Five generations meet in Laurieton for Christmas

Special moment: five generations of women from the same family all captured in the one photo.
Special moment: five generations of women from the same family all captured in the one photo.

There are 96 years between baby Zara and her great, great grandmother Mary Opdam. 

Zara has become the fifth generation female to join the a strong family bloodline. 

Mary Opdam lives in Laurieton at the Whiddon Group and her 74-year-old daughter Anne Slager is close by in Kendall.

Bianca Cooke is Anne’s 52-year-old daughter. Bianca and her 25-year-old daughter Michelle Tabone reside in Sydney. 

Anne said it was very special the family managed to all be in the same place for the photo during the holidays. 

Her mother is living proof there are great genes in the family.

“Hopefully her longevity gets passed on to all of us,” Anne said. 

Anne said her mother has always been a strong matriarch. 

“She raised seven children of her own and was always encouraging us to pursue our goals and to get a high education,” she said. 

Mary also adopted three more children who were also raised as her own. 

Anne said Mary has a huge family. 

“There are 39 grandchildren and over 100 great grandchildren,” she said. 

Anne said for Mary’s 80th birthday party the family filled Kendall showground and stood in the football stand to take a group photo. 

Mary migrated to Australia from Holland and Anne said she experienced the struggle through WW2. 

Mary is a well-known figure in the Camden Haven and Anne said she has always been a giver. 

As a passionate knitter in her younger days, Mary helped kick-start the Wrap with Love group in the area. 

Members of the group knit squares to be made into rugs.

The rugs are given to people in Australia and overseas to aid agencies for donation to people suffering due to extreme cold weather. 

Anne said Mary can’t see very well and unfortunately it means she can’t knit anymore.

However Anne said she puts all her energy into her family members and always gets a lift out of visits.