As I grew up in my parental family, there really wasn’t anything heard of called a ‘family reunion.’ We tended to stay home and were not really the ‘visiting’ kind. As a result, I feel a bit of envy when I read about other families gathering from near and far over the course of the summer for reunions – refreshing established connections and making new ones.
My Hadden family has come together usually at weddings and funerals, typically leaving with the same promise to get together again, and especially in the case of funerals, at a happier time. While the intentions are always good, only rarely have they materialized. One occasion was around 1980 at an uncle’s farm near Belleville, Ontario. Below is a photo of my grandfather, John Gaull Hadden (centre) flanked by his four children (from left to right – Carol, Lewis, James, and Douglas).
With special thanks to Alan Cope, a Hadden cousin through marriage and genealogist in Australia, I learned of an earlier Hadden reunion – one that took place in 1923, the same year that my Hadden family left Scotland for Saskatchewan, Canada. In that year, Hadden aunts of my great grandfather Alexander Shand Hadden gathered in Scotland (photo below courtesy of Alan Cope).
As my great grandfather’s parents never married and Alexander was raised by his mother, Helen Shand Gammie, I don’t know if he knew his father, John Hadden’s family. It seems a shame that as his Hadden relatives gathered he left Scotland behind for the promise and adventure of a new land.