The tiny village of Savona was chosen because many of Fred's children were raised there and a number of his grandchildren had visited during summer vacations. The town sits on the very edge of Kamloops Lake and happy memories of swimming and camping during hot summer months were made there.
The tiny community hall was used as the gathering place for the reunion, however, it's close proximity to a small park and the lakeshore swimming area was what made it an ideal location. The village also has a wonderful inn, The Lakeside Country Inn which was filled over the weekend by McLeod family members and which catered to our every whim.
Ninety members of the family attended the reunion and began drifting into the community hall early on Saturday morning. Over the course of the next couple of hours, all showed up and, with name tags on chests and descendency reports in hand, began the process of meeting, visiting and "catching up". A large family tree on the wall was an immediate attraction as was a photo display and a slide show of many old photographs on a laptop computer. Even the elder members of the family weren't intimidated by pushing a button to view the next photo!
It didn't take the children long to find the park and the beach and the weather was, for the most part, hot and sunny so the more courageous children took the plunge. Some of the adult "kids" also braved the cold water but some of us were concerned for the shocks to their hearts! All survived, however, and later claimed that it "wasn't as cold as all that!"
The hours flew by and soon it was time for dinner. A wonderful buffet supper was served by a local caterer and after supper, a small "history lesson" was presented to the attendees. Diane McLeod spoke briefly about the early family history she had discovered in her genealogy research and then invited one child of each of the three brothers to speak about their parents. Thelma McLeod of Vancouver, B.C., gave a brief history of her father, Herb, John McLeod of Kelowna, B.C., presented information about his parents, Fred and Mabel (read John's speech), and George McLeod of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan spoke of his father, Ira and mother, Josie (read George's speech). After this presentation, a number of small door prize draws were made. As the evening drew down, folks started heading out for their hotels and motels in Kamloops or for their camping spots at the local campground. Some of us staying at the Lakeside Country Inn headed back to the inn to roast marshmallows on the beach and still others headed to the campground to visit with those relatives camping at the Steelhead Provincial Park campground. An interesting note is that a log house located at the campground has been designated as an historic site by the British Columbia government and, in fact, this house was lived in by Fred and Mabel McLeod and some of their children for a number of years in the late 1940s.
Sunday morning dawned bright and hot and a breakfast of fruit and pastries was enjoyed. All returned to do some more visiting and to examine the photographs and family tree information that they had not had time to examine in closer detail the previous day. A small game based on the history of the family was prepared for the children and all won small gifts. A photo session was organized and many different cameras took photos of many different generations (there were five generations in attendance!) and groupings. Because most family members had a fair distance to travel to return to their homes in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Edmonton, etc., the day was basically completed by mid-afternoon and all drifted away but not before assuring the organizers that a wonderful time had been had by all.
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