WHAT started off as a journey by a few to bury a much-loved relative, Polynesia Kindness (nee Wilder), turned into a full blown family reunion for the Wilder family.
Rod Kindness told The Fiji Times last week: "It started off as a small group of us coming to bury my wife's ashes at the Old Cemetery here, but I guess word got around, and eventually, the whole family came along."
For the four generations of family that flew into the country last week to commemorate this, it was a time of reuniting as well as first meetings.
The first generation family, the Wilders, were joined by their immediate and extended family members for a gracious dinner, complete with music, drinks and the company of new and old acquaintances.
Catered to by the Five Princes Hotel on Tuesday night, the memorable event played host to guests that ranged from five to 85 years, all displaying name tags on their chests as a way of meeting and greeting.
Mr Kindness came into the country last week from Australia, accompanied by his daughter Rae-Lyn Wilder and granddaughter Tema Campbell.
Ms Wilder told The Fiji Times their families travelled from all over to be a part of this night, which proved to be nothing short of amazing
"Although most of us came in from different parts of Australia, the remaining number of us came in from the United States, New Zealand and even East Timor to join our relatives who live here in Fiji," she said.
"I haven't even been here that long and I've already met so many of my family members — it was a great idea and I'm glad I could make it."
For her niece, Tema, it was her first time travelling out of Australia
"I live on a dairy farm, so the lifestyle here feels very similar to the one back in Queensland and I'm loving it already, especially since it's my first time travelling," she said.
Another Wilder, Martin, who has not seen Fiji since he was six weeks old, said it was the perfect opportunity for the entire family to reunite and in many cases, meet each other for the first time
"Many of us have acknowledged that this could be the last time for most of the family to come together like this, especially the older generations. This was the main motivator to actually making this happen," he said.
Similarly to Rod, Rae-Lyn and Tema, Martin admitted that indeed there were many new faces to be seen and numerous Fijian relatives to meet.
Although the families leave the country tomorrow to return to their different lives, the ever-enthusiastic Rod, who showed much love for his precious wife's home, intends on visiting again sometime,
"Don't worry, we'll be back," he concluded.