Thursday, May 10, 2012

2016 REUNION -- 4 day KI Cruise




Four Day Kangaroo Island Cruise

7th till  11th March 2016




    Acknowledgement: What follows are excerpts from a report prepared by John Hassett (Drusilla 52) 
     This reunion was unique in at least two ways. It was the first reunion held at sea and, it would appear, it will be the penultimate reunion. As to it being the penultimate reunion I use the word "appear" advisedly. At a number of previous reunions there was some question raised as to whether that should be the last reunion or whether there should be one more. At our official reunion meeting on this occasion it was the overwhelming, if not unanimous view, that we should have one further reunion in 2018 and that it should be advertised as "The Last Reunion".

    The major consideration underlying the decisions about a 17th reunion early in 2018 was the circumstance that such a gathering will mark the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Juniorate, later the Novitiate at Drusilla, the first Juniors having arrived on the Australia Day weekend in 1948.

    It is proposed that the 17th reunion be held at Macedon and that at least some aspects of it be held at Drusilla.

    At the beginning of this report I think it only fitting to pay respect to and express sincere gratitude to all those involved in organising the 16 previous reunions and to acknowledge their marvellous efforts in keeping the reunions running over the past 46 years since the first reunion in September 1980 at Drusilla.

    Those who booked for this 16th reunion came to be know collectively as the "Crew". Those who attended and the list of apologies are shown above.

    Ken Keating (Drusilla 51) provided a Park and Ride service from his company's depot at Campbellfield and a considerable number of the "Crew" took advantage of that service to travel to and from Station Pier by bus.

    The "Crew" were all on board by 3.00 on the Monday in readiness for a 4.00 departure. However after a safety drill for all passengers at 3.15 the Captain announced that because of engine problems we would not be leaving until 5.00.In fact we got away at about 5.30.

    The first formal get together for the "Crew" was at 5.30 when we all met for dinner in a designated corner of the Waterfront Restaurant on Deck 9, a full table service venue. We continued to meet for dinner in that area at 5.30 on the 3 remaining evenings.

    After Monday's dinner we all assembled for a general briefing and get together in a designated area of "The Dome" on Deck 11. Most of the male "Crew" members briefly and humorously recounted the circumstances of meeting and marrying their wives and Br Doug described the happy circumstances of his being able to join the reunion with his sister Maureen Caldow who overcame his initial hesitancy.

    The Reunion Booklet prepared by the Planning Committee with the help of Br Peter Howes (Drusilla 54), listed breakfast at 8.00 and lunch for 12.30 each day but our reserved area in the Waterfront Restaurant was not available for those meals we ate higgidly piggidly at various dining areas in small groups. Although our inability to share those meals together seemed initially to be a pity it turned out to be a blessing in that we were all able to mix causally with different other members of the group.

    Wednesday was spent moored a short distance from Kangaroo Island and arrangements were made for those participating in shore excursions to travel between the ship and the shore by tenders - the vessels which were primarily designed as life boats. 18 members of the "Crew" travelled in the early morning to the island. However the wind strengthened and the seas became rough to such an extent that at about 11.30 the Captain suspended the tender operation. They were not able to be resumed until about 1.00 by which time it was too late for others to join the afternoon excursions. The prepaid excursion fees were refunded. The very enjoyable day ended when we returned to the ship by tender at 5.30.

    Our formal Reunion Meeting was held on Thursday from 3.15 to 5.15 in the Noosa Room, one of several meeting rooms on Deck 6. It began with an introduction to the liturgy by Les Jones. Prior to embarking on the liturgy Bro. Doug and Bro. Julian took turns in reading the names of each of the 47 Confreres, 4 spouses of Confreres and the 16 Staff members who have passed from this life. The inclusion of the names of the deceased spouses of Confreres was warmly welcomed.

    The liturgy was prepared by Les and Bev and arose from a practice of praying Morning Prayer ( Lauds) before morning Mass in their Parish of Hoppers Crossing. We were divided into two choirs who took turns in reciting the prayers. We then joined in the singing of  Salve Regina and Sub Tuum. We also sang "Ever for ever we will sing to Mary" from photocopies of words which were in the handwriting of Br Jerome.

    A discussion followed  re a future reunion in January 2018, held over the Australia Day weekend or later in Autumn. There was concern that the Marist Association would almost certainly be celebrating an anniversary about this time. The concern was the two may conflict.

    We all said our goodbyes at the conclusion of  dinner that night and a number of individuals took photographs.

    The experiment of having a Reunion as part of a short cruise was a resounding success!

     Editor's Note: Despite a request for photos of this reunion, none have been received as at June 2017,