"I LOVE MY AUNT MARY"
from Betty Jane (Grech) Duggan

NEWEST LETTER FROM BETTY JANE, July 20, 2005

Kathy, I know it's been a long time since I returned your request for my Dad's information. He was born April 25, 1905 and died Nov. 3, 1965. He died of a heart attack. It was very sudden. Also his father's name was Alfred. My dad had many names, I only know his second name was Michael. Only my Mom knew all his other names. I went to Malta with my son Kevin and another priest 10 years ago and visited Sidney Gatt, (who has since died) his wife, sister and sister-in-law one afternoon. They made us feel very welcome. I also visited the church my Dad was Baptized in, which I can't remember the name, however, Kevin will remember. The last time I spoke to Kevin, he said he was going to visit your Mom. Not sure if he has had the time yet, but I'm quite sure he will go there before school opens. Love, Betty Jane

Go to letter#1 from Betty JaneMay 24, 2005
Go to letter#2 from Betty Jane May 25, 2005
Go to letter #3 from Betty JaneMay 28, 2005

Go to third letter From Fr. Kevin Duggan (June 12, 2005)
Go to second letter second letter From Fr. Kevin Duggan (June 8, 2005)
Go to first letter from Fr. Kevin Duggan

LETTERS FROM BETTY JANE

Dear Kathy, Joan Clark my niece,told me about this web site, so thought I'd browse through it. I can't believe what I see. My dad was John Grech. My favorite aunt when I was little was your Mom (or Grandmother) Mary, not sure with whom I'm writing. I loved her and my Nana. I could recognize both of them in most of the pictures on the web site, even aunt Mary at 83, how wonderful. I used to sleep over at her home in Staten Island on some week-ends, and she always had a jar of olives and we would both eat them all. She did come here to my home in Sarasota, FL one evening when she was visiting Tessi Martin. I was thrilled to see her after so many years. Please give her my love.
Sincerely,
Betty Jane (Grech) Duggan

HI Kathy, This is so fantastic. At the moment I have the chills. Yes, I remember you as a little girl. Thank you so much for your own website. My niece Joan is doing her thesis on the family history. She called to ask a few questions regarding dates and such, and told me of this site. It's unbelievable. Anyway this is such a special week-end. My husband Jim and I just celebrated our 50th Anniversary with family and friends. Eventhough you were'nt here, this made our anniversary really special. Not sure how we became distant, I guess as a young bride (18) I was busy learning to be a wife. But I do remember you and Steven, not sure of Maureen? Don't remember if there were any more siblings. Anyway, you can let your Mom know my Mom passed away May 15th 2003 at the beautiful age of 93. I miss her very much.
Love again,
Betty Jane

Hi Kathy, I just reviewed your pictures from when you were a little girls. You were and probably still are a duplicate of your Mom. I remember you, Steven (only as a little boy) and Maureen (as a baby) I don't know why we become so distant. I also saw a picture of your Dad (we called him Ken). I couldn't have told you what he looked like until I saw his picture, before I read who he was. To let you know a little about us. I married Jim Duggan, we have five children, 1 girl Coleen, and four boys, Coleen is the oldest and has 1 girl Katie, 12 years old, then Kevin (a priest with the Marist order) who lives in San Luis Obispo, which we visited just last March to the beginning of April, and passed through Santa Barbara, the third boy is Dennis,who is married and has 1 daughter, Kaci, who is 15, then there is Scot (with 1t) he is married and has an adopted Son also 15, and Stephanie 11 and William James 2 years. We have been living in Sarasota almost 28 years. I retired almost 3 years now, and enjoying it.
I was unable to get back to your website for the past two days, I'm not too savvy on the computer, so don't know what happened, but I went to your latest email and could pull up the pictures of the family and say Nana with Mary and the kids. By the way, I also love Nana. She was my favorite grandma. She used to stay with us I think for several months. Not sure why, maybe to give your mom a break. But I do know I loved having her stay with us.
That's all for now, I really enjoy getting acquainted this way. Give my love to your Mom. Also I would love to have her mailing address.
Fondly, your distant cousin I think.
Betty Jane

LETTERS FROM FATHER KEVIN

Dear Kathy, I know by now you have heard from my Mom (Betty Duggan). My Mom told me that your Mom is living in Santa Barbara ó which is just down the road from San Luis Obispo. I suspect that you and your husband live there as well. It would be great to meet you and also to visit with your Mom. She gave me a beautiful card for my Ordination, which I had preserved and framed. She was kind enough to give me the passport picture of my grandfather John Grech (her half brother) when he was just a young boy.
In any case, I want to pass on my address and phone number, in case you are up this way. I would also love to meet you at some point. I have kept up with several of the relatives in Malta and have been there several times. So, meeting you and seeing your Mom would be wonderful.
Godís blessings to you and your family.
Fr. Kevin Duggan, SM

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June 8. 2005 Dear Kathy & Mary,

Sorry it's taken a bit to get back to you, but things at the Newman Center have been crazy for the past several weeks. Not enough time in the day!

I don't get to Santa Barbara often, however, I promise that I will get there to visit with you, Mary, before Cal Poly begins again in September. If you send me your information (address, phone #), I can call to make arrangements that would be convenient for us both. I really look forward to meeting you (although my Mom assures me we met in Brooklyn when I was a little boy).

As for the Malta connection.........I first went to Malta in 1975 with Gram (Helen Grech). That particular trip I met many Sapienzas. I think they were Ray Micallef's wife's family. Since then I have made three other trips and visited mostly with the Gatt's, who are more directly related to us through your Mom, my Nana. Unfortunately, 2 brothers have since died. Sydney Gatt and his brother Louis died just a couple of years ago. Edwin Gatt is still with us and the wives of Sydney and Loius are also very much alive. If I am understanding the connections they would be Nana's nephews and nieces.

On the last trip, I was able to celebrate a memorial Mass for Sydney, Loius, and John (who I never met) at Edwin's house. He gathered the children and families of Sydney, Louis, and John. It was wonderful meeting the next generation. But there were so many my recollection of who was who is already gone.

I stay in touch with Edwin through e-mail. He has a sister named, Lea. She is also very active.

One of the greatest pleasures I had was being able to take my Mom to Malta (frequent flyer miles with Delta). We visited the family, drove through Hamrun, where John Grech was born, and visited the church where he was baptized (San Gaetano). She had such a wonderful time that that alone was my pleasure.

I love Malta. It's a beautiful country with a fantastic history. It's small so I think I've seen everything including Gozo. But will go back at some point in the near future.

I will search around for a picture or two. I am not a picture taker, but I might have one or two from those trips. I'll bring them with me when I come visit you.
Well, Mary, I have to finish a few things before heading home. But I wanted to write you and give you some names of the folks in Malta I visited. I will also send along Edwin Gatt's e-mail address in case you are 'on-line' and want to drop him a hello. It is: gatted@malta.net

God's blessings, Kevin Duggan

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June 12, 2005
Kathy,

Be assured that I will call your Mom and do all I can to visit with her in July. I would love to do that so I can share it with my Mom when I go home in August. Thanks for the contact information for your Mom.

As for the relationship connections....... Lea, Edwin, Sydney, and Louis were all siblings. The wives to the guys are all still alive (Lillian was married to Sydney, Marian was married to Louis, and May is married to Edwin. My understanding is that Lea never married.). I e-mailed Edwin to look at the picture you have on your website of ďthe familyĒ taken from Uncle Alfredís villa in Egypt. No doubt, they will be excited to see that picture if they donít have a copy themselves.

I head off to our retreat and some visiting in the east until July 5. Iíll be in contact with Mary after I return.

Peace and Love,
Fr. Kevin

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