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