Family Gatherings

Family gatherings, often referred to as reunions, were held for many years on the first Sunday in August at the church at Cassidy Lake. There was a church service at 2:00 pm, followed by a picnic social. Each family brought sandwiches and refreshments sufficient for themselves, plus extras to share. Stan Cassidy made arrangements for the service and the opening of the church. Following Stan’s death in 1993, gatherings were not held again until 1997 when Andy and Hazel Douthwright began organizing them.

1949 Sept. 25 The minister was Rev. J.E. Shanklin of Petitcodiac, a former pastor of the church, now retired, and the same minister who conducted the funeral service for Francis Edward Cassidy in 1927. Assisting him was Rev. W. McBride Rodger, pastor of the United Church in Norton. This was the first gathering and it was hosted by Allen and Edythe Cassidy. The church was overfilled with the large number of family members and guests that attended. A special battery-powered sound system was set up by Stan Cassidy so that those outside the church could hear the service. The Saint John newspaper, The Telegraph Journal, reported that “a feature of the program at the home was a solo sung by a tiny great-granddaughter of the founder of the church. The new church will have monthly services, provided by Mr. Rodger.”

Watch video of 1949-1953 gatherings.

1950 Aug. 27 The following is a transcription of a newspaper article that reported the event: Members of the Cassidy family held their second annual reunion when the event was celebrated by an afternoon church service, followed by an outdoor picnic. The service, conducted by Rev. A.S. Carpenter of Norton, was held in the Francis Edward Cassidy Memorial Church on the old family homestead, Cassidy Lake. During the ceremonies, a two minute silence was observed in tribute to the founder of the church and to other members of the family to whom the building of the church might be credited. The pulpit was flanked by large baskets of gladioli, placed in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Cassidy. Musical arrangements were under the supervision of Mrs. A.S. Carpenter, who was also heard in a solo. To those who were unable to enter the church, the service was carried by a loud-speaker system. Following the service, the entire family climbed the hill to the old homestead, now the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. Allen Cassidy, who opened their home for the occasion. There a picnic supper was held on the spacious lawn. Gordon Cassidy of Moncton, great-grandson of Francis E. Cassidy, asked the blessing. J. Arlington Cassidy of Bloomfield, acted as master of ceremonies for the afternoon speeches, which were given by Rev. A.S. Carpenter, Stanley Cassidy, Allen R. Cassidy, and Russell Cassidy. A letter received from a family member unable to be present was read by Mrs. Allen R. Cassidy. Celebrations were ended with a prayer by Rev. A.S. Carpenter.
1951 Aug. 19 Details not available
1952 Details not available
1953 Aug. 16 Details not available
1954 – 1976 Details not available
1977 Aug. 7 Student minister: Don Graham of Southfield – Mercer Settlement Pastoral Charge
1978 Details not available
1979 Aug. 5 Student minister: Gary A. Galvin of Southfield – Mercer Settlement Pastoral Charge
1980 Details not available
1981 Aug. 9 Student minister: Don Shephard of Southfield – Mercer Settlement Pastoral Charge
1982 Details not available
1983 Jul. 31 Student minister: Brad Weeks of Southfield – Mercer Settlement Pastoral Charge; 100th Anniv.
1984 Aug. 5 Student minister: Mervin Gallant of Southfield – Mercer Settlement Pastoral Charge
1985 Aug. 4 Details not available
1986 Aug. 3 Minister: Rev. Gil MacKenzie of St. Paul’s United Church in Fredericton
1987 Aug. 2 Minister: Rev. Bill Randall of St. Paul’s United Church in Fredericton
1988 Aug. 7 Minister: Rev. George Gillis (retired) of Fredericton. The family address was given by Brian Cassidy.
1989 Aug. 6 Minister: Rev. Robert (Bob) Hussey of St. John’s United Church in Moncton and a very close friend of Gordon Cassidy. Thirty one people attended the reunion. The family address was given by Peter Cassidy. Family members present included: Stan and Elsie Cassidy; Peter and Gwen Cassidy; Brian, Patricia, Sue, Brenda, and Brian Jr. Cassidy; Gordon Cassidy; Ellsworth and Jean Cassidy; Janet, Joe, and Stacy Lane; Bucky and Nancy Lane.
1990 Aug. 5 Minister: Rev. Harold Jones of Southfield – Mercer Settlement Pastoral Charge. The family address was given by Peter Cassidy. The church was filled on this occasion with 55 family members and guests in attendance. Family members present included: Clarence (Paddy) Cassidy; Stan and Elsie Cassidy; Peter, Gwen, Catherine, and Heather Cassidy; Brian, Patricia, Sue, Brenda, and Brian Jr. Cassidy; Gordon Cassidy; Russell, Marion, and Leonard Cassidy; Bruce, Susan, Ann, Kathryn, Louise, and Stuart Lockhart; Ellsworth and Jean Cassidy; Jim Cassidy; Helen Travis.
1991 Aug. 4 Captain Harold Harken of the Salvation Army in Fredericton presided.
1992 Aug. 2 Minister: Rev. Michelle Smith of the Southampton circuit. Thirty-seven family members, guests, and people from the area attended. Family members included: Clarence (Paddy) Cassidy; Stan and Elsie Cassidy; Peter and Gwen Cassidy; Brian, Patricia, Brenda, and Brian Jr. Cassidy; Marie Cassidy; Marion and Russell Cassidy.
1993 Aug. 1 A memorial service was held for Stan Cassidy. Presiding was Rev. Doug Cosman of the United Church in Norton assisted by Phillip Dallimore a student minister. There was a very large turnout that day. (On the order of 100 people.) A large 20’x20’ shade tent with dining tables was set up adjacent the church. A sound system was provided for the many people who could not get inside the church. Following the service, Stan’s ashes were buried in the cemetery.
1994-1996 No reunions were held
1997 Aug. 17 A reunion service was organized by the members of Southfield United Church. They hope to make it an annual service. It was very well done and the church was packed. The minister was Mary Wannamaker. In the introduction, it was noted that 1997 was the 200th anniversary of William Cassidy’s birth. The sermon “What is faith?” was delivered by Otty Forgrave. Mrs. Joyce Pollock’s daughter, Hazel Douthwright, gave a brief history of the church and the area. Margaret Otis read the scripture, which was Hebrews 11:1-16. The hymns were old favorites: Praise Him! Praise Him!; The Church In The Wildwood; I Love To Tell The Story; Jesus Loves Me; Bringing In The Sheaves; Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah; God Be With You. Brian Sr. and Brian Jr. read the Prayer for the Journey.The weather, sunny and warm, made for a beautiful day. The church had been cleaned for the occasion and looked in excellent condition, but it needed painting. It was last painted in 1990. After the service, many went to the cemetery. The cemetery was mowed and the road leading to it had been repaired by Hazel’s husband Andy and others. The collection from the service was to go toward the upkeep of the cemetery.The following people were present: Nellie MacDowell; Elsie Cassidy; Brian, Patricia, Brenda, and Brian Jr. Cassidy; Al and Sheldon Foster; David and Evelyn Cassidy and family; Carole Christie and her mother Marie Cassidy; Denise and Harvy MacDonald who were married in the church in March 1997.Hazel Douthwright gave the following historical account of Cassidy Lake:The first known marriage to be performed in the Cassidy Lake Church was on June 3, 1972, for Andrew Douthwright and Hazel Pollock. Rev George McLean was the minister. Hazel is the daughter of Kenneth and Joyce Pollock and their house was built by Matthew Cassidy. Denise Cassidy was married in the church on March 22, 1997.Dorothy Campbell and Billy Monahan, both 82 years of age, told me about the history. There was a cheese factory next to the church where the driveway goes down to the lake. All the farmers from near and far would bring their milk to make cheese. Butter was never made there; but, when the factory started in Jeffries Corner, they started making butter. There was a sawmill up the road at the wharf. There was also a sawmill years later down in Fred McLong’s woods run by Gordon Kelly. Jameison’s had a store down at the end of the lake where Donnie Floyd lives. The big house was torn down in 1996. Kilpatrick’s took over the store next and they also ran the Post Office. Shector’s started a store at the end of the lake also, across the road from Kilpatrick’s after Kilpatrick’s closed; later, Sedequest’s took over that store.The cemetery is up over the hill from the church. One of the names of those buried there is DeForest, and that was the name of the lake before it became Cassidy Lake. Dad’s [Ken Pollock] mother, grandfather, grandmother, and brother are all buried up at the cemetery, which is why we started looking after the cemetery. The care used to all be done by scythe, forks and saws. Then Andy, my husband, started helping and now we mow it with the push mower and ride-on mower.

There have been two people known to have drowned in the lake. Ronnie Avines, while trying to swim to shore after jumping from a homemade raft, and Henry Cummings from Norton. Three horses also have drowned.

1998 Aug. 9 Details not available
1999 Jul. 25 This reunion service was the last of the 20th century and the 50th anniversary of the re-dedication of the church in the name of its builder, Francis Edward Cassidy. The church was in good condition but there was evidence that some people had used it for camping. The weather was rainy.The guest speaker was Rev. Doug Cosman with assistance from Rev. Mary Wanamaker and Otty Forgrave. Opening comments were given by Hazel Douthwright. Brian Cassidy read the scripture selection from 1Kings 8:12-21. Others in attendance included Brian, Patricia, Brian Jr. and Brenda Cassidy; Elsie Cassidy; Dan Boyd; Garth and Carole Christie and her mother Marie Cassidy. The collection went toward upkeep of the cemetery.After the service, many visited the cemetery but only briefly due to thunder and lightning in the vicinity. A new grave stone had been placed in memory of Ronald Avines, son of Frank and Violet Avines, who was born October 22, 1921 and drowned in Cassidy Lake on May 20, 1933. The stone was placed by Ronald’s sister in 1998. In addition to the inscription, the stone has a painting of the lake.
2000 Aug. 6 The minister presiding was Rev. Erik Kragland. Organist was Glenna Geer. It was a beautiful sunny summer day. There was a good turnout that included Brian, Patricia, Brian Jr., and Brenda Cassidy; Elsie Cassidy; Sheldon and AL Foster; Garth, Carole, and Kelly Christie; Marie Cassidy; Kelly Bradley and her son Liam; Andy and Hazel Douthwright and Hazel’s mother Joyce Pollock. Hazel provided lunch after the service. Both church and cemetery looked in good condition.
2001 Aug. 5 Guest speaker was Will McLeod. Organist was Glenna Geer. It was a perfect summer day and the church was filled to capacity. People in attendance included John and Hazel Mercer, Murray Otis, Marilyn and John Stockdale, Marie Cassidy, Carole Christie, Janice Meeking, Martha Biggs, Walter Irving, Murray and Anita Monahan, Sheldon and Al Foster, Bob MacDowell, Nellie MacDowell, Joyce Pollock, Hazel and Andy Douthwright and their two sons, Brian and Brenda Cassidy, Elsie Cassidy, Peter and Gwen Cassidy.
2002 Aug. 11 Guest speaker was Rev. Keith Lyons of Hampton United Church. Organist was Glenna Greer. Peter Cassidy gave a tribute to Patricia Cassidy. It was a perfect summer day and the church was filled. People in attendance included Rita Matthews, Ralph Thompson, Beverly Lyons, Dorothy and Lewis Bland, James and Melva Hornbrook, Otty Forgrave, Isabel Wannamaker, Dorothy Desjardin, Alameda McLeod, Margaret Tait, Dorothy Humphry, Jimmy, Irene and Joey McEwen, Murray and Anita Monahan, George, Shirley, John and Jane Irvine, Murray and Marion Otis, Walter and Dottie Irvine, Margaret Bigger, Nellie Glen, John and Marilyn Stockdale, Hazel and Bruce Mercer, Carl and Margaret Mercer, Gordon and Phyllis Davidson, Lewis Sundquist, Brian and Brenda Cassidy, Elsie Cassidy, Nellie MacDowell, Peter and Gwen Cassidy.
2003 Aug. 17 Arrangements and preparations were done again this year by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. The minister presiding was Rev. Bob Johnson of Fredericton. Organist was Wellington Hosford. Wellington, who remembers being in the church with Francis Edward Cassidy, is to be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in September, 2003. The church was filled to capacity with extra chairs at the back. This being the 120th anniversary Peter Cassidy spoke on the history of the church. A special event was the baptism of three-week old Lillian Mary Para, seventh generation descendant of William and Jane Cassidy. The weather for the day started with drizzle and scattered showers. However, by the end of the service, the sun was out permitting the usual good picnic. Thanks to Andy and Hazel Douthwright, the cemetery was nicely trimmed. Family members in attendance included Elsie Cassidy, Nellie MacDowell, Brian, Brian Jr. and Brenda Cassidy, Heather, Jason and Lillian Para, Peter and Gwen Cassidy, Marie Cassidy.
2004 Aug. 8 Arrangements and preparations were done by Andy and Hazel Douthwright. The church was comfortably full for the service. Otty Forgrave led the service. Rev. Meridith Fraser, pastor of Forest Hill United Church in Fredericton, delivered the message and Glenna Geer was the organist. Gordon Cassidy attended the service. Doug and Nancy Cassidy brought him from Moncton. Douthwrights have the church and cemetery in good condition. They regraded the access road to repair washouts from heavy rains. Douthwrights announced that their son plans to marry in the church in September.
2005 Jul. 24 Arrangements were made by Andy and Hazel Douthwright. Guest speaker was Jeanette Cosman, Staff Associate Minister of St. Paul’s United Church in Sussex. Organist was Glenna Geer.
2006 Aug. 13 Arrangements were made by Andy and Hazel Douthwright. Guest speaker was Rev. Peter Bagley.
2007 Aug. 12 Arrangements were made by Andy and Hazel Douthwright.
2008 Aug. 10 This was the 125th anniversary of the church. Andy and Hazel Douthwright made the arrangements including the picnic following the service. The church was repainted outside by Murray and Anita Monahan. It looked great. Guest speaker was Heanette Cosman a Designated Lay Minister RT’D. Glenna Geer was the organist. The church was packed and included a good representation of Cassidy family members from far and wide including 92-year old Elsie Cassidy to 12-day old Cassandra DiGiacinto and her parents Brenda and David. Remarks concerning the history of the church were made by Peter Cassidy [view remarks]. Following the service the Cassidy Lake DVD was shown in the sanctuary. Andy Douthwright provided a generator for power, Brian Jr. Cassidy provided an LCD projector, Peter Cassidy provided the screen and laptop.
2009 Aug. 9 Arrangements were made by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. Rev. Marion Lucas-Jeffries was the guest minister. Glenna Geer played the keyboard. The church was full and the weather ideal. Elsie Cassidy was still able to attend at 93 years old.
2010 Aug. 8 Arrangements were made by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. Guest minister was Rev. Father Peter F. Bagley of Norton. Otty Forgrave led the worship service. The church was full and the weather was great. New attendees were Shane and Kimberly Cassidy from Billerica, Mass. Elsie Cassidy attended at 94. Attendees also included Peter and Gwen Cassidy, Brian and Libby Cassidy, Brian Cassidy, Jr. and Tammy Ross, Brenda, David and Cassandra DiGiacinto, and Marie Cassidy.
2011 Aug. 14 Arrangements were made by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. The weather was ideal and the church was filled. Guest minister was Rev. Ali Smith, pastor at Forest Hill United Church in Fredericton. Otty Forgrave led the worship service and Glenna Geer played the keyboard. Brian and Libby provided special music. The Brian Cassidy family included himself and wife Libby, Brenda, David and Cassandra DiGiacinto, Brian Jr. Cassidy and Tammy Ross. Elsie Cassidy attended at 95. Peter and Gwen Cassidy also attended with Peter offering remarks on behalf of the Cassidy family. During the previous winter, vandals had broken a large number of windows on the west side which Andy Douthwright repaired.
2012 Aug. 12 Arrangements were made by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. Guest Minister was Jock Otis from Norton. Otty Forgrave led the service, Glenna Geer played the keyboard, Brian and Libby Cassidy provided special music. There were about 35 in attendance, many from around the lake. Attendees included Brian and Libby Cassidy, Brenda, David and Cassandra DiGicianto, Brian Jr. and Tammy Ross, Peter and Gwen Cassidy. Elsie Cassidy was not able to attend this year.The interior of the church has stood up well over the past year, however the outside is in serious need of painting and some of the clapboards need to be replaced. A more serious problem is with the foundation. About half of the sill on the west side is rotted away along with the upright supports. Structural repairs will soon need to be undertaken.
2013 Aug 11 Arrangements were made by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. Guest speaker was Lawrence Earle. Otty Forgrave led the service, Glenna Geer played the keyboard, Brian and Libby Cassidy provided special music.The church was packed with about 15 people unable to get inside. The weather was excellent. Attendees included Paul Cassidy and his daughter Madeleine, Eric Cassidy, Nicola Cassidy and her husband, Louis Cecile. Also attending were Brian and Libby Cassidy, Brenda, David and Cassandra DiGicianto, Brian Jr. and Tammy Ross, Peter and Gwen Cassidy, Catherine Cassidy, Paul Kushner and their sons Noah, Wesley, Gabriel and Ian.
2014 Aug 10 Arrangements were made by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. Guest speaker was Dawn Ellen Wedge a local United Church Lay Speaker. Glenna Geer was the organist and Otty Forgrave the worship leader. Brian and Libby provided music with violin and guitar. Peter Cassidy made brief remarks on the history of the Cassidy Family and the homestead operations at Cassidy Lake in the 1920s.The weather was very nice considering it was quite cool and showery the days previous. Attendance was about 37 including Paul Cassidy from Vancouver, Eric Cassidy from Fredericton, Peter and Gwen Cassidy from Nashville.
2015 Aug 9 Preparations were made by Hazel and Andy Douthwright. The church was clean, the grass cut including the road up to the cemetery and the cemetery itself. Gwen Cassidy played the keyboard powered by a generator. Brian and Libby Cassidy accompanied on their guitars. Otty Forgrave was the worship leader. Brian Cassidy arranged for Ali Smith, pastor at his church in Fredericton, to deliver the sermon. Weather was excellent. Peter Cassidy gave brief remarks on behalf of the Cassidy family. There were 35 in attendance including Paul Cassidy and his daughter Monique from Vancouver, BC.Hazel announced that this would be her last year to organize this service. Andy would continue to keep the grounds in shape, but someone else would need to handle the service and picnic coordination.
2019 Aug 11 This was a weekend gathering organized by Brian and Libby Cassidy. It included dinner Saturday night at the Old Bavarian restaurant just outside Sussex, presentations by Peter and Brian Cassidy on Cassidy family genealogy Sunday morning at the Amsterdam Inn in Sussex, followed by worship at the Francis Edward Cassidy Memorial Church at Cassidy Lake. Otty Forgrave was the worship leader, Rev. Bob Jones the speaker. Musicians were Bruce Cassidy on EVI, Gabriel Cassidy on keyboard, Brian Cassidy on guitar, and Libby Cassidy on violin. Attendees at the service included: Peter and Gwen Cassidy, Libby and Brian Cassidy, Catherine Cassidy, Paul Kushner and their boys Ian, Gabriel, Wesley and Noah Cassidy. Bob and Johanne Jones, Bruce and Susan (Cassidy) Lockhart, Andy Douthwright, Murray and Anita Monahan, Otty Forgrave, Wesla Sherwood, Donna and Alton Smith, Adleigh Smith, Bruce Cassidy, Brian Jr. and Tammy Cassidy, Susanne Cassidy Duggan, Patricia Murray, Eleanor and Ellert Wattis, Janice Wattis, Paul, Maddy and Dominique Cassidy, Hazel Rodgers, Paul and Jocelyn Atkinson, Troy, Maria Cassidy, Adleigh Smith, David DiGiacinto, Cassandra DiGicianto, Brenda Cassidy (DiGicianto), Ernest and Shirley Pollock, Warren Tabor, Bernadean Sherwood, Jim and Irene McEwen, Charles A. Brown, Gerald Brean, Bruce Mercer, Dawn Ellen Uledc(?), Doug and Brenda Floyd, John Duhl and Sue Prosser.

Watch video of the worship service.

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