SAWLE REUNION REPORT
By Jay Venables
This article was originally published in the April2 010 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
On Sunday 2 May some of the many descendants of (Rev) James and Mary (nee Dillon) SAWLE gathered to commemorate and celebrate the 170th anniversary of the arrival of James and Mary and their family in South Australia on 17 April 1840.
The activities of the day took place in the Union Chapel at Angaston in the Barossa Valley, in the same building in which James had been pastor and minister for about ten years prior to his death in 1854.
At midday we all moved down to the “Village Green” where a plaque was unveiled commemorating the Sawle family. This joined others already there, honouring other pioneer families. This pleasant task was undertaken by Tina Wakelin (nee Radford), a descendant of the youngest child in the family, Eliza Bensley (Sawle) Radford.
James and Mary had a family of seven daughters and one son. There were representatives of all the families except for one daughter. Another daughter married twice, and descendants from both her marriages were present. People had travelled from all Australian states (except for Tasmania and Northern Territory), and also from New Zealand.
Most attendees brought material to share – stories, photographs, certificates and other memorabilia. The original family Bible, now in the possession of a descendant of the only son, was of especial interest.
One representative from each family gave a brief resume of his or her ancestor, and then the place became a buzzing hive of activity and reminiscences.
Much work goes into the planning of even the simplest reunion, but it is so worthwhile for folk who have had much contact, often over many years, to meet face-to face.
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