Large family celebrate parents’ diamond wedding anniversary

large family

Ann and Bryan Watt celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in Wainuiomata last weekend after renewing their vows at St Patrick’s Church in front of friends and family, including 10 of their 17 children.

Ann, 79, and Bryan, 82, have also fostered about 12 children throughout their marriage.

The Watts still live in the four-bedroom home they moved into after their wedding day.

Bryan said he never imagined having such a large family.

“When we were starry-eyed teenagers we aimed to have about six children,” he said.

“We had our first two children, and then there was a three-year break, so we decided to foster some children, and we relaxed a bit and had more children of our own.”

The foster children included a set of twins who lived with the Watt family for about seven years. They still keep in contact and visit, Bryan said.

The most up-to-date census records there are three families with up to 14 children.

The number of families with 15 or more children is randomly rounded to protect privacy. However, an analyst believes that the number is below three.

“My parents are very giving and, for any families that for a number of reasons couldn’t care for their own kids, Mum and Dad took them into their care,” said Gerard, the ninth Watt child.

“It was always a very busy household, and one of the benefits of being part of such a large family was you pick up all sorts of skills such as how to socialise and being able to negotiate things like bathroom time.

“You also had to be well organised as we only had one bathroom and one toilet and there was a slot of time in the morning to get ready. You couldn’t miss it.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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