Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Family Reunion

Over the Easter weekend, we went to Rockhampton to a family reunion - John and I and my brother and his wife. Missy had her own holiday at a boarding kennel.


 These were my relatives from my father's family. We are spread far and wide and rarely see each other but it is amazing , when we come together, just how well we all get on and many family traits we all share.
There were 5 generations represented. We met for afternoon tea under the Banyan tree in the botanic gardens.

 
We share a laconic sense of humour, a love of learning, acceptance of diversity and quite a number of physical traits as well.
 
 
A Banyan is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree. Old trees can spread out laterally, using these prop roots to cover a wide area. In some species the effect is for the props to develop into a sort of forest covering a considerable area, every trunk connected directly or indirectly to the central trunk.
 
Quite symbolic of our family
 From small beginnings we have grown and spread but still remain connected.
 
Our family began in Australia when our great great grandfather was sent here by the English Government as punishment but instead of withering, he founded a strong and flourishing family.
 
Lining up for our meal
 
Saturday evening there was dinner and a bush dance at a local historic homestead. A sense of fun, a love of food  and an ability to dance as if no one is watching seem to be a family traits as well.
 
The only time there was quiet all weekend was when we were eating.
 
 
On Easter Sunday morning we visited my grandfather's grave.
My cousin Jenny had for many years wanted to give him a head stone and she gave a wonderful talk about the value of family and discovering from our ancestors our heritage - who we are and where we are heading.  In discovering where we came from, we also find what we are capable of. Other cousins recounted favourite memories of Pop, read a favourite poem and laid a wreath to remember him.
 
 
Then my brother and I visited our father's memorial. He died when my brother was 3 months old. I have very few distinct memories and some cloudy ones of my Dad. My brother has none - so it was good to hear elderly relatives' recounting stories about when he was young.  
 
We met up again for lunch  - a barbeque of course. What else would an Australian family have?

Jenny had organised a cake with our grandparents wedding photo in the icing.
In fact, Jenny had organised the entire weekend.
She did an amazing job.

The older generation cut the cake.

My generation.
18 of my 24 cousins were there.
 
The boys
 
The girls
 
We're planning our next get-together for 5 years time.
 
 

3 comments:

  1. Your family reunion, the photos, and the story behind them are all very endearing. Family is so important and being in touch with ones lineage and relations. Five years will fly by for the next one :)

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  2. wow the organization for that must have been immense. How wonderful to gather all those family members together. I love the symbolism of the bunyan tree!

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  3. Looks like a good time was had by all....what a lovely family reunion.
    It's always nice to know our family roots and have a good insight into our heritage.
    Good for your grandfather to make his life worthwhile after being exiled.....Score Grandad!!
    Unfortunate for Missy to be placed in a kennel, but I'm sure she made some friends while she was there.

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