San Antonio '01
In the Beginning..
Expats of Shanghai have witnessed many changes from the early 90's to present day Shanghai with it's glitz and glamor.
Included in this website are some pictures from past and present - Plus, pictures of us all celebrating in different cities since coming back to the world we're used to.
The first Shanghai Expatriate Reunion was developed by Margo and Bob Wikman along with Gerri and Owen Amann. On the Wikman’s back deck in Riverview, Michigan a lot of “big” decisions were made. It was decided that anyone living in Shanghai had really special connections to each other and once repatriated to their home country, what was needed was a reunion to renew friendships and talk as much as we wanted about our experiences in Shanghai to people who actually knew and cared what we were talking about.
Margo set out to contact everyone she had ever known in Shanghai and asked them to do the same and have everyone contact her . From this, an extensive data base (which Margo still maintains) as folks let her know their “comings and goings” was developed.
San Antonio '01
The first reunion, it was decided, would be held in San Antonio, Texas, and the fifth, way off in the future, would reunite us all back in Shanghai.
The “ground rules” we discussed were presented to the 'Pioneers".....
Owen and Gerri Amann, Helen and Wayne Brock, Christine and Dave Cullen, Linda and John Curry, Doug and Sandy Davis, Ken and Joyce Grassi, Ed and Sandra Hearnsberger, Jim and Marlene Hogan, Sue and Ray Jones (who brought along Ray’s brother for this first reunion), Thorpe and Mary Ellen McConville, Kathie and Dave Sherman, Dick and Mary Anne Wolthuis, and Bob and Margo Wikman voted on at our SA reunion were that it would be held in September after schools were back in session (better hotel rates and better chance of it being well attended because we are not interfering with summer vacations) but before the Canadian October Thanksgiving (we want to be sure all our Canadian Expats can come).
The reasons to make San Antonio, Texas the site of our first reunion were that Texas was pretty central territory and as regards travel wouldn’t favor East or West Coast inhabitants. San Antonio had an airport easy to connect to from anywhere in the world plus as tourists there would be lots for us to do. At the initial planning stages, we decided the reunions should travel around the country so that no matter where you lived, hopefully, at some point, the reunion would be held in your area. A lot of decisions were made in our initial discussion such as name tags that would show your name, years you lived in Shanghai and your hometown today. Other things we decided in our initial planning was that we would hold a first night “meet and greet” so everyone could see who had shown up and informally plan their individual “reunion” time together with their best friends and that a farewell dinner would be held. The rest of the time you would be on your own . . this is definitely not a group who needs to have every minute planned for them, so it would give old friends plenty of time just to catch up. The rest is history as we have held pretty much to the plan set forth.
The Amanns and Wikmans made The Marriott on the Riverwalk reunion as headquarters and our Friday night meet and greet was held . We had 39 attendees in Texas where on the last night the group voted to have the Wikmans host the 2002 in Charleston, South Carolina. Seems almost everyone wanted to see Charleston, South Carolina which is steeped in Southern history and what a cultural city.
The success of the reunion in San Antonio was borne out , because everyone rushed to sign up for Charleston, with 100 attending.