It's not every day five generations of a family gather together in one place.

Eighty-seven-year-old Jean Williamson met her great-great grandson Kane Ale for the first time at Springvale Manor Rest Home last Sunday.

Mrs Williamson's granddaughter - and Kane Ale's grandmother - Anna Ale said it was great her grandmother got to experience this get-together.

"She's very committed to family, so this great for her."

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Mrs Williamson has five children, 16 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. But Mrs Ale says her grandmother has never been one to enjoy attention. "She doesn't like a fuss being made about her at all."

So how did Mrs Williamson feel the first time she was told she was a great-great grandmother? "She's had the news broken to her a couple of times, but because she's lost her short-term memory she gets very excited each time," Mrs Ale said.

Jean Williamson grew up in Wellington and met her husband, Leonard Whitaker, after he returned from World War II.

They moved to Whanganui in 1960, where Mrs Williamson has lived since. She was well-known at the Castlecliff Bowling Club, where she was a avid bowler.