Large families are nothing new for Ballarat grandmother Marie Clark who this month welcomed her 50th grandchild to the world.
On Saturday Ms Clark met Louis, the newest addition to her large clan, who was born two weeks ago.
His dad Sam is the second youngest of Ms Clark's 15 children and was the last of his siblings to become a parent when Louis' big sister Zoe arrived two years ago.
The Clark grandchildren now range from two weeks to 24 years.
While some might find the thought of so many children and grandchildren a little overwhelming, Ms Clark, 72, has only ever known the chaos of big families.
She is one of 14 children and she had 15 children, many of whom she raised single-handedly after her husband died in 1991 just days before her youngest daughter's first birthday. Her eldest child was 21 at the time.
With 50 grandchildren to love, the joy of holding a newborn in her arms never gets old for the doting grandma.
Nor do the hugs she gets from the rest of the grandchildren, even her adult grandsons.
"They are all so different in their own way and even the big boys, my big grandsons always come in and give me a hug. I never get tired of that and they never get too big for that."
But she's unlikely to surpass her parent's record of 71 grandchildren.
"I grew up in a wonderful family with both mum and dad. Some kids don't even get one family so I count myself pretty blessed to have had the family I have," she said.
"You never forget the first time you hold each grandchild. Every one is special. You look at this precious new life and can't quite believe it.
"They grow up so quickly. They are only a little baby in arms for a short time then they grow up and are running around ... but you never, never get sick of holding a little baby in your arms and just looking at them.
"To have 50 grandchildren I'm just so lucky, very blessed."
All but three of her children and their families live in Ballarat, with two families interstate and one in Melbourne, and some of her grandchildren go to school together.
Even in a small family it can be hard to remember everyone's birthdays, but Ms Clark's mega-clan requires a calendar that is checked regularly for upcoming birthdays.
"I've got a really good calendar and have to look at it pretty often otherwise I would forget - that's just the way things are at my age."
None of the grandchildren share the same birthday, but one was born on the same date as his father, and one shares a birthday with Ms Clark.
You never forget the first time you hold each grandchild. Every one is special. You look at this precious new life and can't quite believe it.Marie Clark
Ms Clark said her children remain very close, and drew together after the death of their father with the older children helping raise the younger ones.
"Their dad died when the youngest was barely one so they've always looked after one another, and now they are looking after me and they spoil me rotten," she said.
"We had our own bank, our own car sales - they sold cars to each other, borrowed money off each other and they were, and still are, very close and they enjoy one another's company."
And the grandchildren relish having a large coterie of cousins to play and grow up with.
IN OTHER NEWS
"If the grandkids go past and see another car here at home, they've got to come in and see their cousins. Half the time I think it's more about the cousins than me," she laughed.
"But there's always someone dropping in and a couple of times I've had one family living with me for a few months while they built a house."
The recent coronavirus pandemic lockdown put most visits on hold but she's back to a constant stream of family dropping in.
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