A reunion of the families of Sarah Ah Mann, Maudie Kum Sing-Sewter, Sadie Watson-Yanner and Bessie Burke-Sullivan is happening in Burketown next weekend July 12-14.
The last family reunion was held in 2015 and this year’s reunion had to be delayed due to Cyclone Nora.
The event is hosted by Townsville sisters, Kathryn Kum Sing and Lynette Kim Sing, the daughters of Alf Kum Sing of Mount Isa.
“We planned the date for Naidoc Week, to celebrate the life and times of our grandmothers in such a special week of celebration for women. I have included Naidoc activities in our program and would like everyone to participate. We have invited the whole town,” Lynette said.
The highlight will be the awards night dinner at the Shire Hall on Friday night, July 13. Lynette said they would showcase the talents of family members, chefs Shane Wildermuth and Allan Kum Sing and Shane’s mum, Deborah, who oversees catering. There is a three course meal for $30 a head and $5 snack packs for children.
Kathryn became family historian to prepare for the 2015 reunion. Her research journey has placed her in contact with many people, including a visit from anthropologists from UQ, Professor David Trigger and Dr Richard Martin. There is a YouTube video titled, “Kathryn Kum Sing created the Family Reunion Displays”, showing their visit in 2015. She thanked family members for sending documents, information and photos, which she used in the creation of more than 20 displays. The family members were Alf Kum Sing, Rod Kum Sing, Jenny Kum Sing, Ben Kum Sing, Irene Yanner, Gordon Burke, Linda Belle, Janice Cusack, Sarah Chong, Farrah Linden, Jenny Cummins and Mandy Brown.
“Our brother, Rod Kum Sing, is a very talented artist. It’s my role to manage the merchandise, I created the design of the reunion shirt, based on his artwork. In 2015, family members also enjoyed the souvenirs of coffee mugs, hoodies and stubby coolers. In 2018, the first order of 233 shirts wasn’t enough, so I am sending in another order after the event.” Lynette said.
The sisters thanked Burke Shire Council for their support and assistance with the preparations for the event. Another special mention goes to Madelene Davis at Marto’s Wild Caught Seafood for donating fish for the ‘Meet and Greet night’ on Thursday and the closing night on Saturday.