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Picture perfect: N.B. family gathers for annual tradition to capture special bond between five generations


A New Brunswick family that spans five generations has created an annual tradition to capture their special bond.

At 97-years-old, Gladys McIntyre is the pillar of the family, according to her great grandson Jacques Sirois.

Sirois says the familial connection is strong between every generation.

“I’ve had special relationships with all of them,” he said.

“Helen taught me how to skate, that’s my grandmother, my mother, for instance was my baseball coach growing up and obviously the beacon would be my grant grandmother and she’s just the life of every party and we’re just so blessed to have her.”

When the whole group has the opportunity for a family gathering, it connects relatives from eight-years-old to 97-years-old.

“There’d be mom and she had eight [children], and 15 grandchildren and 17 great grand children and one great great grandson,” explained Helen MacDonald.

Sirois is currently in town from Calgary with his wife and eigh-year-old son, Wyatt, who marks the fifth generation in an already large family.

“I don’t know anyone that has a great great grammy,” said Wyatt.

When Wyatt was born eight years ago, the group started a new tradition. Each summer they try to take a new five-generation photo.

“We look forward to it every year. It’s a big part of why we come back from out west to make these memories and it’s very special to hangout with all of them,” said Sirois.

While the group picture is a good excuse to bring everyone together, the tight-knit family is used to large gatherings and making memories whenever they can.

“I think every time we all get together it’s very special,” said Gladys McIntyre.

“When we all get together it’s a pretty noisy bunch. Everybody’s talking at the same time.”

McIntyre also came from a large family and had seven siblings growing up.

She says the time she gets to spend with her family is special, no matter what they end up doing.

“It means to me that ‘how did I make it this far?’ I had a good life, lived on the farm, had all our own vegetables and brought up our children… eight of them. I would say that I had a pretty good life,” said McIntyre.

While most of the family still lives in the Moncton/Riverview area, Sirois says they all try to get together as often as they can when his family is visiting from Calgary.

Most family gatherings involve lobsters, a lot of laughs and reminiscing.

“It was in the 60s, my mom was pregnant, I was pregnant and my sister was pregnant all at the same time, so when we’d get up to mom’s, we’d be just bumping bellys,” said MacDonald.

However, when it comes to a favourite memory, no one in the family could pick just one.

“They’ve all been good. There’s no favourites, they’ve all been great,” said MacDonald.

The family says they look forward to spending more time together in the future, making more memories to add to the ever-growing collection and adding more generational pictures to the photo album.

“I guess you just enjoy the moments because the moments won’t be there forever,” said Sirois.

“I know [Wyatt] enjoys time with all of them and hopefully, in hindsight, as he grows older he’ll sort of soak that in.”

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