Western Canada Reunion 2003
Hosted by Carole Dick
|July 13, 2003||Red Deer, Alberta, Canada|
WESTERN CANADIAN HARTT REUNION
IN RED DEER, ALBERTA
On July 13, 2003, my dad John Hartt, my husband Ray and I attended a gathering at the "Club Café" in Red Deer for the HARTT REUNION.
I had a strong feeling we arrived at the right location when I observed a helium heart balloon attached to a truck parked outside the café. Another helium heart just inside the café was near a sign greeting us and directing us to the dining room. Carole Dick, the event organizer, greeted us at the door after Marjorie Hartt gave us our name tags. Each name tag had either a green or silver sticker which we later learned had significance to the days event. Family members traveled to Red Deer from; Osceola, Iowa; Renton, Washington; Garfton, and Hersonville, New Brunswick; Regina Saskatchewan; Port Alberni , North Vancouver and Delta, BC and Lousana, Calgary, Springbrook, Edmonton, Granum, Lethbridge, Stettler, and Red Deer Alberta.
As we walked into the banquet room we were steered toward the back wall and table, which displayed a wide selection of Hartt Family memorabilia including photos, books and fine china. There was a large diagram on the back wall that described the Hartt family tree and branches stemming from Isaac Hartt born in 1614. The branches relating to members attending the reunion that included the Thomas, Samuel, Rev Henry and William Charles lines were described in specific detail. Of the 28 in attendance the majority represented the Samuel family branch.
Carole Dick's agenda gave us ample time to get acquainted and examine the various photo albums and items on display. I was delighted with the time and detail some families put into detailing their family's history. I became more and more intrigued with my family connection to others in the room as the day progressed.
Carole invited us to be seated and to try and position ourselves next to someone we didn't know. This was an easy task for me as I was acquainted with only 2 others in the room. We introduced ourselves to the group and described (as best we could), how we were related based on the Family tree chart. Carole informed us that those in the room with silver stickers stemmed from the Samuel line, while those with green stemmed from the Thomas line (I had a green sticker). The Rev Henry and William Charles lines had both stickers.
After our lunch, which was a delicious combination of breakfast and lunch, we read emails sent to Carole from those who couldn't attend. I read the email sent from my Aunt Jean (Jean Barnard - formerly Jean Hartt). The emails created a mix of emotions from the group - there was both laughter and tears.
As we visited with each other, moving ourselves around the room in conversation, I recognized some similarities in appearance and personality. The easy going, friendly, soft personality traits seemed most predominant.
I had several engaging conversations with many of those present. A number had significant involvement with the church providing various levels of leadership in their particular groups. A majority also had significant artistic talents including singing, playing musical instruments and painting. I learned that Brad Hartt, who stems from the William Charles Branch, was a renowned trumpet player and singer. While he was doing missionary work in Cuba his trumpet performance was in great demand throughout the Island. The four sisters, Beatrice Still, Viola Lawrence, Joyce Bickell and Marlene Clayton even made their own record. Joyce apparently has an extraordinary talent for whistling. I made a special note of this because I have an African Grey Parrot who really needs to learn a few more songs. Hopefully she will send me a tape. Beatrice Still was a favorite organist for her church and I was told that they had her name engraved on the organ "B Still". So appropriate for a church, don't you think.
The room buzzed for entire afternoon as we became more acquainted with each. Bursts of laughter were heard at several intervals.
As the day wound
to a close some of us lingered in continued conversation, noting that
this day was indeed a full and delightful experience. We looked forward
to the possibility of meeting again at next years New Brunswick Reunion.