Christmas Letter – December 2009
We hope this finds you in good health and enjoying some relaxing time with family and friends. It has been a wonderful year as Neale has begun a proper retirement and our daughter Naomi got married--without too many family arguments. It helped that his parents, Ken and Sandie, live so far away, and we also are separated by the Strait of Georgia, so both sets of parents just HAD to trust them!
The school year from January to June was busy for Ros as she took her Biology students on a field trip to the Vancouver Aquarium and continued to teach junior sciences to grade 8 and ESL students, as well as staying active in her union on cycling initiatives and other policy matters She also continued to play and umpire field hockey, attend NDP meetings and rally voters to turn out for the May provincial election but not enough of them did to change the government!
Great Uncle David with Finnegann, Neale & Margery in background
In April, Ros’ brother David Kellett took a five week holiday to Britain to visit family and friends and came back with cheerful news and much gratitude for all the generous hospitablity he received – he also took lots of photographs to share with us.
In May, Naomi defended her master's thesis on aboriginal land claims and the negotiation processes and got top marks! Granny Margery, Neale and Ros were able to attend her Convocation service in June.
The climax of our summer was Naomi's marriage to Nick Melchin on August 23 in Saxe Point Park in Victoria. Nick comes from a strong family from Ottawa, Ontario and has two brothers, Derek and Pat. Both brothers assisted at the wedding, as did David Kellett. Naomi's oldest friend Roseanns Roberts and her brother Russell were flower people. The Reverend and Retired Canon Herbie O'Driscoll conducted the service, both in the park and at the chapel later.
The weekend was a joyful family gathering as relatives came from California, Calgary, Parksville (Vancouver Island), London (England), Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal for the event. As at her older brother's wedding, many guests travelled by bicycle in the wedding procession both to the ceremony and on to the reception. We really feel our family has grown to encompass the Melchins (and vice versa).
The bicycle bride before her wedding.
Neale worked hard for the Anglican synod from January to June and retired from full time work on June 30. He completed six issues of the diocesan newspaper TOPIC as well as travelling to Victoria for the Anglican Editors conference in early June. Many, many people came to his retirement party, held at Margery Kellett's and well-wishers from all the media worksites he had been employed at came out to Roast and Toast.
Russell, Jane, and Finnegann (somewhat older).
In mid July, son Russell left to got to CAT – the Centre for Alternate transportation- in Eugene, Oregon. His wife, Jane, and son, Finnegan, (age 2 year next Jan. 2) stayed in Vancouver but were able to go and visit him twice for week-long visits during his five-month apprenticeship program. He will return Dec 16 and try to set up a similar centre here in Vancouver. But we also got to see him three more times during this time as he returned for 2 weddings and Canadian thanksgiving!
On August 1, Jane's brother Johnny married Hilde Festerling at Johnny's family's home in Rosedale, BC, and we met many of the the couple’s relatives from across BC and the USA.
In the fall, Ros went back to teaching at Eric Hamber High School, and is now engaged with more ESL (English as a Second Language) science classes. Neale did more travelling, visited Russell twice and took the train to Davis and Berkeley California for American Thanksgiving. Neale’s brother Chuck and wife Dena prepared the 30 lb turkey for 21 friends and family – their “children” Jeremy and Leah Belzer Adams came home, as well as Neale’s brother Mike with his wife, Lori, and sons, Tristan and Zachary. Naomi flew down and Russell came by auto to have a great celebration – Ros, meanwhile, attended a political convention to ensure the next provincial election will be more successful for her New Democratic Party!
And so at this time we relax and take stock a little more, at this time of the year, and give thanks for so many blessings, including your friendship. Happy new 2010, we look forward to seeing you, perhaps, at the Olympic games!
Nick at left and Ros at right in the wedding procession after the ceremony.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season and Prosperous New Year!