The family get together took place
between the 30th October & 1st November in St Charles,
Illinois. The Event was attended by Family from Ontario, Canada, York & Oxford
in the UK and the following US States. California, Illinois, Michigan,
Ohio, Texas, Utah.
Please Click on a Day/Time below to view Photos of the event..
31st October 2003
31st October 2003, Page 1
31st October 2003, Page 2
from family members
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 2003 SPEARE GET TOGETHER IN ST.
CHARLES, ILLINOIS, USA,
by rail from York to Oxford to join Thomas Peeke for our British Airways
flight on Tuesday 28th October from Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare
International. On arrival
Clifford Speare met us at the airport and conveyed us to their home in
Hoeweed Lane, St. Charles where later we met Marcy and their sons, Cliff,
Phillip, Matt and Scott. We
stayed with the family for the duration of the Get Together.
mother Kay Speare joined the family for dinner in the evening.
Thursday 30th October family members from Canada and the United States
began to arrive and after checking in at the new Marriott Fairfield Inn in
Bricher Road, St. Charles Assembled for the inaugural meeting in the
spacious games hall of the
Lutheran Church. Family
Groups came from Ontario and Hamilton in Canada, from Texas, Michigan,
Utah, Ohio and California in the USA and from York and Oxford in the UK.
Some enjoyed reunion with relatives they had not seen for some time
and those who had not met before were introduced to each other.
Latest news was exchanged and photo albums and copies of family
history items were passed around. Altogether
it proved to be a friendly and productive beginning to the weekend.
in the evening we all met together for the first family dinner at the
Silvirado Grill in St. Charles and enjoyed an excellent meal and a fine
spirit of friendship.
following morning, 31st October at 8.30 am, we all shared in the family
breakfast at the Colonial Café, voted for the best breakfast in the Fox
Valley with which I would heartily agree.
It provided another occasion for exchange of family information and
an opportunity to get to know each other.
breakfast family groups chose their own options.
Some chose a shopping excursion to the unique boutiques and
shopping malls of historic down town St. Charles; others fancied a drive
to Cantigny to visit the First Division Museum and Park.
I joined the party from Hamilton, Canada and took the Metra
railroad from Geneva to the Ogilvie Transportation Centre in Chicago, From
there we made our way to the Sears Tower, the world’s tallest building
of 110 stories and ascended by elevator to the sky deck with its stunning
views of the city below and its waterfront to Lake Michigan
and Clifford invited us all to their home in the evening for a relaxed
cook-out in the form of an indoor barbecue whilst the children and younger
members enjoyed celebrating Halloween American style.
1st November was another day for family groups to do as they
pleased. I took the
opportunity of another trip into Chicago with the Hamilton party for a
coach tour around the city with a commentary, complete with sound effects,
on the period of the Chicago gangsters in the early 1900’s.
the evening we all met together again for the final family dinner at the
Erik & Me Riverside Restaurant famous for its variety of American and
Danish specialities. After
the meal there were many emotional farewells as most families were
planning to return home the following morning.
entire three days was a great and unique experience and a real pleasure to
enjoy such great company and friendship of so many who trace their roots
back to the small village of Inwardleigh
in Devon. There was a general
feeling that another get together should be planned in, say, 2005.
and I stayed on with Marcy and Clifford and enjoyed a number of drives
around the countryside and visits to shopping malls before our return
flight to Heathrow on the evening of Wednesday 5th November.