Descendants of Joseph G. Howard of Norwood pictured at first family reunion held recently at Marshfield.
Decendants’ Day Honors Late Joseph G. Howard

A pioneer Norwoodite, the late Joseph Howard, was honored by 111 members of the Howard family at a reunion held on Sunday, September 22, at Rexicanna-by-the-Sea in Marshfield. This group represented an impressive family membership of 191, with the newest member two weeks old Lisa, born to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sabino of Dedham.

Those not present last Sunday were either ill, living at a distance, or in the service in. other parts of the country. The reunion was so successful that plans are already underway for the next Joseph G. Howard Descendant’s Day.

The Official Commemoration and Chronicle issued in Honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Town of Norwood describes Joseph Howard with these words.

“When the late Joseph Howard moved his family from Boston to Norwood in 1899 and set up a little grocery store in the South end of town, he blazed the trail for his Syrian fellow countrymen who were to follow. At this time the Rev. George Maloof of Boston would hold services in his home and later as the population grew in other homes, periodically and when needed.

“In 1934, the new church was dedicated (the first was burned in 1933) and on Nov. 9, 1941, it was consecrated by Archbishop Metropolitan Antony Bashir, the highest-ranking prelate of the Orthodox Church in North America. A reception followed in the Church basement, and after dinner a portrait of the late Joseph G. Howard, organizer of the first church was unveiled.”

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Mr. Howard came to Boston from Juweniyat, Hosn, Syria in 1896. A widower twice, in a few years he brought to this country his sons, George and Abdallah and his daughters, Jamelie and Katherine. On Christmas day of that year he married the late Mary (Kafa) Michael. Children born of that marriage are Esther J. Howard Deeb, Elias J. Howard of Walpole and Roy Howard of North Attleboro.

Years went by and the family grew and grew. At various meetings held by leaders of the family, it was felt that a reunion should be held. Thus were the plans for last Sunday’s reunion formulated.

Following a picnic lunch, Sam Howard co-chairman, of Belmont welcomed those attending and told them of the idea of organizing the group and planning a suitable memorial to the head of the family.

John Howard co-chairman, of Norwood spoke further of the plans for the future. Esther Deeb, secretary and historian gave a brief history of the family and recalled incidents in her father’s home. Esther J. Deeb was the first child of Syrian decent born in Norwood and the first to graduate from the public schools here, with the 1916 graduating class from the Everett School.

Games were held during the day, and Roy Howard of North Attleboro distributed miniature Family trees, compiled by George Howard of Belmont.
Officers for the Joseph G. Howard Decendents’ Day were: Sam Howard of Belmont and John Howard of Norwood, co-chairmen; Esther J. Howard Deeb, secretary and Historian; Elmer Sabino of Wellesley, treasurer; Joseph G. Howard of Walpole, refreshments; Flora Manazir, of Roslindale, registration; Shaffie Sabino of Roslindale and Joseph Sabino, Boston, sports program; Marlene Howard of Marshfield, floral decorations; George Howard of Belmont, family tree; publicity, Janice Howard and Jacqueline Howard of Norwood; Reception, George Howard of Norwood and Roy Howard of North Attleboro; Ralph Redonnet of Belmont, official photographer. Location chairman was Frederick Howard of Norwood.

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(All articles originally published in the Norwood Messenger)

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