A Rutherglen man could not have been closer to his roots when he celebrated his 100th birthday.


For Gordon Cowan now lives on the very site where he spent his schooldays.


Gordon and his wife, Jean, have a double apartment at the council’s David Walker Gardens care home, where family, close friends, residents, staff and special guests gathered in the communal area to celebrate his momentous birthday with music, dancing and good cheer aplenty.


Among the host of well-wishers at the birthday celebration was a delegation of Royal Navy veterans who honoured him with an official salute to recognise the achievement of their fellow former sailor.


They were joined by South Lanarkshire Provost Margaret Cooper, who brought Gordon a bottle of Provost’s whisky and crystal whisky glasses, and Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Lanarkshire Mary Hernon, who passed on Royal congratulations and handed over one of the first-ever 100th birthday cards from King Charles, with both dignitaries also presenting Gordon with commemorative certificates to mark such a wonderful birthday.


Born in Glasgow, a large part of Gordon’s life has been connected with Rutherglen’s McCallum Avenue where he was brought up and where he attended Gallowflat Junior Secondary School – situated where the care home is now.


The corner house where he grew up was his grandmother’s house, where he spent many good times before joining the Royal Navy at the age of 19. A talented footballer, he played for the Navy team wherever he was stationed around the world, including places as far-flung as Boston, USA, and Zanzibar.


Gordon left the Navy after three years’ service and married Jean in 1954 in Rutherglen Hall on the Main Street. Jean was a clippie on the buses – and was one of the first women to wear trousers to work – but it was a shared love of ‘the dancing’ that had brought them together when they met at Dennistoun Palais.


Gordon became a glazier in the Rutherglen area and loved his job despite recalling that he had many a cut or graze through the work. He worked his way up to become the manager in George Kirk Glaziers, where he worked until he retired.


The couple enjoyed many wonderful holidays with their good friends Celia, Bert and Anne, visiting destinations around the UK and Europe and making many great memories.


Gordon is extremely close to his niece, Lesley, who – along with her husband, Steve – visits as often as possible from their home in Aberdeen.

Gordon said: “I have lived a great life so far and, now that I am living here at David Walker Gardens with Jean, I could not ask for any better. The staff are all fantastic and I am very happy and content here.

Posted by Gavin Whitefield