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The Page family reunion was held at Alumny Creek School Museum, on Sunday. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Page family reunion

Lynne Mowbray|

The descendants of Thomas Nickson and Emily Hilda (nee Gray) Page attended their inaugural family reunion, at the Alumny Creek School Museum, on Sunday.

Thomas Nickson Page was a first cousin to former Prime Minister and founding member of the Country Party, Sir Earle Page.

Around 55 grandchildren, great- grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren attended the special reunion, with some family members meeting for the first time.

The reunion was organised by family members Phyllis Hanzic (nee Page) and Dorothy Baker (nee Page).

Phyllis said that this was the first ever family reunion that they have organised, apart from the normal get together at family funerals and 50th wedding anniversaries, which have occurred over bygone years.

“There are no surviving children of Thomas and Hilda left, so this was a gathering of their grandchildren and their offspring; so this is a cousin’s reunion,” Phyllis said.

Phyllis said that there were some interesting things that came to light during the family’s get together.

“I think the most prized thing, is the letters from my uncle Frank Page (one of Thomas and Hilda’s three sons), who was a Prisoner of War (POW) in Moulmein, Burma; and he died there,” Phyllis said.

“One of my cousins had a letter that Frank sent (to his mother) from the prison camp, which the Japanese had allowed the POWs to send out and he’d written on it, ‘Mum I’m OK, I hope to see you all soon,’ – but sadly, he never made it back home.

“Another one was printed by the Japanese Imperial Army about the prisoners of war which the POWs had to write their name on and sign it. What was printed was not actually what was happening there,” she said.

Phyllis said that among the precious gems that turned up on the day, was her grandfather’s bank book, with all his bank entries in it. 

“Some of the family had newspaper clippings and information about their cousins, which they were able to share with each other.

“One of those examples was that a family member had Dorothy’s mothers wedding notice from the paper and this scenario was duplicated among some of the other cousins.

“There was a lot of sharing, especially of photos between everyone and as I looked at this big group of people enjoying each other’s company, I just thought how wonderful it was.

“There are so many photos of distant family members that we don’t know who they are and those who did know, are no longer here.

“Life gets so busy these days and we always seem to make an effort to get to someone’s funeral – well, why don’t we get together in life?

“Let’s make that same effort to get together when we’re still alive and we can share the memories,” she said.

The Page family have a Facebook page on which they share their family photos, information and memories, with each other.

The cutting of the cake was performed by Thomas and Hilda Page’s oldest living grandson Doug Biddle and oldest living granddaughter Dorothy Baker (nee Page). Image: Lynne Mowbray
A generated letter from the Imperial Japanese Army which was signed by the POWs before being sent to their family. Image: Lynne Mowbray
The letter from King George, which was sent to Franks mother Hilda, after Frank died inside the prison camp. Image: Lynne Mowbray
Thomas and Hilda Page’s son Frank who died in a Japanese POW camp in Moulmein, Burma. His letters to his mother from inside the camp were on show at the family reunion.
Image: Lynne Mowbray
Some of the family gather before cutting the cake.
Image: Lynne Mowbray
The cousins gather for a photograph. Image: Lynne Mowbray