St Albans woman celebrates 100th birthday

Jean Cowan with the Mayor

Jean Cowan with the Mayor - Credit: Archant

AN ACCOMPLISHED hostess enjoyed her biggest party to date when she celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family.

Jean Cowan, a resident at Cotsmoor on Granville Road, St Albans, hit the highly coveted milestone late last month with not one but two celebratory events.

The first was for family and close friends in Stafford where she lived when her family was growing up and the second was at Cotsmoor.

As well as a barbecue for all the residents and a few of Jean’s friends in St Albans, the Mayoress, Cllr Annie Brewster, called in with a bouquet of blue and yellow flowers representing the colours of St Albans.

She then talked at length to both Jean and the other guests.

Jean grew up in Bournville in Birmingham, the youngest of four children. She was a medical student at Birmingham University when she met and later married James Cowan, a newly-qualified doctor.

Together they set up a practice in Stafford where she assisted him with the administrative work until he retired.

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The couple had two sons, Ian and David, and brought them up in a large Victorian house set in an acre of land, which was the scene of frequent family parties for which Jean did the catering.

After her husband’s retirement the couple moved to Cannock Chase and Jean continued to live there after her husband died. But at 89 years old she had to undergo two major surgical procedures in the space of three months.

It was then the family agreed that the time had come for her to live closer to her sons and she moved into Cotsmoor in 2002. The warden-controlled building run by the Anchor Trust, has individually owned flats as well as a communal area used by all the residents for social activities.

David said: “Mum is still in excellent shape and often takes herself off for lunch or a walk round the park.”

Jean’s 100th birthday saw her flat resemble an Interflora shop and she duly received her congratulatory card from the Queen.

She attributes her long life to, “doing everything you want... but in moderation.”