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On the weekend of July 24 & 25 2010, some 150 descendents of Joseph Lusk gathered at the Luskville Community Centre in Luskville, Quebec. It was a perfect summer day, perhaps similar to the very day of Joseph’s arrival to the site from County Antrim, Ireland. When he gazed at the Eardley Flats, the mountains in the background, and the Ottawa River in the distance he decided to stay and make this place which bears his name his home.

And stay he did! He and his wife Esther Balmer raised 9 children (three were born in Ireland), and their descendents flourished in numbers and in land-holdings. At the time of their deaths in 1873 (Joseph) and 1878 (Esther), they and their descendents had acquired 2000 acres. Nearly every farm in the area was owned by a Lusk.

Today the Lusks are scattered, and few live in Luskville. It is in gatherings such as these reunions that our heritage is celebrated and memories shared.

The 2010 Reunion started with registration at 2pm, followed by a “meet and greet” of dozens of cousins, and then visits to local attractions. There was background music provided by Audrey Davis, Margaret Cote, Marion Normoyle and the Daleys with their guitars, while people mingled At 6pm 150 guests sat down for dinner, and afterwards the Nick Fahey Band and guest fiddler Peter Dawson got people off their feet with lively country music. Guests were also treated to songs by Gail Gaven, pride of the Pontiac, and soon to be an inductee in the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame.

The next morning 110 hungry people were treated to a country buffet breakfast with all the fixings. Then it was up to the old St. Luke’s Cementary, where Joseph and Esther are buried, to pay respects to this couple with a vision, and who today, were they living, would be in complete awe of their many descendents and their successes. Lusk descendents joined members of St. Luke’s Church on the lawn for their annual Graveyard Decoration and Memorial Service, conducted by Rev. Captain David Lajeunesse.

The reunion was a wonderful success enjoyed by all due to the efforts of organizers Pat Lusk and Betty Lusk, their support committee, and others too numerous to mention. This is the third Lusk Reunion that Pat Lusk has organized (the prior ones being in 1980 and 1985). Bonnie Storing revised and compiled the 255-page 2010 Lusk Reunion Book, originally researched and compiled by Joan McKay. A limited number of T-shirts and books are still available by contacting Betty Lusk at bbs1.lusk@sympatico.ca or by telephone at 613-798-9828.

Tentative plans are already underway for a reunion to celebrate the 200th anniversary of when Joseph and Esther arrived in Luskville. If you think you might be a descendent of Joseph Lusk, or if you missed the 2010 gathering, keep in mind 2020. We’d love to hear from you.

NOTE: Annie Scott Lusk and Fred Lusk lived across the road from the Luskville Town Hall, built on Lusk land in 1870, before their time. In 1961, nearly 20 years after Fred’s death, Annie gave the Town Hall property to the municipality. An addition to the Town Hall will be completed in September 2010, and a plaque honouring Ånnie and the Lusks will be erected there.

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