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Lorna Rickert - Loving her Community 100 years
Lorna Rickert. Photos: Supplied.

Loving her community 100 years

Lorna Rickert’s commitment to her local Eastern Downs congregation is so great she has served it almost as long as it has been open. Ashley Thompson writes.

Born in Toowoomba hospital the year of the Anzac (1915), Lorna Jane Rickert grew up in the town of Nobby—a community of barely 400 people.

“I married my neighbour—that is what kept me in Nobby all of my life!” explains Lorna. “I married Frank Rickert and we have had a family of five and were very happily married.”

A rarity in today’s fast-paced and scattered society, Lorna’s life is one of simplicity and considered communication built on a love of God and family. Indeed, beyond her five offspring, Lorna and Frank’s legacy lives on in their nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

“No, I have no regrets,” says Lorna about her choices in life. “I am very happy with my family and my grandchildren and I don’t know if I would have been any happier in any other field.”

While considering nursing at an early age, Lorna has never questioned whether her life’s plan was not God’s will. Surviving her husband’s passing at age 89 and those of many dear friends and relatives, Lorna’s faith in God remains unshaken and is now “deeper than ever”.

Despite turning 100 last month, Lorna is not defined by her age and was celebrated by her community with a Medal of the Order of Australia “for service to the community of Nobby and to the Sister Kenny Memorial Fund”.

“Lorna has been an exemplary community citizen who also was instrumental in recognising Sister Kenny’s work with polio in our community,” reiterates friend and Eastern Downs Uniting Church member, Julie Earl.

Beyond her extensive involvement at church Lorna is not your average retiree: as lucid as a twenty-year-old and with hardly a day to spare.

“Of course I have heaps of hobbies,” says Lorna, “I am an artist, a [former] wood carver, I play golf and I am interested in the County Women’s Association—I carry out whatever they are doing as well as church work.”

Lorna’s lessons from the simple life are wise yet unassuming:

“Take time to contemplate because everyone’s always rushing madly around thinking you’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that—but it’s all the got-to’s and the have-to’s pushing people and it’s time to reflect.”

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