Stoke's Win Cozens turns 90 in June but she keeps active with many community organisations and volunteer roles. Photo: Kate Russell.

90 and still winning


Stoke’s Win Cozens turns 90 next month, but she proves age is only a number because she’s showing no signs of slowing down.

The resident of the Ernest Rutherford Retirement Village volunteers for Grey Power and St Vincent de Paul, plays bowls twice a week, exercises, and sews up a storm for the other retirement village residents.

Her 90th birthday is on June 6th, and she says that keeping busy and mobile is the key to her good health.

“I don’t get a lot of time to sit down, I’m busy doing other things, you see – and that’s the way it should be,” she says.

“My life revolves around my voluntary work, and I like to keep busy because it’s so easy to just sit and get depressed – do what you can, while you can.

“But I don’t do my garden anymore – I’m getting a bit ancient for that,” she laughs.

Win says she helps out at the St Vincent de Paul on Vanguard St every Tuesday afternoon, and she has volunteered at Grey Power for the last 14 years.

“I go in there once a fortnight, as well as letter folding every three months, and I hope to carry on there for quite some time. I used to be on the committee but I came off that. My son said, ‘Mum, you’re getting a bit old’.

“I also take in a bit of sewing – I have quite a few customers here at the village. All the gentlemen want their trousers shortened and things like that.”

Win doesn’t take any medication, except for green lipped mussel capsules and vitamin C, three times a day.

“That seems to keep me ok,” she says.

Win was born in England, and spent most of her life living in Wellington, where her late husband worked as a bus driver.

“When we got married we came over to Nelson, where he worked for Waimea Dairy in Brightwater. That’s where I brought my children up. We moved to Richmond for a while, then Stoke, and stayed in Stoke,” she says.

Win has a son in Nelson who visits her three times a week, and her daughter lives in Oamaru. She has four grandchildren but no great grandchildren yet, which she “hopes will come”.

Win is also mad on sports, playing on the Ernest Rutherford bowling team. Back in the day she used to play for Tahunanui, where she was the president of the club.

And, she’s a big tennis fan.

“I love my tennis. I could sit up all hours, but I go to bed and watch it on TV.”

She also likes clothes, shoes and earrings and boasts quite an impressive collection.

“I’ve got 60 something pairs of earrings – but, why not,” she says.

Win is having a morning tea today at Grey Power to celebrate her birthday and then she will be going down to Oamaru to celebrate the big day with her family.