FOR 25 years they lived separate lives – siblings who lost contact yet were later reunited in the most unusual of ways.
Now, the brother of a Capital woman who lost her battle with HIV is to pay tribute to his sister by hosting a two-day charity punk music event in her honour.
Pam Blyth, from Leith, died of the illness last year, aged 48, having contracted it in the 1980s after injecting heroin.
Her brother Jock, 50, a guitarist with the punk group, Charged GBH, tracked her down by chance, having seen her on a children’s television programme talking about the dangers of the drug. And now he wants to make up for lost time by raising money for those who cared for her during her illness.
He said: “Pam was a very friendly, caring, person. She’d think this benefit was very fitting. She had a lot of friends who were punks and it was a highlight for her to go to concerts.”
The “Pam Blyth Memorial Punk Weekender” – to be held at Bannerman’s in the Cowgate in March – will raise money for Waverley Care’s Milestone Hospice in Oxgangs, an organisation, with which his sister was heavily involved.
Pam, who latterly lived on the Royal Mile, also spent time living at the road protest camp at Bilston.
Her brother said: “Pam overcame her problem with heroin very early in her life, but unfortunately the damage had already been done.”
The pair lost contact as youngsters after Jock moved to England, but the siblings were reunited ten years ago.
“I saw her on a TV programme aimed at children. She was doing a talk warning people about the dangers of heroin,” Jock said.
“I phoned the production company and within an hour I had her number.”
He was with her as her illness progressed, and was well aware of the importance of the care she received at Milestone. Jock’s influence in the punk world has ensured an impressive line-up for the benefit. Among the bands appearing are the Drongos for Europe, Billyclub and Overspill.
Director of Waverley Care, Grant Sugden, said: “We’re so grateful for Jock’s support. The funds raised will help our valuable work continue in these challenging times.”
The benefit will be held on March 24 and March 25. For more details, visit www.justgiving.com/jockblyth