01 October 2022
If living life to the full is a top priority, then take a leaf out of Lorna Clauson’s book.
The intrepid 92-year-old has driven Route 66, followed Sir Edmund Hillary’s footsteps into the Himalayas, and trekked with Huskies in Alaska. She took one of the first-ever rail trips from Beijing to Lhasa, has camped through the worst rainstorm Montreal has ever experienced, and journeyed across India, Bangladesh and the Silk Road.
“Even as a child I was fascinated by what lay on the other side of the world,” says Lorna, who possesses more joie de vivre than many half her age.
Growing up on a remote farm, Lorna started milking cows when she was 3, and became a Lone Guide at 11. Not only did Girl Guiding indulge her passion for the outdoors, but it opened the door to a world of new experiences. She and her fellow rangers attended the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, and in 1967 the group embarked on “the biggest adventure of my lifetime” - a five-month camping expedition around the world.
A modern woman ahead of her time, Lorna has also raised a family (she has 3 children, ten grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren), written two books, and carved out a 30-year career as a high school Commerce teacher. Now a resident at Metlifecare’s Longford Park Village, retirement living is certainly no handbrake.
“I haven’t done those big overseas adventures for a few years – when you get to 92 it all gets a bit hard! But I’m heading to the South Island next month to do the TranzAlpine train trip, and I’m still involved with the theatre, the choir and Probus. Life’s busy!”
A Papakura resident for the last 50 years, Lorna has given much to her local community. She was the musical director of the Papakura Theatre Company, founded the South Auckland Choral Society, and even started the choir at Longford Park Village – ten years before she moved in there!Her tireless dedication to others earned her a Queen’s Service Medal in 2004.
“I’ve been so lucky; I’ve had an incredible life. Obviously, everyone faces difficulties along the way but you come out the other side of it. It all comes down to attitude really. As my father always said, ‘You got a problem? Just get on with it!’.”