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February 25th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

95th BFA Reunion June 2008 in Portland, Maine

It’s time to register for the BFA’s 95th Annual Bunker Reunion to be held Portland, Maine June 11-14, 2008. According to BFA President Gil Bunker, Portland, especially the Merry Manor Inn, has rolled out the red carpet. “I am very confident this gala will be one of the best convocations of Bunker cousins. From all indications, Portland is a destination we may want to visit again. The advance response has been gratifying, even before the “official” reservation form is in your hands.”

The schedule calls for us to visit the Bunker Garrison site (a short trip into New Hampshire) and its nearby graveyard of Dover ancestors. It offers a pleasant trip into our heritage, and a quiet place to ponder the hardships of our forebears more than 300 years ago. In 1960, Anna Tenney of Newport, New Hampshire located the site and began its 11-year restoration. Eleven of our earliest pioneers (James 1 family) were buried in unmarked graves, lest the Indians desecrate their remains. Eight rough fieldstones marked additional graves of our ancestors, although the markers mysteriously increased to 15 by 1993. We are fairly certain about these departed cousins. White, marble engraved slabs identify the final 15 interments in the 1800s (plot list and diagrams will be distributed).

The Madbury graveyard contains the graves of Zachariah (D-11) and 30 family members. Fieldstones mark their final resting-place, only a few stones contain initials and/or dates. Special thanks go to Laurel Bunker, her sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Bob May, for helping with the discovery in 1986 and the restoration.

For those not up to a 10- or 12-hour Friday coach trip to Great Cranberry Island, an alternative guided excursion to local attractions will be provided by Steve Bunker, who owns and operates a nautical shop in Portland. However, the term nautical is not quite appropriate for his China Sea Marine Trading Co. For sure you can purchase a ship’s wheel or carved wooden mermaid, and in case you need to prevent sickness, Steve may provide an African fetish for your medicine cabinet. If it can ward off evil, as is claimed, you probably won’t need to worry about that headhunter’s knife. Rather then part with scarce, maritime “tools of the trade” to be hung on a forgotten wall, Steve will save the antique implements for working seamen. And you probably can’t buy a wood plane, unless you’re going to use it in the workshop. Steve traces his ancestors back to the Cranberry Isles and claims he personally knows “Ensign Ben.” We’ll just have to wait and see about that yarn, but as a tour guide, you’re in for an unusual day.

The Cranberry museum will be open and we’ll certainly pay respects at the graves of our formidable ancestors. Hopefully, the island Bunkers will join us during the walk-about. “Tinker” Bunker (D-1106) of SW Harbor will join the Cranberry tour and provide a personal glimpse into island life.

The host site is:

Best Western Merry Manor, So. Portland, ME
700 Main Street, South Portland, ME 04016
1-800-528-1234 or visit the web site www.merrymanorinn.com
Room rates, $69.00 + 7% tax – Mention BFA by name
Hotel Reservation deadline – May 30, 2008

Reunion Calendar

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 – Check-in: 3 p.m.
Hospitality Room, Greeting & Conviviality 3 p.m.
Hang your relatives on the clothesline exhibit – Tables available for displays, door prizes, BFA library, archives, etc.

Thursday, June 12, 2008
Dover, New Hampshire Tour (approx. 62 miles one-way) 1-7 p.m.
Charter coach tour to Bunker Garrison site and Graveyard; visit Madbury graveyard; tour Durham Museum; Dinner, on own, at Newicks, Dover Point, New Hampshire (seafood dining at its best).
Hospitality Room 7 p.m.

Friday, June 13, 2008
Great Cranberry Island, (approx. 175 miles one-way) 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Coach service from hotel to Northeast Harbor,
Beal & Bunker ferry to Great Cranberry Island

or Alternate Local Guided Tour

Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, Peaks Island; Eastern Promenade; Portland Head Lighthouse; Marine Observatory and cemetery with War of 1812 veterans. Lunch on island – Tour itinerary may vary – Times to be announced.
Hospitality Room 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 – Flag Day
Group Photo Session 6 p.m.
Banquet w/cash bar 6:30 p.m.
Choice of: Roast Beef, Chicken Cordon Blue, Seafood Newburg includes fresh baked rolls & butter, Chef’s choice of potato or rice, veggie du jour, salads, coffee, assorted tea, coffee, desert.
Entertainment by Ensign Ben 8:30 p.m. +/-
Raffle 9 p.m. +/-
Hospitality Room 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & 10 p.m. +/-

Sunday, June 15, 2008 – Father’s Day
Farewell breakfast on own – Checkout: noon

  • Bette Bunker Richards
    4:13 pm on April 12th, 2008 1

    This sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

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