The conference venue was full of
Dashper memorabilia. Photos, albums, laptop displays, and the huge and
amazing 99 page genealogy chart linked together over one whole side of
the room put together by committee member Judith and her husband Peter.
We were overawed by the range and breadth of information. The Dashper
family can be duly proud of their efforts. Many of the images and
information will now be added to the site once people are able to send
them digitally. Please don't forget if you are able to do this.
Despite some initial worries that we would not be able to fill the time
slots completely, we had more than enough material, and the emphasis
became on keeping the huge amount of information running to time. There
were so many highlights from the presentations of each country, which
gave the personal side to historical movements and the lives our
ancestors lived. Who can forget for example the struggle for
survival of Daniel Dashper's family in Canada, the American civil
war Dashper/Desper experiences, or the Australian Vegemite handouts.
Dashper Family watching the presentations by the international
organising committee (photo thanks to Peter)
Downloads (some still to come) : UK
(Judith's presentation word doc from her powerpoint), UK presentation
(Chris's word doc),
USA Dashper - Desper
Doc to accompany a large powerpoint on Dashper CDRom), USA Presentation
(Gloria's word doc), Australian Presentation
(Graeme's word Doc), Canadian Presentation (Linda's word doc), NZ
(Mark's word doc from powerpoint).
The reading from the Flora Thompson unfinished novel "Dashpers" had us
all spell-bound, and the Dashper Shrunken Sailor made us intrigued to
find out more. The Dashper X-files never fail to generate interest, and
a visit to Dashpers the previous day, linked us to the Dashpers house
saga (and the present houses on the site which are currently for
sale). Photos of each day were a treat to revisit, and we hope to
put a slideshow together to send out to everyone.
Guest visitors in the late afternoon were Alex Mettler (local Tavistock
Historian) and colleague Gerry Woodcock (Historian and former History
teacher). These gentlemen gave us a memorable and insightful window
into the times of our ancestors, and the conditions of the times.
We were led through time, looking at events which helped shape our
past. The focus of their talk was on the local town of Tavistock,
where a number of the family originate from, but the insights were of
interest to all. We thank them for their local flavour, and
were glad they could join us afterwards for afternoon tea. The
following day, some of us undertook a walking tour of Tavistock with
Alex, and observed first hand the places they had mentioned.
Finally, later that night, we sat down to a sumptuous Dashper
banquette. The meal was splendid, and from the entree of soup and fresh
baked bread, through to the mains of the most beautifully prepared and
displayed salads and an array of meats, steak and black bean, sweet and
sour pork, and noodle, to the delightful fruit platters, we ate
till we could eat no more. A true feast if ever there was
one. From there, after coffee we adjourned to the private bar
where we carried on the stimulating discussions and tall stories till
the wee hours when we all reluctantly had to say our goodbyes and
Many dear and long term friendships have no doubt been forged from this
family gathering, and we hope all of us will maintain contact whenever
we can. Many of us are already talking about the next one in
either five or ten years time, and the possibility of having National
Reunions in the meantime.
The 2005 committee are to be heartily congratulated on their hard work
and dedication. Each member had a crucial part to play, and the
fact that all communication internationally was largely done digitally
via the internet Dashper chatroom and emails, is testimony of the
awesome time leverage we are able to access in the 21st century. Many
of us are now sporting Dashper T-shirts, and drinking Vegemite drinks
Dashper Mugs (soon to become collectors items on EBAY).
The photos of our group show the unity
and commitment to carrying on
the links forged at this first Dashper Reunion. That, and the desire to
have our name spelt correctly, to get to things on time or
earlier, to hoard stuff to the point of obsession, and to be part
of the almost 70% of Dashpers who are a left-hander (some of the
genetically programmed Dashper traits we identified). Many of our
partners will be nodding their heads . . . as they have to live with