The Croom families of North Carolina held its 82nd Annual Family Reunion in Sandybottom, 55 West Kinston North Carolina recently where the guest of honour was Cllr. Patrick C. Fitzgerald from Croom Ireland.

The President of the Croom Family Reunion Cynthia Young welcomed the large gathering to the Croom Community Hall in Sandybottom. The venue was gaily decorated with flags and bunting. Songs were sung and the Croom family cookbook was distributed; this book has special menus for enthusiastic cooks. A presentation of a painting of the Croom Meeting Hall with a memorial stone was presented to Cllr. Fitzgerald in recognition of travelling 3,500 miles to the event.

The history of the Crooms in North Carolina goes back three hundred years. The district and the area populated by the Croom families is mainly devoted to agriculture, soya beans, tobacco and cotton plantations. The area has a one thousand acre Industrial Research triangle in Chapel Hill. It is commonly known as The Triangle. The main anchors of the area are North Carolina State University, Duke University and University of North Carolina. It is a very well known television and film recording and production area. The area is home to numerous high tech companies and enterprises.

On Monday 20th August at Kinston City Town Hall, Cllr. Fitzgerald was honoured by the Mayor of Kinston City Council B.J. Murphy and presented with an engraved set of china commemorating the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Kinston.

There are in excess of one million Croom descen-dants living in the United States, the majority in Eastern North Carolina and other parts of the South East. The records of each reunion are archived in the Library and also the Cook Book of Croom which was recently featured in the magazine Our State.

It is hoped that the Crooms of North Carolina will travel to Croom in the not too distant future.

Cllr. Fitzgerald also attended a meeting of Business People and Officials of American Government Adminis-tration at the Haiti Regency Hotel in Chicago to encourage Enterprise and Development and also to encourage the Irish Diaspora to visit Ireland as part of The Gathering 2013. The former American Ambassador Jim Kenny headed up the event with a number of prominent American business people.