Lorna revs up for 100th birthday

Turning 100 years old usually means a quiet party enjoying a birthday cake while reading a letter from the Queen.

However, for her 100th birthday Lorna Craney decided to live life in the fast lane.

On the day she celebrated one century, Lorna fulfilled her dream of cruising around Mt Morgan in a sports car.

Lorna, who lives at the Carinity Summit Cottages aged care community, became a member of the very exclusive ‘100 Club’ on 11 July. Reaching 100 years means Lorna is one of only 4,250 centenarians in Australia.

She celebrated the special milestone by seeing the sights of Mt Morgan as a passenger in a classic 1969 hot-red coloured Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible sports car.

Vehicle owner and Carinity Summit Cottages volunteer John Cole drove Lorna around the streets of her town, as well as Arthur Timms Lookout and Mt Morgan Dam.

“It doesn’t matter where it is, I’m lucky to be wherever he takes me. He’s a very good driver,” Lorna said.

“Since it’s been raining a lot these last few weeks it’s brought a lot of greenery back to the town. It’s been a wonderful morning, the nicest I’ve had for a long time.”

For Lorna, enjoying the pleasure ride in an iconic high-performance vehicle was about as far away as you can get from riding in a sulky as a young child.

Horse-drawn carriages were a common form of transport when Lorna was born in the bush near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales on 11 July 1919.

She lived through the Great Depression, raised by her father and grandfather before moving into a convent until she was 10.

As a teenager Lorna moved to Brisbane where she met her future husband James Craney, a Mt Morgan boy. Together they had two children and until the 1970s lived in Brisbane, where Lorna worked at the airport during the war years.

Lorna, who has six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, has lived in Mt Morgan for 32 years and moved to Carinity Summit Cottages five years ago.

Mt Morgan and Rockhampton businesses helped Lorna celebrate her 100th birthday in style. She had her hair and make-up done by Mane Street Hair Studio while John Cole, as well driving Lorna around in his Corvette, provided free music and karaoke for her birthday party through his entertainment business Coley-oke.

Lorna’s birthday sports car ride and pampering is one of a number of purposeful living experiences being arranged for Summit Cottages residents by Carinity staff.

“We ask each resident what their one extra special wish is and we’re helping to make those wishes come true. Lorna wanted to go for a drive around town because she hadn’t been in a car since she moved to Summit Cottages,” Carinity Summit Cottages Activities Officer Leeann Rolfe says.

“Some residents say they would like to attend a Central Queensland Capras rugby league game in Rockhampton, one wants to play a round of golf and others want to go to the horse races.  A few, like Lorna, just want to go for a drive around Mt Morgan to see how the town has changed.”

Summit Cottages Residential Manager Margaret Eather says Carinity’s residential aged care staff look forward to making residents happy.

“At Carinity we believe that everyone has the right to live the life they love. Assisting our residents to live a life with purpose and sharing special life experiences with them is what we love to do,” Margaret says.

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