The Milne gathering

On July 8, 2018, sixty-seven descendants of Jeannie (Jane) and Alexander Milne, formerly of Hargrave, Manitoba met at the Hargrave Community Centre.

Jeannie and Alex had a family of eight children and all but one sibling had family in attendance. Relatives arrived all the way from British Columbia across the Prairie Provinces to Ontario.

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The day’s festivities began when many relatives gathered at the restaurant Papa’s Place in Virden for a full breakfast or a cup of coffee. They were then led on a vehicle tour by Rea Kinnaird, grandson of Frances (Milne) Kinnaird. Highlights were all the residences/homesteads where the Milnes lived. Of special mention was the stop at the Virden Cemetery where Alex and Jeannie are laid to rest.

Folks then gathered at the Hargrave Community Centre (formerly the school) where they signed the Guest Book which was the same one Alex and Jeannie had used for their 50th wedding anniversary in the same building on December 17, 1947. Colour coded name tags for each sibling helped family reconnect. 

At the registration table a bouquet of garden flowers donated by Kathy Mowez of Virden greeted the guests. Families set up pictures and memorabilia of each sibling on tablecloths corresponding to their name tag colour. Family trees were updated with Marjorie (Kinnaird) Tapp and a completed wall family tree was on display with over 400 descendants made by Sheldon and Judy (Kinnaird) Seafoot. 

A catered supper by Chicken Chef in Virden and a decorated cake and cupcakes, and refreshments were enjoyed by all after a grace delivered by Greg Milne. Morris Clarke read out the names of the siblings and first cousins who have passed on. Then the evening program led by Rea and Karen (Tapp) Naumiuk introduced a representation from each family of the seven present telling about their history and current family. 

Registration Awards were presented to

•           Eldest Milne present - Marjorie (Kinnaird) Tapp

•           Youngest Milne present - Zachary Gillies (Marjorie’s great-grandson)

•           Furthest travelled - B.C. families

•           Historians - Sharon Simms, Greg and Donna-Marie Milne, Sheldon and Judy (Kinnaird) Seafoot, Rea Kinnaird and Marjorie Tapp

The evening concluded with family pictures taken by Kendra Hanson, granddaughter of Charlie Milne under the Milne Gathering banner and a photo of everyone attending on the steps of Hargrave Community Centre. 

It truly was a wonderful day of rekindling old associations and meeting new cousins. Many wonderful memories were made and we had time to honour those gone before. 

The organizing committee consisted of Marjorie Tapp, Morris and Irene Clarke, Phyllis (Clarke) Shackel, Judy and Sheldon Seafoot, Sharon Simms, Rea Kinnaird and Karen Naumiuk.

Submitted by Sharron Simms (Reston)

© Virden Empire-Advance