Surprise links at family reunion
Family get-togethers often welcome disparate members of the same bloodline, but this weekend's “Rawlins Clan Reunion” went one hefty step further.
The celebration, which spanned Saturday and Sunday, united members from six branches of the same family tree — stretching back to spouses Henry and Isabelle Rawlins in Nevis in the early 1800s.
On Saturday night, about 100 people congregated at the Pembroke Community Club on North Shore Road — some of whom wore different coloured T-shirts to designate their specific lineage (be it Brown, Dasent, Grant, Hendrickson, Jeffers or Rawlins).
Betty Burch attended the event as the matriarch, the oldest living female member, although veteran cricket commentator Jim “The Voice of Summer” Woolridge was unable to appear as patriarch due to ill health.
The evening featured a buffet, stalls and a talent showcase — where Rawlins descendants displayed their skills in everything from music to poetry to comedy.
On Saturday morning, clan member Pastor Damon Hendrickson led a service at the Somerset Seventh-day Adventist Church — as did another member, Pastor Dean Smith, yesterday morning at the Open Door Christian Assembly.
And yesterday afternoon, the itinerary wrapped up with a picnic at Clearwater Beach, welcoming approximately 150 extended family members.
“This reunion weekend has been a dream I've had for several years, and it has been heart-warming,” said Charles Jeffers, a keen genealogist and chairman of the organising committee.
“We have four generations here. There are people here who knew each other, but didn't know they were related until now. It even happened to two people who lived in the same neighbourhood.”