JEAN Haynes celebrated her 100th birthday last week in Coffs Harbour, surrounded by the family she loves.
Although her birthday was on 16 November, the family held off celebrating until last weekend when they could all get together.
Trevor Whitton, Jean’s son-in-law, married to daughter Jackie, told News Of The Area, “Jean thoroughly enjoyed her party, and was overwhelmed by the amount of flowers she received on her birthday.
“They came from all over, including the UK, Sydney and locally.
“She’s still got them and marvels at their beauty every day, talking about the people who sent them,” Trevor said.
Jean was born in London, the eldest of six children, four of whom are still alive.
Trevor said Jean served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the British Army, during the Second World War.
Her husband, Ian, whom she married in 1944, served with the Royal Engineers and they enjoyed over 50 years of marriage until he passed away in 2010.
They raised two daughters, Sheelagh and Jackie, with four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, most of whom were at Jean’s birthday party.
“In 1955 Jean and Ian immigrated to Orange, NSW,” Trevor said.
“Jean moved to Coffs Harbour in 2014 to be near Jackie.”
Jean enjoys a daily, unaided walk along the beach.
“My mother-in-law has always appreciated the simple things in life, such as having people and family around, and often says she feels like the luckiest person on earth,” Trevor said.
“She enjoyed her childhood and married life, and believes in everything in moderation, including a glass of wine of an afternoon.”
Jean also took up landscape painting in her 70’s, becoming quite accomplished, and only gave it up about eight years ago.
Her only regret is that she didn’t get back to the UK to visit her sisters, but it’s clear the happiness Jean finds in living a life of simple pleasures more than makes up for it.
By Monika KOZLOVSKIS