, she wants to unite Pauline with her sister Marjorie Burn, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
"If it was Pauline, I would just want to let her know she could come back to see her sister Marj before she passes away," Mrs Batty said.
Mrs Batty's mother, Marjorie, has just six months to live.
Marjorie has not seen her sister since Pauline left her family home in Bomaderry, New South Wales, on Boxing Day in 1965.
It is understood Pauline's motivation for leaving was her "bad marriage".
But Pauline also left behind two sons, who have been waiting to see their mother ever since.
Merv Hutt was 14 years old when his mother left but said the pain was still raw 54years on.
"It's something I've carried all my life and it hasn't been an easy load at times," Mr Hutt said.
For more than five decades, Mr Hutt has advertised in newspapers, magazines and contacted organisations such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross in a bid to locate his mum.
"I almost ran out of places to go to, but this has reinvigorated me for sure," he said.
"We just want her to know that we still care about her and she's still a part of a family."
Now 67, Mr Hutt said he knew the chances were slim but any time they had left to find Pauline was too precious to waste.
Pauline would be aged 89. She has six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.