Double century!

- Advertisement -

They are the fifth and sixth residents of the Stuart Court Residential Home to reach their century in the past eight years.

Lucille Downer, whose birthday is today, and Marjory Robins, whose birthday was on Sunday, had a joint party yesterday at Stuart Court with a buffet lunch to celebrate.

Mrs Downer (née Vautier) put her longevity and fitness down to lots of gardening.

And her memory remains as sharp as ever, too.

‘I have a terrific memory and can remember things from the age of six,’ she said.

‘I saw the first plane and motorcar come to the Island and I remember when we only had paraffin lamps at home before electricity.’ Mrs Downer, who was born in Le Jardin, St Peter, and educated at a private school in Bel Royal, said she moved to St Saviour to be closer to her job and her late brothers, Hedley and Edward.

After doing a secretarial course when she was 19, she worked for a solicitors’ firm before becoming secretary to the States Treasurer in 1946.

She left to marry Arthur Downer, who was the first headmaster of former D’Hautrée School when it opened in 1960.

Mr Downer was well known to JEP readers, but in the guise of the hugely popular ‘Uncle Harry’.

‘Arthur was the original Uncle Harry.

He taught in four parishes and was very well-known.

He retired in 1961 and then the following year sat on the bench as a Jurat,’ she said.

She had a step-son, the late Dennis Downer, who was a master mariner, and one step-daughter, Pamela Luce.

She also has four step-grandsons and two step-great-grandchildren.

Mrs Robins (née Noel) is called ‘Little Robin’ by staff at the home, where she has lived for just over 16 years.

She said that the secret of a long life was keeping busy.

‘I have not stayed in bed once,’she said.

Her past hobbies have included ice-skating, dancing, singing, netball, bingo and knitting.

A self-taught seamstress, she made her late daughter Roselle’s wedding dress and ruby-red velvet bridesmaid dress.

She has one other daughter, Barbara, who lives in Jersey.

Every day she walks to Bel Royal School and back and she never forgets to kiss the photo of her late husband, Percy George Robins, ever morning and night.

Mr Robins was an organist for 56 years at St Martin’s Church.

‘I have had a very good life – especially with my husband.

He was such a lovely man, so helpful at home and full of fun,’ she said.

She was born at the Archirondel Hotel in St Martin, which her grandmother, Mary-Anne Falle, managed.

When she was two years old her father carried her in his arms onto the boat which took them to Canada, where she lived until she was 16.

Mrs Robins then returned to Jersey and worked as a teachers’ assistant at a local primary school.

‘I got asked to come along and help for six weeks which turned into 11 years,’she said.

Jan Robinson, matron of the home, said: ‘They are both wonderful ladies and a pleasure to look after.

They are very well liked by all residents and staff.

‘ All the residents of the Methodist home, a few family members and the Lieut-Governor, Lieutenant-General Andrew Ridgway, and the Constable of St Lawrence, Geoffrey Fisher, attended yesterday’s party.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.