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The IMFA 1988 Sefton, Croxteth, Abbeystead, Teversal, Loseley, First UK Reunion

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Attendees at the Mx UK reunion July 7-11 1988 are pictured above in a photo originally printed in the Liverpool Echo. Besides neckties with the cross moline and leather bookmarks imprinted with a commemoration of the event, there were also personal certificates for each one attending, as well as a humorous certificate for everyone. Note the smiling faces of those who attended!

Attendees at the Mx UK reunion July 7-11 1988

Attendees at the Mx UK reunion July 7-11 1988 are pictured above in a photo originally printed in the Liverpool Echo. Besides neckties with the cross moline and leather bookmarks imprinted with a commemoration of the event, there were also personal certificates for each one attending, as well as a humorous certificate for everyone. Note the smiling faces of those who attended!

July 1988 is now history. Only those who were in attendance will really ever know how grand it all was; or know the feeling of entering the many churches where some of our ancestors worshiped, viewing pews where they sat, and the beautiful memorials left in their memory by their children. We tried to capture by camera, voice recordings, and video tape as much of this event as we could for those who could not attend. Meeting those of you I have had the honor to correspond with over the years, and reading the page of prayers in St. Helens regular service at Sefton was a most memorable experience. Very memorable, to be in the reception line, with my beautiful daughter Marie, to kiss the hands of the ladies, and the lips of my cousin, President Betty Brown, (with Gordon's appoval!). Wesley L. Mullenneix, August 1988

Reunion Highlights
Betty Molyneux Brown, IMFA President

Despite the inclement weather scene, those of you who were fortunate enough to be here for the reunion, I am sure, took it off in their stride. Of course the UK members who joined in are well used to the variances in our English climate.

The first IMFA Reunion to be held in the UK was, to say the least, a great success. The time went by so quickly, it seems that the 12 months planning ahead had worked perfectly, despite one or two minor hitches, everything went off well.

We had 105 for the Grand Banquet held at Croxteth Hall on Saturday 9th July, and about 120 at the Buffet Lunch, also held at Croxteth Hall, on Sunday lOth July. I think that maybe we had a few 'gatecrashers' at this one, there were certainly more people than we anticipated, but all were Molyneuxs so it did not really matter.

Everyone agreed that the atmosphere when we were all assembled together was terrific. The staff at Croxteth Hall were very eager to help thoughout the entire week-end, and some ladies even came back early from holiday to assist with the house tours. Mr. J. J. Baggley, Reader in History at Liverpool University gave an excellent talk on the Molyneuxs at the Library in Liverpool on Saturday morning and Janet Smith, Archivist, put on a very good show of documents etc.

Saturday evening speaker Mr. J. Gordon Read gave an interesting account of ancient families and had taken the trouble to bring items and documents of interest from the Museum at Liverpool over to Croxteth Hall especially for the Molyneuxs to view them in private.

Mr. Ted Jackson, Acting Director of Croxteth Hall & County Park was more than helpful and he and his staff put a lot of work in behind the scenes to make our Reunion a successful one. It was marvelous to dine in the old oak-paneled Queen Anne dining room which once must have seen regular banquets take place in the Earl & Countess of Sefton's days. It was indeed an honour for our association to be able to use the hall as a venue.   > Read more

Reunion Memories
Kate & Erin (O'Neil), Canada Representative

By the time you read this, most who attended the IMFA reunion have returned home and perhaps – just perhaps! -- begun to digest all the events and all the emotions of those incredible five days in England.

Collected impressions brought words like, "exhilarating", "wonderful", "overwhelming" and "exhausting" -- all of which, with added discussion, can be summarized by, "It's been terrific! to meet you.... I'll be back!"

All were in awe of cousin David Molyneux's gargantual organizational abilities, cap ably and constantly assisted by son Richard (who even waited up worrying about those “out late” teens when, in truth, he should have been with them!).

While we all gaped in wonderment at all the various Molyneux churches, homes, tombs, etc., perhaps the reunion aspect was the Being Together. The obvious warmth and sense of "family" that permeated throughout -- between individuals, between families, among the whole group -- was something very special. All around, every day, people were talking, people were hugging, people were jotting down addresses. It really was a “coming home”. In itself, this was a special and precious thing, what with all of us starting out as strangers, from all parts of the world, from so many varied lifestyles and professions and even religions. Still, we became One. If we were able to do this in such a short time, one has to wonder what sort of a world it would be if such a family philosophy could be spread among all mankind, if then it could not be clearly seen by all that, “all men are my brothers” -- would the world not start turning, then, in the way in which we all think it should ? It also lends some weight to the fact that not just “old men and women” turn to family history as a hobby; rather, that the study of family history has no alternative but to bind all men and all women into a family group -- little and fleeting as we are among the dripping hands of time -- we would all be bound together, as certainly we are.   > Read more

Post Reunion Reflections
Marie Mullenneix Spearman

My Dad has always been a hard worker and a builder. Today he's not building our family home on his free weekends, or our river cabin, or my childhood playhouse in the back yard. But he's still working hard, logging in the same long hours, but instead of a hammer and nails he's using his typewriter. Instead of blueprints and creative sketches of his own mind's vision for a house, or deck or cabinets, he's studying family trees, finding the missing pieces of information and then planning where to next search. Many of you probably know that Dad has written and published a book on the Ground/s side of our family entitled Plymouth Rock the Pacific, and that besides the IMFA newsletter his quarterly newsletter for the Ground/s family is now in its fourth year. Yet I didn't think our reunion in England could have had such a beautiful “form”, be so visible, not like a house, book or newsletter, yet something you could “walk into”, “look around” and “touch”.

But arriving in England, being met by David, watching him, Dad and Mom meet for the first time after such long arduous work via the mail planning this detailed tour of family landmarks, it seems as if we walked across a bridge and then into this new framework. Dad and David had created a space for all of us to walk into, and once there took us on the grandest of tours any one of us could have imagined. So very many images are packed into our six-day journey from London to Liverpool and back again. Thank goodness for photographs and brochures and historical books that I can now browse through as I return in my mind.

My Dad will always be a builder it seems, and now its bridges to the commonality between otherwise complete strangers. If it weren't that our family trees branched together, we would perhaps have no reason to stop our busy lives and get together to meet one another. We came together on this tour many as strangers, and as many who were finally putting faces with the names they had spent hours with in correspondence. We boarded the coach, wearing our name tags, returning the friendly, excited smiles.

New friendships have begun, old ones solidified, and all because we are related - family. Dad has built this bridge over continents, connecting English, American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealander, and I am so very proud to be so “closely” related.   > Read more

I.M.F.A. Reunion 7th - 11th July 1988
Betty Molyneux Brown, IMFA President

Friday 8th July - The main coach party arrived in Liverpool on a wet Friday evening and book in to the Adelphia Hotel.

Dinner was quite late 21:30 hours because of the late arrival and number involved. Approximately 80 attended. The main coach party was joined by local week-enders and a few who had joined in just the Friday evening dinner.

After dinner, each guest stood in turn and gave their name and where they came from. This was interesting to the local members to hear and see cousins from overseas.

Saturday 9th July - The morning saw a slow start but a visit to the R.C. Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was our first stop. Before entering the cathedral a local newspaper reporter and photographer from the Liverpool Echo took photos and spoke to some of our members. A short story and picture appeared on the front page of the Echo that evening.

The circular cathedral was consecrated in 1967. Its dominant feature is the central lantern tower with slender, spiky pinnacles, some 290 ft. high, above the aluminum roof. This lantern with stained glass illuminates the interior of the building with a pool of light over the central alter. Radiating from the walls are chapels of various shapes, with stained glass windows and austere ornament. The party enjoyed the truly awesome interior of the cathedral.

From there we went to the Central Library which is housed in. a classical sweep of buildings in Liverpool's William Brown Street. Many other members met with us here. Janet Smith, Archivist, put on an excellent exhibition of diaries, photographs, paintings and documents relative to the Molyneux of Sefton. Mr. J.J. Baggley, Reader in History at the University of Liverpool came along and gave us an excellent and inform­talk about the Molyneux family and he was, to say the least, truly appreciated. We were sorry to have him finish but time was of the essence on this tour and from the Library we went to the Maritime Museum and Albert Dock.   > Read more