Beaudrys bond after 10 years


David Blatchley/contributing photographer
Sue Beaudry and James Reusch review family photos before signing in at the Beaudry family reunion Saturday at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex. The family traces its local roots to G. Fred Beaudry, a prominent Cortland businessman.

Staff Reporter

CORTLANDVILLE — It took five family members nine months to contact 150 people across 19 states, which brought together one family last weekend.
However, despite the rain, the math all added up for members of the Beaudry family as they gathered for the first time in 10 years at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex on Saturday.
“My uncle Steve passed away and we had a memorial service here last fall and my cousin Steve Jr. said, ‘It’s really too bad that we don’t get together when we are having happier times,’” John Preston, a Beaudry on his mother’s side of the family and a 1966 Homer High School graduate, said about what prompted the gathering.
Although some of the outdoor festivities were rained out, the family, with members from as far away as Seattle, Wash., gathered at the complex on Route 11 for a barbecue and had hopes that the weather would permit a bonfire and a fireworks show later in the evening.
“We hadn’t had a reunion in 10 years; the last time we had one was in 1996,” said Preston, 57, of New York City. “There are five branches of the family and we got someone from each branch of the family to be a point of contact. I don’t know if we have an accurate count of how many there are of us but there is suppose to be 150 people here today and we have only planned for 120.”
Fred Beaudry III of Owego organized the last reunion and has also kept detailed records of the family’s history — a history that is also a major part of the city of Cortland’s history.
“This is the family of G. Fred Beaudry and his wife, Harriet Anstance Jones,” he said. “Mr. Beaudry was a businessman in this community. He came here in the 1860s. He had a retail business in Cortland and eventually he became a wallpaper manufacturer.”
Beaudry explained that the original local Beaudrys — his grandparents — had nine children and 20 grandchildren, which has now grown into the large family they are today.
“This morning we went to Beaudry Park,” he said. “It was named in honor of my grandfather 55 years ago this month, and unfortunately we got rained out.”
Beaudry had five charts, along with numerous pictures, displayed on a table in the foyer of the sports complex. Each chart was a detailed history of each of the five branches that came out of the nine Beaudry children, leaving four children who never had families of their own.
Beaudry said over the years he has been able to gather all the information through contact with cousins, and there are many children who are fourth and fifth generations of the family, who will be seeing their history for the first time.
“In 1992 I got interested in genealogy through a distant cousin,” he said. “I didn’t have any papers or anything like that and today I’ve got probably 20 large three-ring binders filled with family group sheets and narratives. So then I started organizing that into family groups.”
Steve Beaudry Jr., 62, the spark of the 2006 reunion, was integral in the organization of the event and managed to do so from Seattle.
“Well, electronic e-mail is a pretty fast way of doing it,” he said when asked about his organizational process. “Once we got e-mail straightened out, it was actually pretty easy. We didn’t send out anything by service mail; it was all electronic or voice, we even had conference calls.”
Coming to the reunion with his wife, Susan, his brother David and his wife, Karen, plus brother Jeff and his wife, Judy, from Portland, Maine, Steve brought 14 people from two states including his two children, their spouses and children, three nieces and nephews and their spouses and children, his sister and his mother.
Steve Beaudry also brought yellow family T-shirts with a picture of G. Fred and Harriet Beaudry on the back. The picture shows the family patriarch dressed in short pants, knee socks, a coat and cap holding the back of a double seated bicycle, while his wife is wearing a dress and cap common for the early 20th century and is perched on the front seat of the bike.
“My son in-law works for a company that can do this at cost,” he said as he pointed at the shirts, which were piled on a table as he handed them out to incoming relatives.
With so many members traveling from so far away, the family made good use of its time. Members planned events not just for Saturday, but also for Thursday and Friday.
“We basically wanted to have a multi-day reunion, not just a one-day reunion,” Steve Beaudry said. “We all met at Hobo’s out on Route 281 on Thursday night for a mini reunion, then we went to the Cortland Country Club and had a luncheon on Friday. Our great-grandfather was one of the founding members there and a number of my dad’s brothers were club champions way back in the ’40s.”
Among the children playing basketball on the covered floor of the ice rink Saturday, hugs and kisses from cousins who have not seen each other in years, grandparents and great-grandparents showing pictures and telling stories and the smell of chicken on the grill, Preston said that the camaraderie is the most important part of a reunion that happens all too seldom.
“Probably the most special event is that we are all getting together,” he said. “We’re just trying to reconnect.”



City firm would get $1M contract

Managing Editor

A package of 2007 defense spending bills that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee late Thursday includes $1 million that would be awarded to a Cortland business.
Cortland Companies would get the money to continue investigating the use of lightweight, synthetic materials and novel cable construction to replace steel cables that stop aircraft on Navy aircraft carriers, Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Friday afternoon.
“Synthetic cables could improve the factor of safety of the entire system by 60 percent,” according to a press release issued jointly by Schumer and Clinton. “The use of synthetic cable also possesses a potential weight savings of 62 tons per carrier and increases arresting gear performance by 25 percent.”
The weight savings would result in an estimated $5 million in annual savings per aircraft carrier in fuel, labor and maintenance costs, John Stidd, president of Cortland Cable and CEO of parent company Cortland Companies, said this morning.
Stidd said Cortland Cable has been working on the project for  two years.
Cortland Companies received $1 million in contracts for fiscal year 2005 and 2006 and the proposed 2007 funding would continue the design and testing of the cable. The request for 2007 was $2 million, but that has been cut in half.
The original estimated budget for the development of the new cable was $6 million, Stidd said. He said that if the proposed contract for 2007 and another $1 million contract for 2008 are approved, the company can probably complete the development within the total $4 million budget.