Clan gathering with a difference

The Clark family, originally from Stenhousemuir, held their  20th anniversary reunion in Dunkeld
The Clark family, originally from Stenhousemuir, held their 20th anniversary reunion in Dunkeld
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Members of a family originally from Stenhousemuir travelled back to Scotland for a very special reunion.

All are descended from Cecilia and George Clark who met in 1929 when both were nursing at Bellsdyke Hospital.

The Clark family from 40 Plantation Cottages - back row left to right,
Mary, Cecilia, George Jnr, Patricia and front row left to right, 
Desmond, Eileen, Brendan and Murray

The Clark family from 40 Plantation Cottages - back row left to right, Mary, Cecilia, George Jnr, Patricia and front row left to right, Desmond, Eileen, Brendan and Murray

The couple lived in various homes in Larbert before moving to 40 Plantation Cottages.

They had eight children, although daughter Margaret died shortly after birth, but the remaining seven – George, Mary, Desmond, Eileen, Patricia, Murray and Brendan – grew up locally, eventually attending St Modan’s High School in Stirling.

The Clark clan is now spread around the globe but every year meet up again to catch up with relatives.

This year’s event was the 20th anniversary of their special gatherings but also allowed everyone to mark the death last year of Eileen who lived in Ohio. Members of her immediate family travelled from the United States to join others from Newcastle, York, Durham, Derby, London and Western Australia.

Niece Lisa Neil journeyed from her home in Perth, Australia along with her husband Graham and two children, Lochlan (9) and Charlie (7).

She said: “We held a lovely ceremony on the banks of the River Tay where we scattered her ashes. It was lovely that so many were able to be there for what was a special time.”

Lisa explained that the family used to meet regularly at her Auntie Mary’s home but when she died, they decided to keep in touch by meeting up annually and chose the Dunkeld House Hotel.

She added: “We usually have between 40 and 50 going along for the weekend, but this year because we were remembering Auntie Eileen there were 75.

“The youngest was two-year-old Cameron Duncan, then Koby Gatty (3), who is the fifth generation, and the eldest was my auntie Patsy Rooney who is 82. It’s a wonderful legacy and a great way to keep in touch.”

Sadly several other members of the older generation are no longer alive, including brother and sister George and Mary, along with Lisa’s mum, Margaret Clark who died six years ago.

“Mum was the headteacher at Bonnybridge Primary and St Joseph’s, and worked in St Francis and Carron Primary, so was really well known,” she added.

“But then so is my dad as he used to go round the Stenhousemuir and Larbert area with his ice cream vans which all had the message ‘Hurray for Murray’!

“He’s coming out to spend six months with us in Austrlia with a view to staying but I’m sure we’ll still find time to meet up with our other relatives.”