On Saturday 18 July 1987 well over a hundred members and friends gathered at Upper Hardres Parish Church for the Third Family Reunion. There were members from Texas, Pennsylvania, Ontario, West Germany, and all over Britain. The Society President, Hugh R Hards and his wife, over in England from Canada, came down from London with about thirty others in a specially chartered double-decker bus.
It had been a rainy week, and Saturday morning was little better, but from 10 o'clock onwards members were gathering at the church, signing the Reunion Book, and renewing acquantances, with
welcome refreshment dispensed in the church porch by Mrs Dorothy Minter. At about noon everyone settled in the church where the Vicar, Rev. Richard Love, formally invited us to Upper Hardres once again. Hugh gave his own welcome to the Reunion, in the course of which he said:
"I would especially like to welcome those members who are here from overseas, including Peter Hards and his family from Germany, Gace and Gerald Barbor from Toronto, Joanna Zeiler and family from Frederick, Maryland, Harold F Hards and family of Houston Texas, and my Aunt Jessie from the Isle of Dogs.
"I would like to thank Rev. Love for allowing us to use his church for this occasion. I'm sure that one of the reasons so many of us are here today has much to do with sharing part of history of this beautiful church and Upper Hardres, history that goes back nine hundred years.
Hugh concluded his speach with a few kind words to the editor of the Newsletter for maintaining an essential part of the Society, a means of keeping everyone in touch, and preserving the Hards personal history. On behalf of all menbers he presented him with "People Count", an official history of the General Register Office. In thanking Hugh the editor said he was the only means enabling individual members to make their own contributions to Hards family history, and he asked members to keep the contributions coming in.
By then the weather had distiinctly brightened up, and many assembled outside for photographs. As the churchyard was too wet for a group photo by the Hards Family cherry tree we gathered for the press photographer outside the church porch in the sunshine, with the now-enormous Chart 9 stretched out on display.
It was not the right sort of day for outside picnics, so lunch was taken at The Star, at Bosssingham about a mile south of Upper Hardres, or in the village hall, which was ours for the afternoon. There members were able to consult our researchers, and Family Charts, or simply chat together over a cup of tea.
All too quickly the afternoon passed - there just wasn't time to talk to everybody - and the numbers thinned out as those with long journeys ahead began to depart. Eventually only Hugh's party, with their own London Transport bus, remained. After a final farewell at The Star the bus too moved off at the end of another memorable accasion.