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

Port Macquarie Reunion 2008 - Where do I begin?
How do I begin?

For over 18 months I had been envisaging in my mind what the reunion would be like, our tickets were booked 10 months before the reunion and all I had to do was patiently wait.

It was pouring with rain when we landed in Pt Macquarie, we booked into our motel and made a quick tour by foot of the town and brought in supplies. Thursday night could not come soon enough for me to begin to put faces to names and email addresses.

I have never been to an Anzac Day pre-dawn service before, and the only meaning Anzac Day had had for me was a day off work. The rain held off and Fe (hubby) and I made the effort to attend. We found this to be a moving experience. Not only was I on my homeland of Australia, it was the first time that I had actually thought about the true meaning behind “Anzac Day” and to think about the sacrifices made by members of my own family and others.

I wanted to be bright and early at the reunion venue each morning, and with my “bag carrying” hubby this resulted in us being first in most mornings. I picked one of the best tables in the room, labelled it the “Yellow” branch table, opened my books of family history hubby had lugged from New Zealand and waited.

It gave me quiet time to research and appreciate the hard work that had gone into the wall charts by Phil Bailey. What an impressive family tree he created that tied us all together one way or another. Thank you again Phil.

The reunion gave me the opportunity to meet many 2nd and 3rd cousins, cousins that I would never have known even existed if it was not for the reunion. It gave us all the opportunity to find that missing link, to exchange information, family group sheets, photos, newspaper articles, and to meet all the yellow branch members. Each day we would beeline for the same table. Soon laptops, scanner, books and smart drives would come out, heads would go down and 2 ½ days passed before we knew it; 2 ½ days that passed far too quickly.

The reunion gave some members of the yellow branch the opportunity to discuss and plan a book that we are going to write and have published about our great great grandfathers Henry and Alfred Blinco who left their noted contributions in both Perth and Queensland. A book that will honour them both before the tides of time wash away their footprints and their good works are lost to future generations.

The reunion gave me the opportunity to appreciate wonderful people like Anne, Fran, Phil, our yellow branch of Rob and Andrea, Lyn, Helen-Mary, Paul, Leonie and Terry, and Alex. To my wonderful mother who created me as a “Blinco Twig” and to everyone else who contributed to the reunion and helped my dream come true – Thank you.

I learnt from the reunion that even though we were different coloured branches we created a beautiful rainbow on the family tree that made us all one family.

Marjorie (and Fe) Papalii - Auckland, New Zealand

updated: 8 October 2008