Reunion 2005 at old Tailem Town
See pictures about old Tailem town by on images .
Reunion on April 29-30, 2006 draws family together
by Kath Gunn
There is a Gaelic proverb “Cuimhnichibh aír na daoine bho’n d’thainig sibh” (remember the people whom you come from) and that is one purpose of a clan gathering. The other is to fraternise with the current generations.
The Gunns descended from Donald Gunn (1853-1918) of Auckingill and Helen Baikie (1858-1944) of West Mey gathered together again on the weekend of 29-30 April 2006.
The venue this time was Port Adelaide and surroundings where Donald spent most of his working life on the Port River, first as a lighterman and later as ship’s pilot and a maritime cartographer. We were extremely fortunate to be able to hire the Port Adelaide Caledonian Society for the weekend at a very reasonable price. In true Scots’ style the members of the PACS made all those attending very welcome and gave a great deal of assistance which made the occasion even more enjoyable.
While the numbers were not quite as great as the previous gathering at Monteith in 2002 there were still people who traveled thousands of kilometres to attend this gathering as well. Family representatives came from all states apart from the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
We began the formalities early on Saturday morning with a gathering at the hall under the highly competent leadership of Peter Hill, a grandchild of Donald. He introduced Trevor Powell, the current President of the PACS who gave the gathering a very warm welcome. Following that Malcolm, our “chief” and historian, gave an update on the family and showed people the family Bible which had been thought lost and was finally found in a shed at the home of Peter’s brother, Murray. This was followed by Murray talking about his most recent trip to Scotland. The group was then given some local history by Port Adelaide historian Errol Chinner as a background to a planned walk in the afternoon.
A raffle to help cover expenses was also held at this point and several fortunate persons were able to have a lasting momento of the weekend.
A light lunch, provided by the PACS, followed and then people were able to go on the walk with Errol Chinner and visit some of the many small museums in the Port Adelaide area as well as view such places of interest as the building which housed Ben Gunn’s tailoring shop and the site of the Presbyterian church which so many members of the family attended.
As the afternoon drew to a close people returned to the hall where we prepared to join the PACS for a dinner and ceilidh. A haggis was piped in and the ode was recited by Trevor Powell before the “wee beastie” was stabbed and served with a flourish. It was followed by an excellent meal of roast beef, vegetables and dessert interspersed with entertainment. Trevor Powell reminded the gathered clan about their past with a display of some fearsome looking weapons before, the meal having settled a little, people were entertained by some young award winning dancers. Scottish country dancing soon had some people on their feet and, when they needed “a breather” the Caledonian choir filled in.
Later in the evening a presentation in the form of a photograph album (with a timber and tartan cover) to be filled when the pictures became available was made to Malcolm in recognition of his leadership of the event. His wife was also presented with a barbecue tray in acknowledgment of all her assistance.
The gathered clan also made a small presentation to the PACS in recognition of their assistance.
The evening ended in the traditional way, with even some of the youngest children joining in ‘Auld Lang Syne’ but the event was not over. There was Sunday to come.
On Sunday most of those present the previous day were also able to gather again for a barbecue. The original intention of holding it in a park proved unwise because of concerns about the weather so the PACS made the hall available again. The barbecue was cooked amidst much laughter and discussion among some of the men while others put out salads and cake. Several members of PACS also came to assist. All the while people were talking and catching up on news of events since the last reunion.
By mid-afternoon it was all over but many photographs were taken. A great deal of film of Saturday’s proceedings was also taken and this has now been turned into a DVD so that there is a permanent record of the proceedings.
A great deal of time and effort went into the preparation of this gathering. While Malcolm had the backing of a committee he had overall responsibility and it required a great deal of his time and energy. The work that went into it was rewarded by the enthusiasm with which the event was embraced by some younger members of the clan. Malcolm’s original commitment to recording our branch of the clan history has also given rise to a renewed sense of kinship which, it is hoped, will be continued through a web-site for the Gunns of Auckingill and perhaps another gathering in the future.