Celebrating family ties . . . Descendants of Robert and Annie Dodds who bought The Pines, a farm in Otama 145 years ago gathered in Gore last weekend for a reunion. Cutting the anniversary cake are Dorothy Whitely (nee Dodds) 92 of Gore who is the eldest direct descendant of Robert and Annie, Boston Dodds (5) the youngest descendant attending the dinner at the Gore and Districts memorial RSA and Liisa Wessman of Toronto, Canada who is a great-great-great grandniece of the couple. PHOTO: PHIL DODDS

Five generations of the descendants of Robert and Annie Dodds gathered in Gore last the weekend.

The reunion marked 145 years since the couple bought a farm called The Pines, in Otama.

Robert and Annie Dodds’ three sons, Edward (Otama), Robert (Charlton) and Andrew (Otama), formed three branches of the family, from which most of the 80 reunion members are descended.

Activities for the weekend included a meet-and-greet, visiting the Otama Presbyterian Church to view the stained glass window dedicated to Robert and Annie Dodds, laying wreaths on family members’ grave sites, a dinner and a visit to the farm formerly known as The Pines, which is now owned by Penny and John Baynes.

The reunion was co-ordinated by Phil Dodds, of Christchurch, a great-grandson of Robert and Annie.

It was a ‘‘fabulous’’ weekend, Mr Dodds said.

The last time the family gathered was in 1997.

The eldest direct descendent, Dorothy Whitely (nee Dodds), of Gore, was present and cut the anniversary cake.

Some of the younger members of the family enjoyed exploring a stable, the only building left at the farm from the days when a member of the Dodds family owned it, Mr Dodds said.

Marilyn Campbell (nee Richmond) is the greatgranddaughter of the couple and has lived in Australia for the past 60 years.

Coming to the reunion was a good way to catch up with family members who lived throughout the country, Mrs Campbell said.

Liisa Wessman, of Toronto, Canada, is a great-great-greatgrandniece of Robert Dodds. Her great-great-greatgrandfather was Andrew Dodds, who stayed in Canada.

She was enjoying catching up with the New Zealand side of the family and travelling throughout the country, Ms Wessman said.