Wednesday, March 30, 2011
THE FIRST FAMILY REUNION
As the yearlong celebration of the 200th-year anniversary of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase was winding down, the heirs of Jules and Victorine Bayonne held a reunion in 2003 to honor our grandfather who made a purchase of land that would enrich his descendants 136 years later.
The Bayonne Family reunion was the brainchild of my father's first cousin, Vera Colar Keene, granddaughter and administratrix for the Succession of Jules and Victorine Bayonne. Vera's idea was to bring the family together, many who have never met, to celebrate Jules and to provide an opportunity to share the family history. My cousin, Byron Coleman and I co-chaired the Reunion Planning Committee.
The first Bayonne Family reunion was held in New Orleans, Louisiana from July 18-20, 2003. It was attended by ninety-five family members, descendants of four of Jules and Victorine Bayonne's children. We came from eight states: California, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina.
By the end of 1970s, Pointe Coupee Parish entered a period of prosperity with the discovery of oil and gas deposits beneath the property that Jules and and his partner, Francis, purchased in 1870 and the surrounding area. As a result of a successful suit against Chevron, USA in the 1980s and the opening of the succession of Jules and Victorine Bayonne, the Bayonne heirs were awarded royalties for their ownership interests. BP Production Company acquired the rights to drill wells from Chevron, USA many years ago. In the year 2011, we continue to reap the benefits of a purchase made by my great-grandfather in 1870.