Monday, September 24, 2007

"Reunions" talk at CVGS today

We had our monthly "last Monday" Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting today at the library. The speaker was John Finch, the CVGS past president, on the topic of "Reunions."

John has participated in several family and military reunions, and has organized a family reunion and a class reunion in the last 7 years. His talk used a Powerpoint presentation with good graphics. He started out with four panels from the Cathy comic strip which ran this past summer - they were funny and appropriate for the topic.

He discussed the three major types of reunions - family, class and military. John spent quite a bit of time discussing how to find information on the Internet about how to organize and execute a reunion. His recommendations were:

* Class Reunions: Events and Reunions tab provides a step-by-step process to create an event (you probably need to have an account, they're free).
* Family Reunions: has a comprehensive format to guide you and has ideas for family history and genealogy in the planning here.
* Military Reunions: has excellent resources for planning this type of reunion here.

Finding the people that make up the class, family or military unit can be a challenge. John used and to find classmates. He used the Navy Fleet Reserve Association and the Military Locator and Reunion Services to find former military personnel. For the hard-to-find folks, he subscribed for a period of time to and used the Public Records Index at

The rest of John's talk was about selecting a date, finding a location. announcing and publicizing the event, selecting dining, activities and entertainment, deciding on souvenirs and memorabilia, and coordinating with the selected site.

All in all, this talk was interesting and helpful, especially if someone wants to plan and execute a reunion. John's experience, and comments about his planning activities, were evident and useful.

My thanks to John for making a wonderful presentation. Our 80 member society tries to encourage presentations by our own members, and we usually have 3 or 4 different member presenters each year. It keeps the costs down and also provides an outlet for presentation experience and improvement.

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