Keanalley Family and General News

Surprise Grandchild

27th Oct 2016

Ben and Joy surprised us all (and themselves) with the birth of another daughter.  Amy Fleurbaix McHugh was born at about 6 pm on 27th October, 2016 weighing in at a healthy 6 lb 5 oz or about 2.86 kgs.  Interestingly, she shares the same birthday as the twins.  Her twin sisters are six years older, however.

Once again, we praise and thank our wonderful Lord for this delightful little "surprise"!!


Sad News

8th Mar 2013

As I write, we have been in Toowoomba with our youngest daughter and son-in-law for five days following the delivery of our tenth grandchild.

Sadly, after a normal pregnancy, David John McHugh, Ben and Joy's first and only son, was stillborn at 1 pm on Sunday 3rd March weighing 8 lbs 8oz or 3.86 kgs. He was a normal looking baby boy with a ginger tinge to his hair.

The attending doctor/s and medical staff think that he was healthy until sometime within 12 hours of his delivery when it seems that there was a partial  placental  separation  that

interrupted his blood supply.

Needless to say, it has been a very sad time for all our families, but our loving Lord, who makes no mistakes, has been our comfort and strength throughout. We are reminded by the shortest verse in the Bible that when Jesus was approaching the grave of Lazarus, He wept!! We, too, have felt the pain of grief, but in the words of 1 Thes 4, "we sorrow, but not as those who have no hope." Because of what our precious Lord Jesus has accomplished on the cross, "death is swallowed up in victory!!"

A private family funeral is planned for tomorrow, Sat 9th March, when we will lay little David's body to rest. We would value your prayers.

Be Content, Take Two

27th Oct 2010

After a break of four years, our quiver of grandchildren has increased again - at double the rate. Twins were born to Ben and Joy and both mother and the two girls are healthy.

Victoria Sally McHugh was born today at 2:31 pm weighing 5 lbs 14 oz or 2.66 kgs.  Then 12 minutes later, her twin sister Philippa Stephanie arrived weighing 5 lbs 8 oz or 2.5 kgs. They were born less than 24 hours after Ben's sister Colleen and husband presented David and Stephanie McHugh with their fifth granddaughter - they now have seven.  For Russ and Ruth, the count is now nine.  We praise and thank our wonderful Lord!!

Mother and daughter

Ben with his twin girls


Getting acquainted

No 7 Grandchild

22nd Sep 2006

Some say the number seven is for "completeness".  We're not sure, but maybe it has a message for us.  Ben and Joy presented us with our seventh grandchild on Tuesday, 19th September.

Melody Anne McHugh was born at 4:12 am weighing in at 3.2 kgs, or 7 lbs 1 oz, with red hair!!  She is their fourth daughter, and also the fourth grandchild for Ben's parents, David and Stephanie McHugh.  By request, we have included a pic of ourselves with the new arrival this time.

Mother and daughter

Grandparents for the seventh time

Melody Anne

A proud Dad with his four girls

Natalie with her new  little sister

Maliwan's Wedding

31st May 2006

After a camp in the northern part of Thailand, we travelled up into the north western mountains of the country to a Karen village, for the marriage of Maliwan and Saeng over the weekend 5th to 7th May.  Maliwan, known to many of our friends, came to Australia in the year 2000 and shared her testimony on behalf of Compassion Australia.  (Click here for that story.)

Saeng is a young Karen man in full time work pastoring a small church to the south of Pattaya.  The celebrations started on the Friday evening, and the wedding took place on the Saturday.  The young couple wore traditional Karen dress.  Single Karen women wear a white outfit, and on their wedding day, they wear the colourful outfit of a married woman for the first time.

The bridal procession is preceded by nine flower girls

Receiving the ring

It is traditional for weddings to be held in the village assembly hall rather than the church building.  As can be seen from the photos, it is an open sided traditional style with seating on the natural surface.

As guests, Russ and Ruth also wore traditional dress

The father and the bride

The happy couple with Maliwan's parents

Christmas Present

7th Dec 2005

We are rejoicing once again with the Christmas present that Simon and Melody presented us yesterday. Holly Abigail arrived at 5:40 pm (NSW) 6th Dec, weighing a rather large 9 lbs 7 oz (4,290 gm) and measuring 53 cm in length.  Both Holly and Melody are fine.

Holly is our sixth grandchild and the third for Simon's parents, Lionel and Marjorie Fawssett.  We all agree "how good is the God we adore!!"

Mother and daughter

"Hi, Sis, I'm Jake!!"

"I'm tired - just let me sleep!!"

Sooner than Expected!!

13th Jul 2004

The year 2004 is a fruitful one for us.  Joy presented Susan Elizabeth McHugh to the world a little earlier than expected (13 days), weighing in at just 2,230 grams (4 lbs 14 oz). Susan was born at 4:17 am on Monday morning 12th July, and although she is a little on the small side, both mother and baby are healthy and well.

Susan is our fifth grandchild, and the third grandchild for Ben's parents, David and Stephanie McHugh.  We are all thrilled, and praise the Lord for his wonderful goodness.

Joy and Susan

Hello World, I'm here

Introducing ...

Rebekah Arrives!!

30th Jan 2004

What a joy to share with our wider family the arrival of Simon and Melody's second child, Rebekah Rose Fawssett at 4:15 am NSW Summer Time at Port Macquarie on Wednesday 21st January.  She weighed 3,740 grams (8 lbs 4 ozs), and measured 51.5 cm long. We give thanks to our wonderful Lord that the birth was uneventful (if any birth can be described that way!!) and both Melody and Rebekah are just fine. Simon is thrilled and Jake is still getting used to the idea of having a younger baby sister.

Rebekah is our fourth grandchild, and the second grandchild for Lionel and Marjorie Fawssett.  All the family are delighted and continue to thank our wonderful Lord for his goodness.

Mother and daughter


Expanded family

The Family Increases!!

21st Nov 2002

We are delighted to announce the news of Katelyn Joy McHugh, born at 10:28 am England time on 21st November 2002, weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz (3204 grams). The birth was uneventful, and both Joy and Katelyn are in excellent health. Katelyn is Ben and Joy's second daughter, and of course, Natalie is just so excited about having a little sister.

Katelyn is our third grandchild, and the second grandchild for David and Stephanie McHugh.  Needless to say, all the family are delighted and thankful to our wonderful Lord for his goodness.

What a Joy

Father and daughter getting acquainted

Expanded family

Summer Break

31st Aug 2002

After a very busy and exhausting time in ministry in Thailand, we are presently spending the month of August with our families. This privilege has given us the opportunity to become acquainted with our grandson, Jake, for the first time, and to become reacquainted with our granddaughter, Natalie. One of our first excursions was a trip to a local farm where children are the focus of attention (see photos below).

After the first week in the UK, we joined Ben, Joy and Natalie on a trip to Greece.  After a couple of days exploring the amazing Acropolis complex, and other ancient sites in Athens, we continued on down to Patris for a most relaxing time with Russ's cousin Barbara and husband Takis Gotsis in their lovely hilltop home.

Takis and Barbara have looked after us with selfless generosity. We share most meals overlooking the clear blue Adriatic Sea, watching the huge ferries taking passengers to and from the hundreds of the famous Greek Islands for summer holidays. (Takis is a Greek sea captain and has commanded those ferries for many years.)

Late Evening at a Greek Restaurant by the Sea

Local trips included a most interesting visit to Olympus, the site of the original Olympic Games which were conducted every four years for over a thousand years. The ceremonial lighting of the Olympic Flame for the modern Olympic Games also takes place at this site.

Our final two weeks have been back in Birmingham, spending a quality time with the wider family. While here, we have had our niece, Amy Hagstrom, an exchange student in Sweden, and our sister-in-law, Tracey Phillis visit us all.

Natalie at the Beach

Jake after a bath

Photos from a Family Day at the Farm

Stolen and Burnt

28th May 2002

As Ben, Joy and Natalie left their apartment to go to Duke Street Chapel on Sunday morning just over two weeks ago, they found that their car was missing from the car park right at their window. They soon realized that their affectionate little red Ford Escort had been stolen overnight so they phoned the police. The police were not long in reporting that the car had already been found, abandoned and burnt!!

Not only did they lose the car, but they had left the "Porta-Cot", Simon's tennis racquet and of course, the baby seat in the car. Hopefully, the insurance will cover the loss but to what extent remains to be seen.   Transport

Ben with the Ford Escort

has been awkward during the past two weeks, but Ben is expecting to buy a replacement car any day now.


28th May 2002

The steady stream of local and overseas visitors we have had over the past month include Col and Libby Krueger, en route from Australia to London and Europe, and Lionel and Marjorie Fawssett, Simon's parents, en route to Birmingham.       Lionel  and  Marj  will  be  making  their 

Col and Libby departing for Europe

Ruth, Marj and Lionel at the Grand Palace

acquaintance with grandson, Jake, for the first time. Col and Libby will also be spending a few nights with Ben and Joy this week, during their tour of the UK.

Within the next couple of weeks, we are also expecting Michael and Meryl Stathis to stay briefly en route to a mission hospital in Bangladesh, and Peter Ferry on his return from ministry in Myanmar (Burma).

It's a Boy!!

15th Mar 2002

At 8:34 pm GMT, on the night of Thu 14th Mar England time (6:34 am 15th Mar AEST), Jake Leonard Fawssett was born to Melody and Simon in Birmingham, England.  Jake was a big boy at 8 lb 15 oz but the birth was normal and both Melody and Jake are in excellent health.

Jake is our first grandson, and the first grandchild for Lionel and Marjorie Fawssett.  We are all very excited, and very grateful to our wonderful Lord for Jake's safe arrival, and pray that he may be a warrior for our Lord Jesus Christ.

White Christmas

20th Jan 2002

Every two years, we endeavour to spend Christmas together with our two daughters and their families.  Ben, Joy and Natalie joined us in Bangkok for four days before we all continued on to the UK to join Simon and Melody for Christmas.

We thank our wonderful Lord for a very pleasant eleven days, and for a first for all of us - a "White Christmas".  Allow us to share with you this picture of the family together shortly after Christmas, with the snow still lightly falling, as Russ took the picture.