Mardenborough family reunion to be biggest ever

Registration being held

After successful reunions in the United States and in the Dominican Republic, one of St. Maarten’s largest native families is holding its third family reunion in St. Maarten, where it is believed the family originated.

The Mardenborough family reunion will be held in St. Maarten July 12 – 19 and will include a number of fun and exciting activities to bring the family together to rediscover their rich history. The family is also hoping to finalise its family tree during the weeklong event, which is expected to draw some 200 family members from the Netherlands, United States, Anguilla, Aruba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic and St. Martin.


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About 129 persons have already expressed interest in attending the reunion, which kicks off with an opening ceremony at the French Quarter Cultural Center on July 12 from 7:00pm. The details of the opening ceremony are still being fine tuned but it will include a brief history of the family and fun and frolic.

The reunion will continue with a church service at the Cole Bay Methodist Church on July 13 at 11:00am.

Family members will also be treated to an island tour with visits to several historical sites including the two fortes on both sides of the island starting at 1:00pm on July 13. The tour will also include visits to the Butterfly Farm and will wind its way pass the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facilities, when over one million cruise passengers disembark per annum.

Fun and frolic is the theme for a beach outing slated for Le Gallion Beach on July 14 from 10:00am.
The historical Emilio Wilson Historical and Cultural Park will provide the perfect backdrop for a family picnic carded for July 15 from 10:00am. The day out will feature fun and traditional St. Maarten/St. Martin games, the sharing of memories and all round fun. The reunion will wind down with a buffet at Le Flamboyant Hotel on July 16.

Family members will get a chance to relax and do some individual touring with a free day on Friday July 17. Other activities are planned for July 18 and 19.

Family members can now register for the reunion by contacting main organisers Sharon Cangieter (524-1112); Leona Patrick-Gibbs (553-6168) and Charles Benders (522-5759). Registration ends on Wednesday, July 8.

Registrants will have to pay US $80 for adults and US $30 for children (ages 4- 12) for the entire week of activities. The fee includes a T-shirt bearing the Mardenborough family logo. Those interested in participating only in the buffet dinner pay US $40 per adult and US $15 per child (age four to 12). Purchasing the T-shirts only is US $10 each.

The reunion was first held in the United States in 2003. The second one was also held in the US in 2005 and the third in the Dominican Republic in 2007

The family decided to hold the reunion in St. Maarten this year for family members to acquaint themselves with relatives they haven’t met and to bring the family closer together.

The Mardenborough family is related to the Hodge, Cangieter, Eduardo, Benders, Sutton, White, Patrick, Gibbs, Arrindell, Arundell, Arndell, Lynch, Biggs, Buntin, Pantophlet, Richardson, Carolina, Romney, Henson, LeBlanc, Helligar, Carti, Lambert, Morris, Schmidt and many other families.

Patrick-Gibbs, a court recorder who along with her children attended one of the reunions in the US, said information collected thus far shows that the family tree dates as far back to the eighteen hundreds when the late Richard Mardenborough, a Dutch Quarter resident tied the knot with Georgiana "Gumbs/Baker" Biggs.

Patrick-Gibbs is a fifth generation Mardenborough while Cangieter, who works in the education sector is a sixth generation Mardenborough and Benders, a central government employee, a fifth generation family member.

Also on the coordinating team are Antonio Carolina, a banking employee, is treasurer of the committee and is also assisting with the Information Communications (IT) aspects; catering committee head entrepreneur Doris Lynch-Gibbs, and educator Rosa White, who is representing the family in French St. Martin and head of the decoration committee.
The coordinating committee invites all family members to sign up and be part of this historic reunion, which is shaping up to be the biggest ever. Check out their website for more details: www.