When Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell was invited to Kingswode Hoe School to present a framed certificate to a 16-year-old pupil he discovered that the teenager was a baby when – with his two-year-old sister and his mother – he saved from being deported 15 years ago.
The youngsters had been born in Colchester to a mother from the Philippines and a father serving in the Army, who later abandoned the family.
Immigration rules meant that the mother had no legal right to remain in the UK although her two infant children did.
So he took up her case with the Home Office, and won the right for the family to remain – 15 years later he met the two infants again, now aged 16 and 17 having grown up in Colchester.
Sir Bob said: “It was quite emotional when I was shown into a side room before the presentation to meet their mother again after all these years. I had no idea that it was her son to whom I was going to present a certificate.
“She had told staff of how I had helped her and her children, and that without me they would all have been deported! The lovely story was then told to the whole school assembly by one of the teachers.”
Sir Bob presented a PlayMaker Award, from national organisation Sports Leaders UK, to Kieron Thomas. Watching were his proud mother Mrs Geraldine Thomas and his sister Kimberly aged 17.