2011 Cyr And Cyr Roots Family Reunion
Norman Cyr
Cyr Reuion Reunion President
Organizers of the fifth World Acadian Congress, scheduled for Aug.
8-24, 2014, in northern Maine, northwestern New Brunswick and the
Temiscouata region of Quebec, hope to increase the number of
family reunions from 80 in 2009 to more than 100.

The two weeks of this unique event, held previously in Louisiana and
Canada, have brought in as many as 50,000 visitors. The Maine-
New Brunswick-Quebec group, according to a June 6 story by BDN
reporter Jen Lynds, will host the gathering as “Acadia of the Lands
and Forests.”

Emilien Nadeau, president of the international organizing committee,
put out the call for groups interested in hosting family reunions
during the 2014 event near the Acadian Cross, the landmark in
Madawaska-St. David where Acadians landed on the banks of the
St. John River in 1785. Jason Parent is president of the Maine
delegation, and Leo-Paul Charest is executive director for the 2014
WAC.

Families in the St. John Valley have been putting on large reunions
for dozens of years at the same time as the Acadian Festival,
formerly held in late June.

This year, the 34th Acadian Festival and the annual family reunion in
Madawaska are being moved to Aug. 11-15 to coincide with
International Acadian Day on Aug. 15. This year’s gathering is the
Cyr Family Reunion, celebrating ancestors and descendants of one
of the St. John Valley’s Acadian families. Some years the reunion
honors a family with French-Canadian roots in Quebec.

Reunion details are available at www.cyrandcyrrootsreunion.com.
For more on the Acadian Festival, visit www.acadianfestival.com.

Back to the Acadian Congress in 2014. The first round of
applications for families, family associations, communities and
others interested in hosting reunions in 2014 will continue through
Nov. 1. WAC staff, assisted by the family reunion committee, will
work to bring together any competing applicants for reunions of the
same family name to encourage collaboration and the submission of
a single proposal. Forms are available at www.cma2014.net and at
branches of Norstate Credit Union in Maine.

The form asks reasons or connections for hosting the gathering at
the proposed location; activities planned and infrastructure and
equipment needed; historic, cultural or tourist aspects to be
highlighted; number of people expected to attend; whether the
group has organized a family gathering before and other comments
and information.

The reunions will be part of the 300 events, which will include
regional celebrations, sporting and cultural activities. In addition to
families of Acadian descent, the organization welcomes applications
from other families with lineage common in northern Maine,
northwest New Brunswick and Quebec.

Once the first venues for 2014 family reunions are announced early
next year, WAC will launch the second round of applications.

Host family reunion organizing committees selected will be provided
with $500 in seed money to begin planning their event.

Informational sessions will be held in all three regions. In Maine, the
session will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at Norstate Credit
Union in Madawaska.

•••

Summer library hours are in effect at Bangor Public Library, 145
Harlow St., Bangor. They are: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through
Thursday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays; closed Saturday and Sunday.
Hours will be in effect until Tuesday, Sept. 6. For questions, contact
the library at 947-8336 or visit the website at www.bpl.lib.me.us.

•••

The Finnish Heritage House in South Thomaston will start the next
session of Finnish language classes on Saturday, July 9. Classes
will be held 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on alternate Saturdays through
Sept. 3. After a five-week break, there will be a continuation of
these classes from Oct. 15 to Dec. 5.

This year’s course, taught by Art Jura and assisted by Paula Szabo,
both of Union, will be an experiment in utilizing all the updated digital
resources now available in Jura Hall, downstairs in the Finnish
Congregational Church on Route 131. Students will be exposed to
both spoken and written Finnish with help from all the wonders of
today’s Internet. They also will learn something of the history,
culture, music and genealogy of the Finnish people.

Jura and Szabo belong to that vanishing breed of Americans who
spoke Finnish as their first language.

Anyone wishing to register for the class may write to the Finnish
Heritage House, PO Box 293, South Thomaston 04858. Even
better, drop in any Saturday morning, on Route 131. The coffee pot
is always on.

•••

In Union, tickets are on sale for the annual Come Spring Bus Tour,
sponsored by Union Historical Society on Founders Day, Saturday,
July 16. This narrated two-hour bus tour departs from Union
Common at 9:30 a.m. and follows the Georges River Scenic
Byway, identifying sites where Union’s early settlers built cabins and
lived.

The names of the settlers are documented in town records and their
lives and stories are recounted by Ben Ames Williams in his 1940
historical novel, “Come Spring,” reprinted by the historical society.
Participants will get off the bus to tour five historic sites, four of
them on private property and not open to the public at other times.

After visiting settlers’ grave sites in the Common Cemetery on Ayer
Hill, the tour will stop at the cellar hole of the cabin where Philip
Robbins’ large family spent a crowded winter in 1776, and then at
the homestead of Robbins’ oldest son, David. After a circuit over the
blueberry barrens of Clarry Hill, participants will visit the site of the
“Royal Mess,” the bachelor home of Jason Ware, Joel Adams and
Matthias Hawes, overlooking the hillside where Adams and his wife
Mima Robbins built their home. Finally, the tour will visit the Alden
Store on Common Road, built close to the home of Ebenezer Alden
in 1797 and run by the Alden family for 100 years.

Come Spring Bus Tour tickets are available in advance for $10 at
the Robbins House, headquarters of Union Historical Society, on
Wednesday and Saturday mornings, or by calling 785-5444 and
leaving a message.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O.
Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or email queries to
familyti@bangordailynews.net.
2014 Acadian Congress seeking
family reunions