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Relatives scattered around Pacific

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, July 30, 2008) – The Wichman and Bambridge clans were expecting 700 family members to come to the final night but judging from the full house at Aroa Nui hall in Puaikura, there were already that number on Tuesday night.

This was the family get together to welcome all the families who had come from all over the Pacific including Hawaii, USA, Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand.

The genealogies were rather complicated but owing to multiple marriages, there are about four branches of the family including the Tavioni and Garnier families. Those in gold or yellow were descended from Henry Wichman, son of William Wichman who married the beautiful Martha Bambridge, actually judging from the old family photos they were all remarkably beautiful ladies and gentlemen in those days.

Entertainment for the night was provided by Rama Nui who performed cultural dancing in the style of the 50s, 60s and 70s up to the present. The 50s style dancers wore long ‘grass skirts’ reminiscent of the old Hawaiian dancers with the ladies gracefully swaying to the music in a manner that is no longer portrayed in our dancing. The night was full of nostalgia with the next performance by a dancer in a long fitted muumuu and wearing a huge ei katu in the manner of the 70s who looked the image of Ann Jonassen who was known throughout the Pacific for her graceful dancing.

Celebrations continue with a get together to discuss genealogies and a happy hour and social gathering in the evening.

Thursday is the final night with the gathering starting at 9am and photo session from 1pm-3.30pm with a bit of break before coming back at 5pm until closing at 10.30pm.

On Friday, family members will attend Gospel Day service at the National Auditorium and then visit the grave sites at CICC church in Avarua.

Saturday will be a casual beach picnic and BYO drinks and food at Gumby’s Beach in Nikao.

Congratulations to all the Wichman and Bambridge clans and all your associated families including the Tavioni and Garnier families.

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