Issue 13 - January 1991
Nearly two hundred people attended the Second Reuinion of the descendants of Thomas HARDES (1793-1879) and his wife Ann (HENCE) on 21 October, some travelling up to three hundred miles and meeting relatives for the very first time. The Reunion was held in a local hall at Raymond Terrace near Newcastle in New South Wales, not far from where Thomas Hardes and his family settled after leaving Sydney in 1847. Although Thomas was a bricklayer, he and his two sons lived as dairy farmers and fishermen on a group of Islands in the Hunter River where it flows into the Pacific Ocean at Newcastle.
Folk attending the Reunion were descendants of each of Thomas and Ann's eight children. To help identify each separate branch, folk were asked to wear a name tag, and a ribbon of a certain colour to represent their particular ancestor. In this way it was easy to identify one's own particular family members. Ancestral charts and photograghs were displayed and viewed with much interest. The trees around the hall provided shade from the sun for a picnic lunch, and afterwards a Thanksgiving Service was conducted in the hall by members of the family. Our Guest of Honour for the day was Mr Frederick Hards of Brighton in England, who received a very warm welcome.
The Committee with their guest (seated)
Family photographs were taken and a video was filmed of the day's events. At the end of the day many were sad to leave their new-found relatives, especially the adopted lady who travelled 150 miles that day and met previously-unknown first cousins for the very first time. One particular branch had not been represented at all at our first Reunion in 1983, but due to better publicity, this time about sixteen people from that branch were able to meet together. Another smaller branch were well represented this time with some members meeting again after about fifty years, with much excitment.
The Reunion Committee were very happy with the result of their efforts, and much more of our Australian Family History has now been documented. But we are still looking forward to the day when we can discover our roots back in southern England. It has been proposed to hold our next reunion in the year 2000, but most of those present felt they would like to meet again in 1995.
Joy (Hardes) Mullen
Rankin Park, NSW.