Saskatchewan Polytechnic celebrates as alumnus sets Guinness World Record

Lorne Figley, Plumber
Lorne Figley, Plumber

Saskatchewan Polytechnic celebrates as alumnus sets Guinness World Record

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Lorne Figley is the world’s oldest plumber

October 24, 2016 – Even though he’s 92-years-old, Lorne Figley is proud to be working every day doing what he loves.

“Working helps keep my body fit and my brain sharp. I hope to die with a pipe wrench in my hand,” says Lorne.

Having received his technical training at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in the 1950s and 1970s, which includes sheet metal, plumbing, steam fitting/pipefitting/refrigeration and air conditioning, he still uses the knowledge as he continues to operate his own heating and plumbing business in Saskatoon.

“Oh, I definitely enjoyed my time there,” says Lorne, speaking about Sask Polytech. “I’d still be going if there was more for me to learn.”

Lorne shares that his instructors at the institution were exceptional. He was happy to learn from topline instructors with employer connections – something that continues to be part of the benefits of a Sask Polytech education. He also says that having access to quality technical training enabled him to expand his expertise and survive economic ups and downs.

“I was able to do all the trades required in plumbing and heating after my business was downsized. This has allowed me to keep the company running as a one-man operation and gives me the opportunity to keep busy,” says Lorne.

On Sunday, October 23, Sask Polytech presented Lorne with a lifetime achievement award. A $500 student award was also created in Lorne’s name for an apprenticeship student who receives the highest marks on his or her journeyperson exam for a trade of Lorne’s choosing.

“It is truly an honour to meet and celebrate Mr. Figley’s remarkable accomplishments,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. “Lorne is a lifelong learner, and we are very proud to have him as an alumnus. His dedication to his work and his trade is inspiring to all of us.”

As far as becoming a Guinness World Record holder, Lorne says he’s pretty proud of his achievements.

“My children and grandchildren include three engineers, four PhD’s, a nurse, a lawyer and a veterinarian, but I’m the only one with a Guinness World Record,” he says with a chuckle.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 27,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student needs, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.