The 2010 Reunion
Zamzam survivors gathered July 30 - August 1, 2010 for a 7th reunion, marking 69 years since the sinking of the Zamzam. The gathering was held at the Mennonite Central Committee Welcoming Place in Akron, Pennsylvania, with a total of 65 in attendance. That figure includes family members and friends, as well as 13 survivors of the 1941 sinking.
At this reunion we knew of 30 survivors still living. There had been 203 passengers on the Zamzam. Art Barnett died on Jan. 24, 2014 at age 104. For much of his adult life, Art and his wife Peggy served as medical missionaries in Kenya. Art is remembered for telling the Zamzam story with thanks and praise to God.
Alice Schellenberg, born Oct 20, 1913, is now our only living survivor who had been an adult on the Zamzam.
The reunion was attended by several relatives of Zamzam passengers. Again and again we were reminded of the Psalmist's challenge to praise God and to share the news of His faithfulness "from generation to generation". (See Psalm 145)
(Seated) Anne Snyder, Mike Harrell, Amy and JJ Harrell (on floor), Geoff Starr, Judy Young, Peggy Weymer, and Sally Gillispie.
Coming to the reunion from the greatest distance were brother and sister Jim and Mary Rogers of England, remembering their great-uncle and great-aunt, Walter and Clara Guilding.
The British American Ambulance Corp also is part of history. Based on his dad's diary, David Stewart told us about his dad, who was one of the 24 British American Ambulance Corp members headed for North Africa on the Zamzam. A book is forthcoming, based on Jim's diary.
Six tables full of books, magazines, artifacts, reports, pictures graced the edges of our meeting room. Among recent additions is Carolyn Gossage's book about the seven Canadian women who had been on the Zamzam.
On Sunday we held a brief memorial service to honor Ruth Norberg Nye, a survivor, and other family members of the Zamzam group who have died since our previous reunion, in 2006. The first Zamzam reunion was held in 1991, fifty years after the sinking. Since that time we have grown close through reunions and our newsletter.
Submitted by Eleanor Anderson, Sep. 25, 2010 and updated on Jan. 24, 2014.