Daily crossword a key to long life says 100-year-old after Scotsman tribute

The love of a good family, regular outings and a daily crossword offer the key to a long life, said Effie Gowan who turned 100 last week – with a very special birthday message in The Scotsman.

The great grandmother-of-eight who lives independently at home in Liberton was delighted to celebrate her 100th year with all of her nieces and nephews on Wednesday. And The Scotsman arranged for a happy birthday message to run alongside that day’s crossword.

The week-long celebrations have included the pensioner’s favourite past times; champagne at Prestonfield House, afternoon coffees at Braid Hills Golf Centre and, of course, the daily crossword.

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“I’ve had a lovely celebration,” said Mrs Gowan. “I had all my nieces and nephews with me for a lovely day and have had neighbours in most days since.”

Effie Gowan was delighted to be featured next to Wednesday’s crossword in The Scotsman.

Mrs Gowan does seven of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday’s crosswords each week helped by her daughter Fay Hill, 68.

“I do the crossword everyday, I also do sudoku and play scrabble,” said Mrs Gowan. “I can always find something to do.

“I might be 100 but I don’t feel it,” she added. “And my son in law says I don’t look it but he’s only trying to keep in with me.”

Long life runs in the family, Mrs Gowan’s elder sister Minnie passing away in 2014 aged 101.

How the birthday message appeared

Mrs Gowan’s children Mrs Hill and Tom Gowan, who lives in North Berwick, said their mother is an “inspiration” to the whole family.

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Spilling the secrets to a long and healthy life, Mrs Gowan said: "Have a good family, keep interested in everything and always find something to do.”

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