Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 23 No. 2 May 2008

Reunion Down-under
Port Macquarie 25-27 April

After two years of planning it finally happened! The various clans of Blencowe gathered in Port Macquarie, NSW for the first BFA reunion in the southern hemisphere. An evening meal at the Panthers Club on Thursday night was a good beginning.  

Promoted as a destination that was perfect one day and better the next, nature let us down with torrential rains and localised flooding the day before. Nothing would ever stop an Anzac Dawn Service from going ahead but the beach barbecue planned to follow was cancelled. The thought of cooking 104 servings of sausages, eggs and bacon in the mud, slush and drizzle as the sun struggled to come up was just too much to cope with. 


However, quite a hardy band of Blencs & Blincs gathered at 5:30 in the pitch dark for the half hour service. As the sun was starting to rise, the “Blencowe family” was read out and Ian and Jacinta Blencowe placed the floral tribute in honour of our 58 dead onto the cenotaph. Many went back to bed for a couple of hours. Those attending the mid morning Anzac march and service were drenched in a sudden storm. 

From midday the families started to gather at Westport Club where they were amazed at the information to be gleaned from Phil’s Forest. Formalities began with a welcome and introduction to the various clans represented. A brief but moving tribute was paid to those of our family who died in service, with a reminder to keep the Anzac spirit alive. The Blencowe Families’ Association Roll of Honour: the culmination of our War Heroes Project was launched and it was interesting to note that 21 of the 58 persons in the booklet had relatives in attendance, most of whom were unaware of their connections. 

Apart from a demonstration on how to use Card Box (the Blencowe database) the rest of the afternoon was spent socialising and genealogising! 

Although Saturday dawned fine it was still too wet underfoot for many planned alternative activities. The Westport Club remained as an excellent base for the group. An Introduction to Family History workshop was run by two members from the local genealogy society and proved helpful and popular.  

The afternoon was spent cruising a very muddy, flooded Hastings River. Some children braved the boom net despite the cold, muddy water. It was not a day for dolphin watching but a very enjoyable afternoon for the 102 of us on board. 

Beautiful table settings courtesy of Beryl Crouch, nee Blencowe set the scene for a wonderful Reunion dinner –the culmination of an excellent day. 

Our original concept of having a mini reunion within the larger reunion worked well with some family groups spending a lot of quality time doing other things. Over 60 people were staying at one Caravan Park and I would think their reunion memories would be more centred around that together experience rather than at the actual venue. 

Sunday was very much more of the same. A meeting of BFA members was held to discuss issues raised in the last newsletter. See Page 10

The reunion was a success, a chance to meet relatives both close and distant and make friendships to go with our kinships. The reunion has fostered an interest in and appreciation of our history, boosted our BFA membership and insured that the work started in England and America by our more senior members will be carried on by a new generation of Blencowe descendants. 

Fran, Phil and I would like to thank you all for your help and encouragement. We appreciated the letters and emails of best wishes prior to the event from many parts of the world and for the letters of gratitude we have received since. 

Family Clans

In organising this event, we decided to colour code the name tags into clans based on the migratory branches of the family. The name tags also had a mini family tree of each person and a chart number linking them to Phil’s Forest which used the same colour coding for the highlighting of each person.  

Below are the common ancestors of the clans represented at the reunion: 


updated: 31 October 2008