Gatherings like this only come along once in a lifetime, says William Byers. Byers is just one member of the committee organizing a gathering of the Higginson clan and its descendants for a three-day immersion in all things history, with a special emphasis on everything Higginson, of course.
Registration is picking up online, says Byers, who mentioned that space is limited for the event, so he is encouraging those who intend to come to take action and register.
The three-day event kicks off on Friday, August 11 at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre, with registration and a meet-and-greet.
All kinds of family memorabilia will be on display and a gigantic family tree, which will include thousands of names, will be on display this weekend. The family tree is being prepared by Beth Higginson, who is using research gathered to date, in addition to information being supplied by Higginson descendants as they register, says Byers.
On Saturday evening, a driving tour will take place; those registered for the reunion can drive to various historical places in the area, including visits inside the Higginson octagonal house on McGill Street in Hawkesbury as well as houses, churches, the Higginson Round Barn and more.
In Vankleek Hill, the Vankleek Hill and District Historical Society will be featuring an exhibit dedicated to Higginson artefacts and information. The Review offices will be open for the day and limited-edition Higginson Tower souvenir Christmas ornaments will be for sale; only 100 will be available. Special activities will take place at the Higginson Tower on Saturday.
A Sunday morning worship service featuring East Hawkesbury Gospel Sound will be followed by a lunch.
Byers said that a lot of children have been registered for the event and organizers are adding a children’s program to the festivities.
Registrations have come in from all over North America and from every province in Canada so far, except for Manitoba.
A 93-year-old Higginson descendant from Tucson, Arizona is registered for the event and during the registration process, Byers says that it has been interesting to discover “lost” siblings and ancestors. History is being pieced together as a result of this event, Byers noted.
The family tree will be made available after the event electronically, Byers said, adding the committee is looking at the best way to do this.
Six committee members have been planning this event since August/September of last year, Byers noted. Committee members include Alice Higginson McLaurin, Eleanor (Higginson) Sides, Naomi Mahon, Percy Higginson and Kim Johnson Drysdale.
There is space for those who are so interested in local history that they feel they simply must attend this event, Byers noted with a smile.
But register soon so as not to be disappointed.
Register here: www.higginson200reunion.com. You can send your questions or information to Eleanor Sides [email protected] or to Byers at [email protected]