I have an incredible story to tell about how the Downhome Magazine bought a family together that had no idea the other existed and its all thanks to a story that I wrote in the Downhome Magazine, in 2008!
June 18, 2008, was I guess you could say the worse day in the lives of our family , or you can look at it the way we do and say it was the greatest day of our lives. It was the day we survived the capsizing of the pleasure craft Joyce's Dream, a 30 ft boat carrying six people, out in Conception Bay, with water temperature of 2 celisus. We survived the freezing Atlantic ocean for 52 minutes before being rescued by our friends!
Onboard that day were six Morgans, my husband Don, daughter Jill, my cousins Marlene, Wendy and Harvey Morgan and myself. Note the fact that we are all Morgans but from two different families! My husband Don's family of Morgans are know as the Barbers a nickname that was given to his Great Great Grandfather Joseph Morgan I, because he owned three schooners and fished on the Labrador, they said he shaved the grounds, hence, became known as Joseph Barber and the name has followed the family right to this day. My family of Morgans were known as the Reds it came from someone marrying a red head. I am telling you this because it is a very important part of this story.
Shortly after our story came out in the Downhome Magazine, Don and I were driving to St. John's and once we hit the TCH our cell phone rang, incidentally, I had the calls transferred from my house phone. The number came up with a 613 area code, I remember saying to Don I'm not going to answer that, its just a stupid telemarketer, boy am I glad I answered!! On the other end of the line was this incredible voice, a strong, clear totally awesome voice, the gentleman first asked is this Don Morgan's?, I said yes, he said is this Joyce? and once again I said yes, well he said, I'm Rev. Gerry Morgan, from Belleville, Ontario and I just read your story in the Downhome Magazine and Marlene looks just like my Aunt Flo! I was amazed with his story, he told us how his great grandfather was buried in a graveyard in front of a church in Port de Grave, and that he owned schooners, and before he could finish, I told him yes, and his name is Joseph and that he is Don's great great Grandfather! I than informed him that there were two Morgan families involved and that Marlene belonged to my side of the Morgan Family, no relation to Don's side. Well, we talked all the way to St. John's a forty five minute drive. Since that phone call, we have been in touch through phone calls and Rev. Gerry's wife Irene and I are now friends on Facebook.
This past summer Don and I went to Ontario for a two week vacation, and to spend Canada Day in Ottawa. We managed to get hotel rooms before and after Canada Day, but we needed a place to stay on June 30 and July 1. So of course what do one do these days, put the call out on Facebook, if anyone knows of a place for us to stay, we would really appreciate it!. Of course who answered the call Rev. Gerry! He called the next day and invited us to stay with him and Irene for as long as we wanted, if we didn't mind the drive back to Ottawa. I told him if he didn't mind us staying with him, we would really appreciate it. I also told him that we had planned on dropping by to meet them during our visit, so everything worked out that way. After spending a few days at the beginning of our trip in Ottawa we drove to Mississauga to surprise my 91 year old Aunt Clara Morgan, my side of the Morgans. We discovered that it would be to long of a trip to drive to Ottawa and back that night, so we were lucky enough to find a motel in Gatineau. I called them and told them that we had found accommodations elsewhere but we would love to come the night before and stay. Rev. Gerry said, by all means, the only thing we wouldn't have the dinner they had planned for us. I told him that's fine, we were just so excited to finally meet them.
we finally made it to Madoc and found them on a beautiful piece of property out in the country. For all of us it was a very special meeting, especially for Don and Rev. Gerry, none of us knew that the other existed. Rev. Gerry didn't know he even had an cousins here in NL, once we got chatting and talking about the family, he actually, has many relatives in NL. During our visit and I might add Irene prepared a meal fit for a King, I can only imagine what they were planning for our original visit.
When we first spoke to him and he introduced himself as Rev. Gerry, we mistakenly thought he was an Anglican minister, but once we got there, we soon realized that he wasn't an Anglican minister that he was a Pastor. He told us he was a Pentecostal Evangelist and that he once had his own radio talk show, TV show, and traveled quite a bit spreading the Gospel. You may wonder why I am telling you this bit of info but its important part of the story. Of course being very curious, I had to ask the question "How in the world did you come to have a Downhome Magazine?" His response; "I was in Toronto taking part in an Evangelist service, when after the service, this gentleman handed me two copies of the Downhome Magazine. I thought,what do I want these for? But being curious I opened one of them and lo and behold there you were!" He said that he couldn't believe it, a family of Morgans from Port de Grave, NL. He pondered the idea of "making the call" and after a little while he made that call and we are now connected as a family. This would never have happened if I didn't write the story of our ordeal in the Downhome Magazine, so very thankful that you printed it.
While visiting Pastor Gerry and Irene, we talked a lot about our family tree and trying to make the connections, we figured we had a lot of work to do. But its getting easier by the day, I have a group on FB known as "The Many Faces of the Port de Grave Peninsula," a place for anyone with connections to the peninsula to post pictures of their families. Another Morgan, not sure if she lives in Clarke's Beach or out of the province, doing research on her family of Morgans made a post looking for information on a Joseph Morgan. Well, it turns out that there is a major connection between all these Morgans.
Pastor Gerry kept talking about making the call. Even though he is 86 years old, he still does some preaching. I told him that the next time he preaches his sermon should be "Make the Call" because you never know how it will affect your life and who you will meet. I just want to say if you ever thought about "Making the Call," do it! I know from now on whenever I get the feeling that I should "Make the Call," I'm going to do it, because it has brought our family together that we never knew existed, and now we have such wonderful memories.
I am enclosing a couple of photos that we took while visiting Pastor Gerry and Irene, and we are holding the Downhome Magazines that brought us all together. Thanks once again, Downhome Magazine for sharing my story back in 2008, and I look forward to sharing this one. Who knows? Maybe we will find more Morgans!
Submitted By: Joyce Morgan