Christmas in July sparks family reunion

Thanks to the talents of Tommy Jeffs and his team and the decoration of the Christmas Theme in shop windows, the Canowindra CBD has become a real hub for Celebrations of Christmas in July.

From a small gathering a few years ago, inspired by Peta Bassett of Bangkok, elder granddaughter of the late Frank and Nita Bassett, prominent citizens of Canowindra, this year’s Bassett Reunion/Christmas in July grew to a resounding twenty three adults and five children.

Direct descendants, their partners, grandchildren and friends gathered at the Old Vic Inn from Bangkok, Brisbane, Canberra, Kingscliffe, Sydney, Coonabarabran, Quirindi, Boorowa and Canowindra over the weekend of July 8-9. They enjoyed a delicious Christmas lunch, swapping stories and memories, with plenty of laughter and banter.

William and Jane Bassett were pioneers of the Canowindra district arriving from the Bendigo area in 1898 settling on a property called Pine Lodge, now owned by Leo and Trish Wren on Nanami Lane, Toogong.

Of the eleven Bassett children three branches were represented. They were those of Tom and Ettie Bassett (Hart) of Oakleigh, Eugowra Road Canowindra, Arthur and Ethel Bassett (Nash) of Carella, Nyrang Creek and Fred and Nell (Bassett) Young of Cowra.   

The reunion continued with a visit to the Canowindra Cemetery to discover the family graves. The visitors remarked on the well-kept area, and paid tribute to the Cabonne Council and the volunteers who care for it.

The celebrations continued at the former Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, now Eddy’s of Canowindra, with a value-added birthday celebration for Judy Forno, a granddaughter of the late Arthur and Ethel.  

On Sunday, some of the cousins enjoyed breakfast at the Deli Lama and lunch at Finns’ Old Store and many of them spent an interesting time at the Canowindra Historical Society’s Museum, in full swing as it prepares for the Fiftieth Anniversary since its inception.  

All agreed that this should become an annual event at Canowindra and many hope to return on September 2 for the Historical Museum’s Celebrations.

As the families have scattered far and wide, it’s good to know that there is still a Bassett presence, with Clive and Margaret Bassett owning the premises in Gaskill Street, once owned by the late Mrs Ada Stinson (Bassett) where she conducted a children’s wear and wool shop for many years, followed by her nephew and Clive’s father, the late Frank Bassett conducting an art gallery. 

A successful computer business is now functioning in the shop.   

Local resident Margie Crowther, granddaughter of the late Nell and Fred, together with Annie Wooldridge, the daughter of Margie and her partner Andrew (Wooly) Wooldridge on the Rivers’ Road, are the only direct Bassett descendants in the district.

The cousins are grateful for the link they have with this well-known family. Thank you Canowindra for giving us all a great welcome!