AN AUSTRALIAN SEWELL REUNION
From Ingrid Sewell
This article was originally published in the March 2012 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
We held a hugely successful Sewell reunion in March 2011 in
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Over 60 people attended with descendents
representing every child from the original immigrants Henry and Mary Annie
Sewell. A wonderful outcome from this reunion is that members of the family,
who previously were unaware of each other’s existence, were able to meet for the
first time and others who had not seen each other for many years could
A very special event was the uniting of an estranged branch of the family from Perth in Western Australia with their cousins in Brisbane, Queensland and Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. Sadly their common grandfather had severed all contact with his only son and, later his grandchildren, for…. marrying a catholic. This was clearly something that was unforgivable in grandfather’s mind, as with many others in that era. I am glad to say this mindset did not continue with subsequent generations.
Sewell Reunion, Brisbane, Australia, March 2011
During my research I was able to trace this branch of the family in Western Australia through WWII records and few SMS messages to Sewells in the Perth phone book. After exchanging email addresses I was able to send them photos of their grandfather and other information about the family which they had not seen or known before. As their story unfolded it became apparent to me that the estrangement had caused this family some pain and it was wonderful to have played a role in repairing some of the past. The family were very excited about the reunion and five of them flew over especially for it. They spent a wonderful few days catching up with their extended family both separately and at the reunion.
Sewell Family Reunion Cake!