The Chattaway Christmas Chronicles
Staying in touch

Although we have kept in touch with our e-mail friends, it's some time since we wrote a formal "Christmas message". So this is a catch-up message covering the last three years of family news.


1997 got off to a rough start for Alan and his colleagues. A record snowfall collapsed the roof of their office, breaking the overhead sprinklers which soaked everything in the building. The entire team of 100 had to work eight months in cramped temporary quarters. The good news is that most people got a better office than the one they lost!

In January 1997 Alan ran an advertisement in a South African newspaper looking for Dave Smith, one of his two closest childhood friends. In Cape Town a retired friend of Alan's father responded to the ad, and Alan was able to phone Dave. The same day, Alan searched the Internet and discovered his other childhood friend Martin Brett in Auckland, New Zealand. This was the three friends' first contact in 30 years! They now regularly exchange e-mail.

We immediately began planning to visit Africa later in 1997. Through an amazing series of events we were able to spend six weeks retracing Alan's childhood through half the length of Africa. The full story, with some selected photos, is now posted on our family web page at The photos are thumbnails - click on any photo to see a larger version. If you would like to read it but don't have access to the World-Wide Web, let us know and we will e-mail you the text.

Kathy continued to play piano for the Hispanic church, and began a youth group there. Peter continued to work as a journalist. Monica left for a year in Eire to study the Celtic harp. Paul continued working for the electronics firm, and expanded his computer consulting. Michelle graduated from high school and studied at McGill University in Montreal.


1998 saw Alan assigned to the role of Year 2000 specialist. He travelled across the USA and Europe visiting all the offices of his division to spread the message that all the software they develop must be ready for the new millennium.

Kathy studied piano. Peter not only practised journalism but also taught it at a local university. Monica returned from Eire with her Celtic harp and began working at the public library. Paul joined an engineering firm as their computer and network specialist. Michelle returned from Montreal and continued her music studies closer to home.


1999 was Alan's year to travel. He made so many trips to Georgia (USA) that he has favourite restaurants there. He continued working on Year 2000 preparations for several customers.

Kathy used Alan's frequent flyer points to visit her dad in Europe. She spent 9 weeks there visiting relatives and friends in Germany, Finland, Poland and Spain. She took hours of video, hundreds of photos, and many pages of daily journal which she e-mailed to us several times each week. After her return, she used the computer to assemble everything into a 100-page book containing 400 photos, many of them candids taken from the videos. Peter and Paul moved to an apartment in Vancouver. Monica joined a Celtic band, the Streels, who are currently recording their first CD. Michelle joined the music program at Douglas College and the choir at St. John's Church, Shaughnessy.


2000 - what will it hold? Only one Person really knows, but the good news is that the same Person has told us, more than 25 times in the Old Testament and 20 times in the New Testament, "fear not". We're trusting Him for Y2K!

Alan & Kathy
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