Jackson joins the Purcell party

WHEN the Purcell family gathers for Christmas there won’t be enough chairs. 

In the last two weeks the family has reached a milestone few would consider even possible — members from five living generations, all of them men will be able to sit in the same room for Christmas. 

“(At Christmas) we have about 68 — 69 now that the family has grown bigger.”

Two weeks ago the family celebrated the birth of Jackson, who became the fifth generation of the Purcell clan. 

That made Bernie Purcell a great-great-grandfather. 

But the 85-year-old told The Standard he didn’t see what the fuss was about. 

“I didn’t even think I’d get that old,” he said.

“It’s something you don’t count on. 

“It hasn’t made much difference to me.” 

His wife Bonnie is expecting a full house in the next couple of weeks. 

“We’ve got 24 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren,” Mrs Purcell said. 

“We have two Christmases every year. 

“(At Christmas) we have about 68 — 69 now that the family has grown bigger.” 

But names are understandably an issue. 

“Especially the ones you don’t see very often. It takes a bit of remembering.” 

The family originally called Bessiebelle home but moved to Warrnambool in 2000. 

There’s no shortage of portraits on the wall on their ranch-style house. 

And being the head of the family comes with the duty of being generous with the wallet around great-grandchildren. 

“It’s always empty,” Mr Purcell said. 

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