A cousin of a decorated New Zealand war hero celebrated her 100th birthday in Levin this week with family and friends.

Jean Munro was a cousin of French wartime agent Nancy Wake, better known as the "White Mouse", and the pair met each other for the first time in Sydney in the 1980s.

Munro blew the candles of her birthday cake at the Sommerset Resthome in Levin and shared the company of family, including daughters Winsome and Sheryl, and son Mike.

The youngest of seven children, she was born Jean Cook in Masterton in 1919 and was brought up in the Wairarapa.

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She married James Arthur (Mick) Munro and they raised their family on their large station in Tinui, later moving to Western Lakes, and then Lower Hutt where she had a dress shop and her late husband worked for the Lower Hutt City Council.

Jean Munro (seated) celebrated her 100th birth in Levin this week, pictured with grand-daughter Cilla Brown (left), daughters Winsome and Sheryl, and companion John Langdale.
Jean Munro (seated) celebrated her 100th birth in Levin this week, pictured with grand-daughter Cilla Brown (left), daughters Winsome and Sheryl, and companion John Langdale.

Her daughters said their mother always kept a healthy diet with vegetables grown at home and never over-ate, and enjoyed the odd glass of gin.

She was always an early riser and liked to keep busy and socially active with friends of all ages. In more recent years she had travelled the world extensively with her companion John Langdale.

Among the well-wishers this week were her eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

Munro also received a letter of congratulations from the Queen and a hand-written card and message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and enjoyed an afternoon of live music from Danny Healey at Sommerset.