May 2023, we met in the Pear Tree, to meet each other for the first time. With great fortune Pam was with us who, as we were informed, has been the instigator of this project and working on it for the last 106 years. She is wearing well.
‘When we were part of Europe’, she began.
We began with saying our name and something about us, and Rachel attempted to draw that object. Pam started, by saying she liked to ride a bicycle:
What did we hear that particularly interested us about the object the person chose?
– That elephants, like humans, have only two breasts to suckle their calves.
– That history is full of dodginess. It’s just the past coming through
– That mum had to hide the chocolates in her house, and I never discovered the hiding place
– That Jo had not heard of Ingmar Bergman, or seen the film The Seventh Seal
Where do you come from? This was a different question to where you were born, and solicited some out there results:
– my mothers womb
– the earth
– the world
– Rochester way, Blackheath….
After delicious coffee and cake that are renown at the Pear Tree, we settled in our groups and began our exploring of our origins and pasts. Parents, grandparents, place, brothers, sisters…
These we shared with the group, recalling elements that surprised us.
One of us bought with them a stunning material collage she made of her family portrait, her grandparents with 3 of their many more children.
We ended by saying something about the name we had been given. Virgina reminded us of the origin of our names, usually Hebrew of Greek.
- Anna after Anna Karenina, which means Grace of god one in Hebrew
- David, (not Dave) which means Beloved of God in Hebrew
- Esther Mary after Stella, Shining star in Hebrew, named after her maternal grandmother
- Joanne – Jo, or Jo-Jo Mojo, may be after Joan of Arc
- Andrew Nicolias, meaning strong and manly in Greek
- Pam – who does not like to be called Pamela
- Pippa – christened Phillipa, lover of Horses, and called Phil in Canada (ugh), Phillipa was ancestors name
- Albert – named after an Uncle who died, means wise raven
Some moving moments – when Andrew sang, and when we had to be called to order after becoming animated with our greetings
There is nothing like being given the opportunity to talk about ourselves
Finally, the glamorous assistant showing off our memory boxes