NFHM Blog Challenge Week 2: Family

Week 2 of the National Family History Month blog challenge, and this week I’m writing about “family”. Family for a family historian is such a broad topic. Do I write about an individual, or a family? A recent story or an old one? So. Many. Choices. And surprisingly it’s taken me a while to narrow it down.

Reunions are a place where ‘everyone’ is family, so it seems appropriate to write about big a big family reunion one of my family’s had … the Kelly Family Reunion.

31 December 1938 was the date chosen as it marked both 100 years since the arrival of William Kelly and his second wife Jane (nee Caley) in South Australia from the Isle of Man, as well as 50 years since the death of William.

The reunion was held at the Kelly family property, “Sulby Glen”, in the tiny country town of Cudlee Creek, South Australia, the drew 300 of the 400 descendants, with quite a number making the trip from interstate.

The article in the Advertiser, dated Monday 2 January 1939 writes …

Never has the old Sulby Glen property at Cudlee Creek seen so many visitors as passed through its beflagged entrance gates on Saturday morning, when almost 300 of the 400 descendants of William Kelly, from the Isle of Man gathered together to pay homage to his memory and to commemorate the centenary of his landing in Australia. The gathering was certainly unique as far as South Australia, is concerned, and one of the very few of its type ever held in the Commonwealth. The day was also the 50th anniversary of the day of his death.  Sixty cars and a large motor bus brought the visitors, who came from New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia, and from many parts of South Australia … [read the full article here]

It really was a big do. Even making the South Australian newspapers. Being such a big event, I’ve often wondered if anyone had any movie footage of the day, alas to date I’ve never heard of any in existence (but you never know) … and that would certainly be amazing to see.

However one thing we do have is a group photo that was taken on that day. Click on the photo below for a larger image.

Kelly Reunion group photo 1938[Click for a bigger view]

Kelly Reunion group photo, 31 December 1938

For more about the 1938 Kelly family reunion, see an earlier blog post that I’ve written about it here.

One Response to “NFHM Blog Challenge Week 2: Family”

  1. Alex Daw says:

    Such a great photo. A property seems the ideal venue to host such a large number of people. It must have taken some organising…and in the days before email!

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