2016 : Laval, QC

You missed Something Special...


by André Sindon, translated by Lea Vachon

That is what I would have answered if, on Sunday morning, someone had asked me:

“How was the Saindon weekend in Laval?”

A discovery for all, the enthusiasm and high spirits of family of Jean-Maurice, the organizer of this year’s Reunion.  A group unknown to us until now, but who impressed us with their vivacity and joie de vivre throughout the weekend.


On Friday

The Wine and Cheese Friday evening was copious and delicious. I believe Réal, our legendary chef, had a role to play in the choice of cheeses. 

Before and during the meal, photos of our 20th Reunion in 2015 flashed across the screen, thanks to our newly acquired digital projector.

In spite of competition from the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio Olympics, there were 35 participants Friday and the next day we were more than 70, a record for the Montreal Region where we often only draw about 50: did the Saindons from the Bas-du-Fleuve find the distance too far? And yet, it is the same distance in the other direction! 

On Saturday

Saturday morning, under a scorching heat, but thankfully tolerable in the basement of the St Claude church, the activities started with coffee and donuts followed by an enthralling presentation by Réal on his ascension of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Breathtaking views, extraordinary landscapes and thrilling details on the stages and difficulties of his trip. He was with a group of 20 participants and in the previous months had done 43 summits in Quebec and Northern USA in preparation for this climb.

The Annual General Meeting

At the Annual General Meeting that followed, we highlighted the presence of Anne-Marie Saindon from Connecticut and Dale Miller (son of Don Miller and Irene Wallace) and his wife Gabrielle from Florida.

In addition to the reports on ongoing business, there were presentations on two new projects: one, on the possibility of confirming the origin of our first ancestor by a comparison of DNA from a descendant of Michel Saindon from Acadia and a descendant of one of his brothers in France; and the second, on the publication of a revised version of our Dictionary in English. Also, Robert A. Saindon from Montana was nominated honorary member for his numerous researches on the Saindon history.
At the elections, two available positions on the Board of Directors were filled by Claude Saindon of Longueuil and Martine Saindon of Ottawa.  The new Board is now composed of:

Martine Saindon:       President
Lea Vachon:              Vice-President
Réal Saindon:           Treasurer
Claude Saindon:       Secretary
André Sindon:           Administrator

The Casino

After a delicious BBQ lunch, it was time for the Casino; Four tables: 2 Blackjack, 1 Poker and 1 Roulette.
The dealers were quite willing to explain the play, rules and procedures for the games and there was a strong participation.

The ultimate aim of the afternoon was to win/accumulate the most “chips” to gain entry at the end into the Super Elimination Blackjack of seven participants.  The two final winners both received special prizes.  During all this time, photos of Réal’s safari projected on the screen. 

Banquet and show

The banquet that followed was succulent and bien arrosé and featured entertainment by Lyne Raîche, musician, singer and comedian, who really brought the evening to life.
Folksongs, singalongs, imitations that brought out the enthusiasm of all present who conga-lined and line danced throughout the hall.  In addition, Jean-Maurice’s sister demonstrated her talents as a cantatrice.

A truly memorable weekend.  Jean-Maurice, obviously moved and very satisfied with the results of his efforts to provide us with a reunion full of new, different and engaging activities.