Sunday, June 25, 2006

Reunion 2006: Toronto, Ontario

Reunion 2006

On June 24 and 25th, more than 50 ex-alumnos canadienses de CIASP Canada gathered at Toronto's Scarboro Foreign Mission center to meet old friends and relive experiences from forty years ago. There were earlier regional CIASP/CEPIA reunions — Toronto's organized by Bruce Weber in 1984 & Ottawa's hosted by Jean Quesnel in the late 1990's — but Reunion 2006 was truly a national gathering because the internet made communication possible even after many years of lost contact.

CIASPers came to Toronto from across Canada, and reconnected with dear friends for the first time since the 1960's. Many brought their amazing archive of photographs and slides, and some people even dragged out dusty old souvenirs collected in the Huasteca Hidalgo. Of course, everyone shared memories and told their true tales of unforgettable adventures and misadventures. As things wound down on Saturday night, our "venerable" CIASP elders shared their personal memories of CIASP's beginnings in 1963, while many others variously related their happy, unusual, emotional and sad remembrances from times in the Huasteca and the lasting impact this had on their later careers in Canada. We also learned more about CIASP's final demise in 1970.

The only concrete archive of CIASP-Canada resides in the collective memory of we 700+ CIASPers , and this 2006 gathering was a living example of how long-ago events can continue to generate joy, sadness and even the personal validation of a youth well-spent. Beyond everything else, the pictures and stories from those days made us laugh and smile with fondness as we remembered the incredible patience, generosity and kindness of our Mexican hosts.

Although the internet allowed us to resurrect a long lost connection, the fact is that reunion 2006 would never have taken place without the persistence and dedicated commitment of Joe Lynch. He forged ahead to make it happen, and he created an organizing committee that brought it about. Without Joe, our personal connection with each other would no doubt have remained circulating endlessly in cyberspace.

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Anonymous said...

The following message was posted to the bulletin board by Beth Kubick in New Hampshire

Since Art & I met through our CIASP experience in Mexico, we have thought often of CIASP over the years. But our time in Mexico was especially in our hearts THIS year--we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary, and for the party our four sons made a commemorative video that included scenes of our CIASP group and the tiny village we worked in (San Juan Bautista de Jonotla, in the state of Puebla--4 hours from the nearest road or electricity!). We hope to make contact with some of our former co-workers and others of you whose paths may have crossed with ours in the summer of 1965 in Mexico City (during the training sessions and leaders conference at the convento at Tlalpan). Wish we could have been at the reunion this past weekend!--Beth Kubick
PostalCode - 03057
Projects - Jonotla, estado de Puebla
ProvinceState - New Hampshire (USA)
Type - amigo
Years - 65

Anonymous said...

Art Kubick wrote a review of a Maryknoll Publication about lay participation in Latin America.
The book is called "Like Grains of wheat: A Spirituality of Solidarity", (Maryknoll, NY, Orbis Books, 2004). Anyone interested in reading the review can go to