Mount Morgan stalwart motors to 100th birthday

Claude McKnight is a Mount Morgan man through and through – and today he became the town’s newest centenarian.

A resident of the Carinity Summit Cottages aged care community in Mount Morgan, Claude has joined the exclusive ‘100 club’.

Carinity Summit Cottages resident Claude McKnight turns 100 on August 2.
Carinity Summit Cottages resident Claude McKnight turns 100 on August 2.

He was born in Mount Morgan on 2 August 1920 – the day following the birth of two-time Olympic diving champion Sammy Lee, and one day before the birth of detective novelist P.D. James.

Claude, whose parents and great-grandparents were also born in Mount Morgan, left school when he was 15 to start his working career delivering mail.

He went on to become a senior Postmaster and later served in the Australian Army as a telegraphist specialising in Morse code.

While Claude travelled around Queensland with his work, he spent the majority of his life in and around the Mount Morgan area.

He married his wife Ailsa in 1945 and they had four children – one son and three daughters – who now live in Rockhampton, Proserpine and Brisbane.

A big fan of the Ma and Pa Kettle movie series, Claude was well known around town for his love of motorcycles.

He has always loved road bikes and has owned many two-wheelers throughout his life.

Triumph motorcycles were his favourite with his pride and joy being a 1948 model which he still talks about and has photos of in his room at Carinity Summit Cottages.

Last year Summit Cottages staff granted the then 98-year-old’s wish of experiencing a joyride around Mount Morgan in the sidecar of a 1940s Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Claude McKnight in the sidecar of a World War II Harley Davidson army motorcycle in 2019.
Claude in the sidecar of a World War II Harley Davidson army motorcycle last year.

These days Claude lives a relaxing life at Carinity Summit Cottages, where he has resided for seven years.

He enjoys listening to the radio, watching television and reading newspapers.

There are around 5,000 people aged 100 years or over in Australia including Claude’s neighbour at Carinity Summit Cottages, Lorna Craney, who turned 101 last month.

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