GALLERY: Family of 100s reunite at ancestor's favourite bar
HUNDREDS of descendants of a renowned Freestone couple reunited in the very place their ancestor enjoyed a tipple way back in the 1800s.
Six generations of offspring who trace their lineage back to Freestone's John and Julia Nolan came together from all corners of the region to celebrate their heritage in Warwick this weekend.
With Irish blood in each of them, St Patrick's day seemed like the opportune time.
But organising a reunion of over 100 family members required some serious logistical planning.
"John and Julia had 8 children and the descendants of all those families are represented here today,” said organiser Mary Bourke.
With all those Nolans, you'd need a hotel to house them, so it was lucky there was one in the family.
O'mahony's Hotel owner and Nolan descendant Joan Wallace said the Irish pub held special significance for the family.
"This was the bar where John Nolan used to quench his thirst and my mother (one of the 8 children) remembers coming here in a horse and sulky as a little girl,” she said.
"They would go to the cattle sales across the road.”
In a show of great authenticity, one of the relatives actually brought a genuine horse and sulky along to the reunion to entertain the kids with rides.
Ms Wallace said the day gave her the chance to meet relatives she'd never met before, but it was a good thing they wore name tags.
"It's probably going to be the last gathering of the clan here because the hotel is going on the market soon,” she said.
The family certainly made the most of the space, spreading out in the beautiful courtyard to enjoy speeches and a Nolan family trivia competition.
Relatives enjoyed the opportunity to trowel through family memorabilia, share more than a century worth of stories and enjoy the company of common blood.