Town of Minto
City of London
I have had some initial feed back from the Get Together in Mitchell,
Canada. Apparently the day was a huge success, 72 People
attended the event and one member of the family who is a Pilot had come
from Saudi Arabia.
I spoke to Laura Henderson from London, Ontario and she had a great
time their were family there from Calgary, Columbus &
Kentucky. I will be adding a follow up on the event by Laura
Report from Donna Fortman (nee Speare) 21st April 2002
I had stayed up on Friday night until 2:00 am our time getting last minute
things ready for the get together in Mitchell on Saturday. We were leaving
our house at 7:00 am our time to drive to Irene and Bill's and set of using
our van and Bill driving to pick up Glynn and Jackie and another of our
cousins Margaret Hamilton, nee Speare, to go to the get together. As none
of us had any time for breakfast we made a stop at a Tim Hortons for coffee
and Bagels about an hour into our drive.
We managed to get to the Ritz Villa shortly after10:30 and we met Laura
Henderson and her husband Archie. They took us upstairs to introduce us to
her mother Lola "Grace" McLellan, nee Speare. We had a nice little visit,
talking to her and looking at the pictures she has hanging on the walls of
her room and admiring the room and view that she has.
A short while later Laura and her husband took us to the Staffa Cemetery to
view and take pictures of the various Speare gravestones in the Staffa
Cemetery. Before we returned to the Villa, we drove up to the farm that used
to be the William Speare Homestead in Perth Township in Ontario. The home
had to be torn down due to destruction caused by a chimney fire in 1997 and
the barn had been replaced in 1998 but the land was still there and the
former school house that the children had attended was visible down the road
from what would have been the front yard of the home.
By the time that we returned to the Villa at shortly after 12:00 noon the
people had already started to arrive. By the time we were in full swing
there had to be over 60 people there. Laura counted later the guest
register and it appears like 72 people signed the registry. Who knows maybe
there were a few more that forgot to sign the registry and I am not sure
whether they included several of the children in their count.
We met cousins from South Carolina, Calgary Alberta and various parts of
Ontario. Laura was quite surprised and delighted when her son Barry Spears
arrived from Saudi Arabia. He is a pilot for the Saudi Arabia Air Lines and
was taking a course in California in a couple of weeks. He managed to trade
places with another pilot who was scheduled to take the course next week and
he had a few days off of work so he combined the two and made a surprise
visit to see everyone at the get together.
Lorne Speare aged 99+ and his two sisters Grace and Ada were also in
attendance. It was very nice to see Lorne again and he remembered our visit
to him last October. I was the lady from Stoney Creek and you Thomas was
the tall gentleman from Britain. He even remembered Brian as being with us.
I had a chance to look at the Family Bible that has the list of all of the
birth dates of William's children including the birth dates of the children
from his first marriage to Mary Ann. Incidentally I found out from the
family members that William's first wife was a sister to Ann Baker,
William's second wife.
There were pictures of various members of the family to look from William
and Ann down to the more recent members of the family. There were also
write ups of the past reunions.
There was a small business meeting of the family when Laura read the minutes
of the last meeting and read pieces of the gatherings of previous years, one
being the gathering in 1958.
I am glad I stayed up on Friday night to make copies of the pictures that
you had sent to me earlier in the day as the picture of Inwardleigh was a
huge success. They also seemed to like looking at the notes that I have
gathered through the years and the book that I put together using the notes
that I have gathered. The book that I am talking about is similar to the
one that I took to Chicago but with a great deal of additions to it as a
result of the get together in Devon in April of 2002.
We had a very nice visit with all of the people there. Family group
pictures were taken before everyone started to leave. They even took a
picture of our small contingent of 7 people from Hamilton.
We exchanged e-mail addresses before we left and hopefully we will stay in