Newspaper clipping re Sullivan reunion

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Surname/tag: Sullivan
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Newspaper clipping re Sullivan reunion - date unknown.

130 Sullivans reunite

About 130 Sullivans got together in Waimate over the weekend - just over 100 years after their forebears arrived in Waimate from Cornwall to settle.

Just when George and Elizabeth Sullivan arrived here is not certain, but it was soon after their marriage at in Penzance, Cornwall, in 1875.

George was a contractor and drove threshing mills around the district. They lived at Roberts' property in Panestown before moving to Hamden to take over the hotel there.

They later moved back to why Waimate to live near Nottingley Park before shifting to Hunter. Their last family home was it Noaks Garden opposite the prison Waimate golf course.


On Saturday, descendants of some of their children - George, James, William, Caroline and Thomas - enjoyed a barbecue at the Victoria Park before cold weather forced a move to the Waimare stadium for photographs and refreshments.

It was a family day with children happily playing with newfound relatives while their parents talked and talked.

A dance was held on Saturday night.

The family history had new twists as the day went on. Was George's wife Elizabeth Anne Kelly? Someone said she was really Mary Elizabeth Green.

John, or Jock, the eldest son, had no children, nor did Charles or Humphrey (Paddy). Mary died when she was 18.


Jock drove the first traction engine from Christchurch to Waimate, in the days when the road was barely a track and there were no bridges.

George left the family home and went to Mataura in Southland where his son Billy had drawn a small dairy farm in a ballot. Billy left his father to take over the farm, but George died in an accident.

Elizabeth is said to have spent her last years with daughter Caroline in a hotel in Kaikoura, where she died in 1927.

Descendants and relatives by marriage came from the Waimate District, Christchurch, Ashburton, Blenheim, Pahiatua, Wellington, Dunedin, Oamaru, Auckland and Hamilton.


Mr. Murry Sullivan, who runs a milk bar in Waimate, organized the event with the help of cousin Judith from Ashburton, and local relatives.

"It all started when we were at the funeral at the funeral of Lyall Sullivan, who died in Asburton in June," he said, "It seemed the only time the family was getting together was at funerals, so we decided to hold a reunion."

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This has limited genealogical value as it relates to personal memories unrelated to reliable sources but it is an interesting view of memories held at the time.
posted by John Mayes