Gary from Calgary, who met Vernette in Regina in 1969, your daughter would like to meet you

"It was the summer of '69 and there was all of that free love. My mom ended up becoming pregnant with my sister and she never told Gary about her," said Toni Rempel who is helping her half-sister Bonnie track down her father.

Classified ad seeking to connect woman with father who doesn't know she exists

Vernette Eklund, left, and Bonnie Eklund are shown in a family photo from the 1970s. Bonnie's half-sister has turned to classified ads in an attempt to connect her father, who doesn't know she exists. Toni Rempel says she is looking for a man named Gary who was in Regina on business in 1969. (The Canadian Press)

It was the summer of '69 when Gary met 21-year-old Vernette at a disco.

He was from Calgary, but was travelling to Regina on business.

The two dated for a time and — about nine months later — Vernette delivered a baby girl, but she never told Gary about their daughter, Bonnie.

And now, Bonnie wants to meet him.

"My sister [Bonnie], she's been talking about it for 20 years. Fantasizing, wondering who her biological father is," said her half-sister Toni Rempel.


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Bonnie Eklund, who works as a doctor in San Diego, Calif., agreed to let Rempel take out classified ads, on her behalf, across Canada.

"Is your name Gary?" the ad begins. "Were you in Regina, Sask. on business in 1969?"

The ad is accompanied by a decades-old photo of a smiling, petite blond woman and a little girl with poker-straight blond hair.

Vernette Ann Eklund, was about 21 at the time and working as a nurse at the Regina General Hospital.

"Vernette is a very unique name," said Rempel — who hopes Gary will remember the "very pretty" slender blonde, with hazel eyes he met more than four decades ago at the Westward Inn.

Gary would have been in his 20s at the time with blonde hair, slender build, about six feet tall and of Polish or Ukrainian descent.

"She wasn't sure of his last name," said Rempel. "She think it may have ended with a 'ski.' But you know, times were different," the 39-year-old told the CBC from her home in Kelowna, B.C.

"It was the summer of '69 and there was all of that free love."

Vernette Eklund, Toni Rempel and Bonnie Eklund are shown in a family photo from the 1970s. Rempel has turned to classified ads in an attempt to connect her half-sister with a father who doesn't know she exists. (The Canadian Press)

Her mother, who is now 69, gave up Bonnie for adoption when the girl was two and she was raised by her grandparents.

"My mom worked as a nurse, which entailed 12-hour shifts, and back in 1969 there was no such thing as 12-hour daycare, plus she was single."

"Bonnie was raised as my aunt. When I was 12 years old my mother actually told me she was my sister. I was so happy because it was like all my dreams had come true, because I always felt she was more than my aunt."

Rempel is asking anyone who might know Gary to contact her so she can give her sister a happy ending.

"She's 45 now. She's not looking for a new dad…. She just wants to know where she comes from. That's it. If it turns into a relationship, that would great. If it doesn't she's OK with that too."

Rempel can be reached at t.rempel@yahoo.ca.

With files from The Canadian Press

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