Ipswich Great Grandmother Sheree Laing (left) was this year unable to meet up with her extended family, which spans five generations including her mother, Gloria Christina Guarino (top right, centre of picture) and her daughter Kymilla (Kym) Sheree Ann Ries (long black outfit) who resides in Darwin. Pictured with Kym is her daughter; Amanda Jane Ries-Davies and Kym's Granddaughter April Rose Butt
Ipswich Great Grandmother Sheree Laing (left) was this year unable to meet up with her extended family, which spans five generations including her mother, Gloria Christina Guarino (top right, centre of picture) and her daughter Kymilla (Kym) Sheree Ann Ries (long black outfit) who resides in Darwin. Pictured with Kym is her daughter; Amanda Jane Ries-Davies and Kym's Granddaughter April Rose Butt

Five generations kept apart during Covid lockdown

IT is pretty rare to see five generations of one family all alive at the same time, and even harder to get them together for a picture.

In the year that was 2020, you could all but forget about visiting family members spread out across the country, as Sheree Laing found out.

The Ipswich great-grandmother recently contacted the Queensland Times in the hope of symbolically bringing her big family together.

Ms Laing, of Ipswich, told us the story of her family, and the five generations of eldest girls.

"My mother, Gloria Christina Guarino nee; Cross (sitting on wheelie-walker) was born on 26/10/1931 and grew up at Tumbulgum on the Tweed River; a dairy farm owned by her Father James Henry Cross who came to Australia from Eden Bridge in Kent, England in 1912 and her Mother; Susannah nee Baxter.

"My mother is the youngest of six children and the only girl; having five older brothers.

"My Mother found the love of country music at an early age and sang at the local school concerts and at one particular occasion - when nine years of age - my mother met Heather and Joy McKean.

"The McKean girls had a guest appearance at the Tumbulgum School Concert at the time of their meeting; the McKean girls were young lasses at the time. From around 12 years of age my Mother would dress in her country attire, strumming her guitar (there was hardly ever a day that she didn't have a guitar in her hands) and a tune on her lips.

"Her education finalising in year seven to help out on the family farm but music remained her passion, singing on radio stations, 2LM (Lismore) and 4KQ (Brisbane) with one of her brothers who she taught to play the guitar.

"At aged 21 my mother (with stage name as 'Christine Delaney' won a talent quest at 'Theatre Royal', Brisbane and due to this success she was offered a recording contract with 'Billy Starlight Recording Studio" however she turned this opportunity down as she had decided to return to the Tweed Homestead to marry my Father; Norman Maxwell Laing.

"This marriage didn't survive the test of time sadly and as a single Mother of five we moved to Killarney, Queensland in mid 1965.

"Mother to five, Nana to 17, Great Nan to 50 and Great-Great Nan to five, with a sixth due in 2021.

"I (dressed in black slacks) am the second child - eldest daughter of five children; consisting of three boys and two girls.

"We five were all born within a period of six years and two months.....single births.

"I was born in Murwillumbah 03/01/1958 and in mid 1965 my mother moved the family to Killarney after her failed marriage to my father.

"I married at the age of 16 and a few months later became a mother.

"This marriage was short lived, some two and a half years unfortunately.

"Marrying a second time I had four more children; three girls and finally a son in that order but due to circumstances this marriage failed some 12 years later.

"The five children and I moved to Ipswich in 1990 living in Blackstone for the first five years followed by residing in Bundamba to this present day.

"My first grandchild was born in 1995 followed by many more throughout the years; Grandma to 19 and Great Grandma to four at present with the fifth due in 2021.

"The third photograph is of my daughter Kymilla (Kym) Sheree Ann Ries (long black outfit) who resides in Darwin.

"Kym is to my first marriage. Pictured with her is her Daughter; Amanda Jane Ries-Davies and Kym's Granddaughter April Rose Butterworth. Amanda and April reside in Brisbane."



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