Uncle Charlie told me in later years that, not only did he take this picture (I forget the exact details of the make and model of the camera which he clearly remembered), but he also developed the film himself and made a limited number of copies for family. A man of many talents! I doubt that the negative has survived, but thankfully some of the copies have.
This event was the first organized reunion of my mother’s ANDREW family that I attended. It was also their first full reunion that I know of since the end of WWII when parts of this family moved their base camp from the Prince Edward Island (PEI) on the east coast of Canada to Vancouver Island (BC) on the west coast. Mom’s brother George ANDREW settled in Ontario, and another brother Alan ANDREW re-enlisted in the Air Force, so was stationed in a number of locations. But in 1959, the other siblings were all living in Duncan, BC, close at hand for the reunion.
Growing up, I learned that I was one of 21 grandchildren on my mother’s side, all born between 1946 and 1964. We were the offspring (natural and adopted) of Harry and Nell ANDREW’s 7 children. So my sister and I had 19 maternal cousins, and I am so proud of that! In this photo I see only 12 of these grandchildren, with 2 others hidden. In 1959, 5 cousins had not been born yet, one was a toddler and probably napping, and the last one missed the photo. I’m the one wearing glasses, sitting cross-legged right in front.
This reunion was also memorable because it was the first time I had met my Ontario cousins. George had 4 girls and the youngest one is only 4 months older that me. So I remember being very excited to meet them. Three of these new cousins are in the above photo, and I don’t know why the 4th one was missed. Perhaps she wasn’t feeling well, or was camera shy.
There were other photos taken that day, and in the days surrounding the reunion, that expand and enhance the story told by this photo. I can't help but include 4 of them:
- My grandparents Harry and Nell ANDREW in front of their house on Garden Street in Duncan BC where I lived with them for at least 4 years of my early childhood. In this photo they are likely waiting for a ride to the reunion, only a short distance away. I never knew them to have their own car.
- Harry & Nell ANDREW with their 7 children, organized in order of birth: George, Mabel, Dean, Harriet, Alan, Eleanor and Syd. It was to be a very rare event for all 7 to be together. I’m not even sure if they every did again, as George ANDREW died of cancer in 1976. As of 2017, they have sadly all passed.
- This is the whole reunion group: Harry & Nell, their 7 children with 5 spouses, and 16 grandchildren. I count 30 people plus Charlie who took the photo.
- A group photo in front of a huge tree was likely taken in Goldstream Park just north of Victoria. Charlie and Harriet CLARK and 4 children took a road trip with the visiting George & June ANDREW & 4 girls from Ontario, and Alan and Bobby ANDREW. Charlie CLARK took the photo. Missing from the photo is George ANDREW.