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1932 or 1933
Annis Family Reunion

Special to the Mail and Empire

Whitby June 25 -- More than two hundred members of the Annis family, descendants of Curmack Annis, who left Ireland for America in 1662, gathered at the annual reunion held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Annis, Port Union, Saturday. Many came from Toronto, Scarboro, Oshawa, Bowmanville and surrounding farms and Mr. and Mrs. J. Sills travelled from Santiago Calif. to attend.

Officers elected included George Annis, Bowmanville, President; Will Miller, Shaw Street, Toronto, vice-president; Allin Annis, Oshawa, secretary; Grace Annis, Scarboro, assistant; Wilfred Lick, Oshawa, treasurer.


Two Hundred Attend Annis Family Party

Couple Travel From California for Annual Event
Levi Annis Ill

Pickering, June 26 -- Members of the Annis family, descendants of hardy pioneer settlers who made their home along the lakeshore between Bowmanville and Toronto, gathered for the 30th Annual Reunion at the attractive farm home of Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Annis, Port Union, on Saturday. More than two hundred joined in the picnic, many coming from Toronto, Oshawa, Whitby, Bowmanille, Markham, West Hill and farms of the district, while  still others came from Mitchell and Stratford. Mr. and Mrs W. Sills of Santiago, California, held the record for distance, however, making the long journey with the intention of attending the event.

Regret was expressed by speakers following the supper that Levi Annis, retiring president, had not been able to attend, due to ill health. He had compiled the family history, a long and arduous task but one appreciated by members of the family.

It was mainly through courage of hardy pioneers such as the Annis forefathers that Ontario had been settled, Captain S. Lambert of Christie Street hospital informed the gathering.

George Annis of Bowmanville was chosen president of the family executive, with Will Miller of 557 Shaw St. Toronto as vice president; Allin Annis, Oshawa barrister, was chosen as secretary with Miss Grace Annis of Scarboro as assistant secretary; and Wilfred Lick, Oshawa, as treasurer. Conveners of the sport program for next year are Hugh Annis of Enniskillen and Blake Annis of Whitevale.

Among the older members of the family present Saturday were Thomas Chester, 82 years of age of West Hill, Mrs. Emily Annis Chester of West Hill, Mr. David Annis, 78, of Whitevale, Mrs. Emma Cowan of Rosebank and Mrs. Annie Collins of Scarboro.

The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #9

Annis Women

It would appear that the stalwart sires of the Annis race made a wise decision in their choice of a mate, for the Annis women were expert home-makers and wise loving mothers.

Miss Hazel Annis, daughter of Garry and Sarah Anne Pugh Annis, still living on the old homestead, tells of the good old days of large family gatherings when young and old were closely packed around a dining table, 20 feet long, on which were placed a turkey, a goose, a pair of ducks and a pair of chickens, with more in the warming oven. The vegetables and condiments were on the table in large dishes, and pies and plum pudding in abundance.

Miss Hazel tells also that the early members of the Clan were wonderful horsemen and women. Her own father drove a notable pair of carriage horses named Pat and Mike. After the Church services, and family were all seated in the democrat for the return home, Mike always reared up on hind legs with front legs pointed skywards, came down again on all fours and started to race home. When her father was asked the meaning of this he explained "You see, Pat is a good Methodist and Mike is a staunch Presbyterian and must stand to say a prayer before he leaves the Kirk".

It is said of Elizabeth, wife of William Annis, that she was a fully consecrated Christian mother, and her religious devotion and influence has been transmitted to every member of the large family. The women of each succeeding generation have proved their worth  in their day and generation. We quote one, Elizabeth (Aunt Betsy) Annis Washington, who, at one time, found she must go out on an errand, leaving her children at home. Saddling her trusty horse, she turned from the door to see a great black snake. His escape might mean the death of her children. She urged her mount forward and back to trample the vermin to death.

There is a tradition that Aunt Betsy could do wonderful things with horses. In that day, fodder was chopped for the cattle by machinery operated by horse power. Several teams must walk around a stationary table and someone must remain on that table, or stand to urge the horses into steady action. Aunt Betsy could do that while breast-feeding a baby or knitting the family stockings.

Once, while driving with her husband to Washington Church (which they had founded and supported), a tiny fawn stood before them in the path. Aunt Betsy stepped hastily from the democrat, removed the beautiful, long handknit garter from her leg, and led the fawn back to their cattle barn, amid much hilarity from the children. There was no Sunday School for them on that day.

Many women of the Annis clan have devoted their lives to religious work, both at home and abroad. Others have given to the world the blessings of life through the nursing profession, especially in the armed forces. Miss Pearl Courtice gave distinguished service in the First World War and married Rev. Captain Sidney Lambert.

We quote the words of a clan member: "Can we forget the part played in the lives of our mothers? It is with interest we recall the straw hat weaving, the woolcarding, spinning and knitting, the sewing -- our clothes being home-made until we were fourteen when our first store suit was bought. Those were industrious days which brought happiness and contentment to all".

The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #8


More About the Annis Family
Founders of Scarborough

Andrew Annis Buys his homestead
Fanny Annis Scrapbook (More Annis links listed here too)
Wing Commander Annis Award O.B.E.
Auction sale Lucy and Will Annis Estate