We’ve finally had a family reunion. Not on a large scale as yet, because there were plenty of people not there, but we still had around thirty at the dinner last night (Easter Sunday) and some fifty at the informal get-together and lunch today. Jacinta and Daphne did most of the organising, but I think it helped that the blog had been up, and the emails had been going out, since last year. The other thing that triggered it further was that Peter and Jane Ryan were coming over for a trip to the South Island, so that gave us a definite excuse.
We had a meal together last night at The Station Café in Mosgiel – it’s literally the old Mosgiel railway station done up.
On the Ryan side there were Anne and her mother, and her daughter Sophie, and Peter and Jane. I haven’t seen Peter since I was in my mid-teens, back in the late fifties, I guess.
On the Stokes side, there were Des, Mary and Paul Fraher, and Paul – who came in after the meal was finished – and Debbie with her Japanese husband, Hide (pronounced, roughly, Heeday). They’ve only been married about a year.
Daphne was there, along with Jacinta and Dave, Jennifer, Trish and Ross, Teresa and Bob – and Bob’s mother, Peggy – and Denise and Malcolm. The three teenage boys were there too, until they went to Jacinta’s to watch tv: Matthew, Hamish and Finn.
And there were some Crowls: Celia and yours truly, and Stef, Abby and Ben. (Louise and Jacob were in Invercargill.)
We had a buffet meal and there was a good friendly atmosphere, especially considering a number of people didn’t really know each other well.
Today (Easter Monday) we went to the East Taieri Hall from around 11.30 for a bring-a-plate lunch. Being a Hannagan do, of course there was plenty of food…!
I think the only person who wasn’t there today from last night was Peggy. Otherwise the same bunch came, along with John Stokes and Lucy, and their three kids, Madeleine Monica, George Louis and Eloise.
Raymond and Bernadette also came, with Andrew and his wife of a month, Sian (I presume that’s the spelling, although they were pronouncing it Sharne to my ear), and Matthew.
More Crowls came: Dominic, the three little Stewarts: Jenna (who’s birthday it is today as well), Mykala and Luke, and the big Stewart: Doug. Abby also brought Thomas.
Jacinta’s three boys were there: Jack, Charlie and Oscar. And Denise’ daughter, Chloe, came too, and did face-painting on the little kids.
And one last arrival, who makes the number to fifty by my reckoning, was Monica Stokes. Des went and got her after lunch. It was great to have her there, particularly since the home she is in is so close to the proceedings, and having all of us going to her might not have been so convenient.