Prolific, by George

Five generations of the George family (front, from left) John George (86), great-great-grandson Harley Cotton (2 weeks), great-granddaughter Alysha MacNee (20), (rear, from left) daughter Margaret Lloyd (55) and granddaughter Katrina Lloyd (38). Photo by Linda Robertson.
Five generations of the George family (front, from left) John George (86), great-great-grandson Harley Cotton (2 weeks), great-granddaughter Alysha MacNee (20), (rear, from left) daughter Margaret Lloyd (55) and granddaughter Katrina Lloyd (38). Photo by Linda Robertson.
Family dynamics are amplified when five generations of the George family gather for an early Christmas celebration.

There's John George (86) who is happy to sit in the corner and hold court with the hordes of family who flow through the door; there are doting mothers looking after the needs of their children; and there are mischievous children feeding their unwanted bits of dinner to the dog under the table.

Mr George's daughter Margaret Lloyd (55) said the family gathering in Mosgiel on Saturday was a whole day of love and laughter.

''When we all come together like this, we all talk around, over and through each other.

''The conversation gets very loud - it's a really special atmosphere.''

When Mr George came to New Zealand from Wales in 1954, his parents had died and he had no siblings.

While he had hoped to move to New Zealand to find love - which he did when he met Dunedin woman Sylvia Savage shortly after arriving in the city and they married in 1955 - and have a family of his own, the last thing he imagined was ending up with 27 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

And much to his delight, he welcomed his first great-great-grandchild, Harley Cotton, to the family two weeks ago.

Keeping tabs on his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and now great-great-grandchildren was becoming more difficult with time, he said.

While adding young Harley to the mix two weeks ago didn't necessarily make family gatherings any quieter, it certainly made Saturday's more special because Harley's attendance meant there were five generations of the family in the one place, he said.

Mr George saw the new addition to the family as a great Christmas gift.

''We usually meet once a year, but this is the first time all five generations have been together.''

Mrs George died in 2007.

-john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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