’The epitome of dignity and grace’
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Vale Lady Anna Cowen

’The epitome of dignity and grace’

Lady Anna Cowen, widow of Australia’s second Jewish governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen, has passed away, aged 96

Lady Anna Cowen with former treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Lady Anna Cowen with former treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Lady Anna Cowen, widow of Australia’s second Jewish governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen, has passed away, aged 96.

Born in 1925, Lady Anna spent 66 years married to Sir Zelman until his death in 2011.

In 2015 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to youth, medical research, education and historical and cultural organisations.

In 2017 she released her memoir, My Vice Regal Life, just months after her son Ben was tragically killed in a paragliding accident.

Former treasurer Josh Frydenberg paid tribute on Sunday to “a truly special person who I had the privilege to know for more than three decades”.

“It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Lady Cowen. A true friend to many who were the recipients of her kindness, humour, wisdom and love,” he said.

“Warm and decent, humble and highly capable, Lady Cowen was the epitome of dignity and grace. She was an active member of the Australian community and particularly proud of her Jewish heritage.

“We will miss Anna deeply.”

Lady Anna leaves behind her surviving children Rabbi Shimon Cowen, Rabbi Yosef Cowen and Kate Cowen.

Her funeral will be held at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery at 2pm today (Sunday).

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