Jocelyn Morrison last rode an elephant when she was 17 and,
at 71, she will ride another. Photo by Christina McDonald.
At 17, she rode an elephant down Dunedin's George St and
now, at 71, she will again ride an elephant, but this time in
In 1960, having relocated to Dunedin from the Waikaka Valley,
near Gore, to study, Jocelyn Morrison found herself as one of
a group of young women studying home science practising how
to ride elephants.
Now living in Queenstown, she recounted the events that have
influenced this year's travel bucket list.
In 1960, Farry's clothing shop arranged to get seven home
science students to wear Farry's jackets and ride elephants
from the circus that was in town.
''So we rode our very elaborate bikes down to the clothing
shop and tried on our jackets, and we practised elephant
''The next day, we rode our bikes down to the circus.''
They were then taken to the front of the hospital before
proceeding to ride ''down the main street of Dunedin, [then]
we stopped outside Farry's fashion shop and they had a wee
set of steps and at that point we were given bouquets of
flowers. Then we proceeded to ride back to the circus and
then we got on our bikes and rode home.''
She said the university's student union was paid money for
The money went towards the Colombo Plan, which helped bring
foreign students to study in Otago.
After the elephant experience, Ms Morrison thought ''that was
the end of the story'' but a photo of the seven students
appeared on the front page of the Otago Daily Times on
April 1, 1960.
Her mother found out and told her that was not what she went
to university for, but ''I was let off because it was for
''So now I will be in Thailand in October [and] on my bucket
list is that I will ride another elephant, because the
significance is that I'm 71 now and I was 17 then.''
However, the timing was ''complete coincidence'' and the ride
was part of wider travel plans.
Ms Morrison left New Zealand yesterday.
''Last year, I swam with sharks and stingrays in Tahiti -
every holiday has to have a bucket list achievement, and this
time it's riding an elephant.''