by Doreen O’Sullivan
What started as an idea over a glass of wine came to fruition on September 23, 2017, when over 150 descendants of Thomas and Mary (Lowe) Smith gathered at the home of Margaret (Smith) and Lionel Mohr. This represented six generations, and we had family coming from Alberta, Manitoba, and various places in Ontario.
It was a very warm day and some took advantage of the swimming pool to cool off. Others enjoyed time reminiscing, sharing stories and old photos. Group and family photos were taken and a chicken BBQ was enjoyed by all. We appreciated the patience of our guest photographer, Anna Rochon, as she gathered us all for the photos.
The youngest attendee was Hunter Fallon-Easton at age 1 month (great great grandson of Tom and Mary).The oldest attendee was my aunt, Lillian Thomson, who is 91 years young! The one who travelled the farthest to be here was my cousin, Billy Smith, (son of Percy Smith) who came from Lethbridge, Alberta. Some relatives who had travelled a distance took an opportunity to catch up with other relatives and friends. We also did some tourist activities in Ottawa, including a visit to the Parliament buildings. This resulted in a very special opportunity for some of us to be present for the ceremony in the Memorial Chamber when the WWII book was turned to the page with our Uncle William Smith’s name on it. Uncle Bill was killed during the liberation of Holland in October, 1944, at age 21. My cousin, Bill Smith, who was named after Uncle Bill, was among those present at the ceremony.
The Smith family has a long history in Kemptville and North Grenville. My grandparents, Tom and Mary, were originally from Navan, Ontario, and moved to Clothier Street, Kemptville, in the 1940s. At that time, my grandfather worked as a manager of the horse barn at the Kemptville Agricultural School. Of their 11 children, five of them lived in Kemptville at one time. Orville and Jean Smith had a hobby farm on Van Buren St., and Uncle Orville was the custodian at the NGDHS for many years.
Lillian (Smith) and Bert Thomson lived on County Road 43 and established the local business Valley Sanitation. George and Shirley Smith lived north of town on CR 43. Percy Smith moved to Blossom Drive in Kemptville in the 1970’s with his children, after he retired from farming in Navan.
My parents, Edith (Smith) and George Stanley, moved to Georgianna Street, Kemptville, in 1973, after they retired from running a general store in Metcalfe, Ontario. We all enjoyed our time together at the reunion and vow to stay connected until we gather again.