This year’s National Family Reunion was very interesting for those who attended and although our numbers were fewer than in the past, we enjoyed a great outpouring of interest and support at our activities.  Some of the highlights:
  1. Pat & Rodney Walker Reception
  2. Most Interesting Historical Display
  3. The Welby Holmes Walker home tour
  4. A South African comes to Southeastern Idaho on a mission
  5. The Simeon Walker Missionary Journals
  6. New Family Reunion Schedule and Location
  7. The William Holmes Walker Journals
Pat & Rodney Walker Reception: Many enjoyed the opportunity to sit and visit with Pat and Rodney Walker. Rodney has worked tirelessly in the John Walker Family Organization for over 55 years! Pat is always by his side tirelessly helping us sign impaired individuals communicate with him. They were so happy to meet such a large number of you in person.

Most Interesting Historical Display:  We were all very intrigued by the opportunity to see the southeastern Idaho Merchant Tokens presented by Paul D. Walker of Hamer, Idaho.  It never occurred to us that money was not available in the early history of settling the West.  Trading tokens were used as a medium of exchange when bartering was inadequate.  These beautifully crafted coins represent a very interesting bygone era.

The Welby Holmes Walker home tour: A number of cousins stopped by the Welby Holmes Walker home which is still stands in Lewisville Idaho.

A South African comes to Southeastern Idaho on a mission : We had the opportunity to hear President and Sister Bricknell, of Johannesburg South Africa speak to our family gathering. Pres. Bricknell spoke fondly about the heritage of William Holmes Walker, one of the first LDS missionaries to South Africa. The name of William Holmes Walker is still recognized by the people there.  Pres. Bricknell recounted his personal connection and his gratitude to William Holmes Walker for his mission to South Africa in 1852 to 1855.  The direct result of which is his being blessed with membership in the church today.

The Simeon Walker Missionary Journals:
Perhaps the single most important role of the Walker Family Organization is to provide a gathering point and then a distribution mechanism for original historic information.  And by what could only be truthfully ascribed to divine intervention, we were once again this year blessed with the opportunity to discover yet another priceless original historical artifact, the missionary journals of Simeon Walker, born 6 Jul1852. Simeon was the eldest son of William Homes Walker and Mary Jane Shadden, and served a mission to England from 1895 to 1897.
This beautifully handwritten account includes poetry, diary, and historical entries written by Simeon and includes extensive, never before archived, information about early missionary activities in the United Kingdom. We are working on placing these journals on line. 

New family reunion schedule and location
As the scope of the John walker family continues to grow in an exponential fashion, it becomes necessary from time to time to adjust the model of its administration.  One of the decisions made this year, in the general assembly, was to reduce the frequency of national family reunions to each five years.
Accordingly, the next family reunion will be held in the New England area in August and September of 2010.  It will be a historical tour by bus and will be quite limited in scope.  Initial plans include visits to Boston, MA, Woodbury,  CT, and Peacham, VT, the early history sites of our family.  Watch for more details to come.

The William Holmes Walker Missionary Journals :
The second edition of the William Holmes walker missionary transcriptions was published in that time for the family reunion. This nicely bound volume is a wonderful companion to the big red book.  It contains William Holmes Walker’s original handwritten journals of his experiences in the south African nation in 1852 - 1855.  This is different from the “Life and Travels’s” book written by Elizabeth Jane Walker Piepgrass as it contains the actual images of William’s  handwriting along with a plain text rendition of each page in his journal.  There are 500 copies of the book and the last edition sold out immediately.  Please order online by sending $24.00 to John Walker Family Organization, P.O. Box 136338, Lake Worth, TX 76136–0338