Tue | Apr 25, 2017

Williams Family Reunite in Manchester

Published:Friday | August 28, 2015 | 8:00 AM
Contributed Photo fROM LEFT: Franklin Williams, a family friend, Member of Parliaament for North East Manchester Audley Shaw and Leighton Williams, one of the organisers of teh reunion.
Contributed Photo The pots are on the fire and the delicious dishes are bubbling.
Contributed Photo Franklin Williams (right), his wife Phyllis (seated) and their children.
Contributed Photo The Williams women Phyllis Williams (front), Natasha Williams (centre) and Paulette Henry are having a grand time.
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Perched high on hill with a magnificent view in the cool hills of Manchester was the venue where 40 members of the Williams family, spanning four generations of young and old, gathered to reunite and celebrate on August 8.

The family partyied with such notable inviteees as Audley Shaw, Member of Parliament for the area and Captain Colin Chen, a long-standing family friend. This gathering brought the family together to get to know each other again as well as have have a fun time together.

It all started with a family chat on Whatsapp of some 20 odd cousins drawn from Jamaica, the United States of America, Canada, Grand Cayman and the United Kingdom. Talk centered around planning a family reunion for the older generation to relax and enjoy.

Spearheaded by Leighton Williams, the cousins ran with the idea, bubbling over in excitement that the family needed to get together as soon as possible in celebration of life and love.

This was not the first get-together; 10 years ago, one of the brothers, Terrence Williams celebrated his 50th birthday at the same venue and his excitement turned into a huge family reunion with many members from all over the globe in attendance. It was there that sister Rosemarie from the United Kingdom was reunited with her siblings after some 40 years since leaving Jamaica.

glowed with pride

Older brother Franklin Williams, patriarch of the family glowed with pride to see so many family members come together for the happy occasion.

The menu of tasty dishes consisted of curried goat fresh from an early morning kill, great tasting mannish water, chicken prepared three different ways and of course ... jerked pork for the 'trenton' lovers. Alcoholic beverages flowed copiously and the DJ turned up the tempo with music from four huge speakers. We had a blast!

Set designer Rachelle Williams did a fabulous job with her spot on decor highlighting colours of red, black and gold while her sister Sanja who flew in from Toronto for the event, was the graphic designer, bringing smiles to all, with her custom -made T shirts for all family members to wear.

She also produced a nostalgic 30-minute photo montage, chronicling the family history from the Toyloy roots in China to Jamaica. It included funny captions that had family members and guests in stitches and at times in tears.

There was dancing under the stars with family members gyrating to the pulsating musical sounds and of course, no family reunion would have been complete without the scores of cameras flashing, all scrambling for the many group poses, and bringing the night to a close.

The reunion ended with a trip the next day to the gravesite of earlier descendants, with eldest brother giving an insightful and informative rundown of family history of those souls departed.

(Prepared by Sanja Williams-Hill)