BIRTHDAY JOY: Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrated turning 100 in style with a joyride in a red Corvette Stingray.
BIRTHDAY JOY: Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrated turning 100 in style with a joyride in a red Corvette Stingray. Leighton Smith

Mount Morgan senior revs up in style for 100th birthday

WHETHER it is Lorna Craney or a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, it's safe to say they don't make them like they used to.

After surviving through the Great Depression and the Second World War, Mrs Craney's seen a lot, and gathered many tales on the road to turning 100 years old.

Hitting the century mark usually means a quiet party enjoying a birthday cake while reading a letter from the Queen, but for Mrs Craney it was an excuse to satisfy her need - the need for speed.

 

Centenarian's birthday joy ride: Lorna Craney took a ride in a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Knowing the significant milestone was on the way, Carinity Summit Cottages aged care community activities officer Leeann Rolfe had a word in volunteer John Cole's ear about taking her for a joy ride in his Corvette to celebrate the big day in style.

Mr Cole is usually involved in getting the residents to sing along to karaoke tunes, but he leapt at the opportunity to take the centenarian on a horsepower assisted tour of the surrounds of Mount Morgan.

BIRTHDAY JOY: Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrated turning 100 in style with a joyride in red Corvette Stingray.
Carinity staff wave good-bye to Lorna Craney on her birthday ride. Leighton Smith

Waving a cheery goodbye to the Carinity Summit staff, Mrs Craney soon had the wind blowing in her hair as she took in the view from the Mount Morgan look out, checked out the Mount Morgan dam and did a drive by of her old Mount Morgan home.

Speaking to the assembled media after the tour, the mother of three, grandmother of nine and great-grand mother of four beamed as she talked about the exciting experience driving in the muscle car down memory lane.

"It was good to be in the car. We went everywhere. We didn't drive too fast, you can't around town because there's too many turns, so we just drove calmly.

 

BIRTHDAY JOY: Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrated turning 100 in style with a joyride in red Corvette Stingray.
Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrates her 100th birthday. Leighton Smith

"[Mount Morgan looks] different to how I remember. A lot of it is improved, it's surprising.

"Since it's been raining a lot these last few weeks its brought a lot of greenery back."

Reaching 100 years means Lorna will be one of only 4,250 centenarians in Australia.

For Lorna, enjoying a pleasure ride in an iconic high-performance vehicle is a about as far away 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 Albury, on the New South Wales-Victoria border, on 11 July 1919.

 

BIRTHDAY JOY: Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrated turning 100 in style with a joyride in red Corvette Stingray.
BIRTHDAY JOY: John Cole and his pride and joy '69 Corette Stingray. Leighton Smith

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 Lorna and James had two children and until the 1970s lived in Brisbane, where Lorna worked at the airport during the war years.

Lorna has lived in Mt Morgan for the past 32 years and moved to Carinity Summit Cottages five years ago.

Her birthday sports car ride is one of a number of purposeful living experiences being arranged for Summit Cottages residents by Carinity staff.

Activities officer Leeann Rolfe said they ask each resident what their one extra special wish was and then they help to make those wishes come true.

 

BIRTHDAY JOY: Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrated turning 100 in style with a joyride in red Corvette Stingray.
BIRTHDAY JOY: Mount Morgan resident Lorna Craney celebrated her cententary with Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd, and the staff and residents of Carinity Summit Cottages. Leighton Smith

"Lorna wanted to go for a drive around town because she hasn't been in a car since she moved to Summit Cottages," Ms Rolfe said.

"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 looked forward to making residents happy.

"At Carinity we believe that everyone has the right to live the life they love," she said.

"Assisting our residents to live a life with purpose and sharing special life experiences with them is what we love to do."