Jan 23, 2012

Millie Sampson - Maxwell Drycleaning

This week I have found out two remarkable things about Millie Sampson.

1)    She has worked at the drycleaners shop in Remuera for 25 years. For 18 of those it was NZ Drycleaners and for the last seven it has been Maxwells Drycleaning.

2)    Millie was a world class athlete, running the fastest marathon time in the world for women in 1964 and competing in several world championships in cross country running.
Millie came late to running and ran her first race on her 28th birthday, which she won and then she kept winning.
She was the NZ cross country women’s champion in 1963, 1964 and 1965 before it was officially recognised as a race even though the women raced alongside the men at the same venue. But that was to change and she was officially the champion in 1966, 1968 and 1972. In 1967 she went off to the English Championships in England and came in third despite having fractured her foot during training. However, the injury was too severe for her to continue running and she missed out on the World Championships. But, at the 1969 World Championships (they were biannual) in Scotland, she won all the lead up races but fell sick with bronchitis and still managed to come in fifth. She also competed in the 1971 and 1973 World Championships in Spain and Belgium respectively but her foot was still troubling her and she decided after that to retire from running.
Millie was always passionate about sport. In fact, one of her school reports said that if Millie dedicated herself to her schoolwork with the same energy she gave to sports she would have excelled academically.

She didn’t only run. Through the 1950’s she played for the Auckland softball team and was in the Auckland basketball team for ten years during the 1960’s.
Millie has always loved working in Remuera and being in the middle of it all and has watched her customer’s children grow up and become clients themselves.

She is unmarried and has no children but enjoys her extended family and has heaps of friends so she is never bored or in need of company. She gave up on making New Year’s resolutions years ago and her philosophy on life is to live for today. Great advice indeed from a superb athlete and wonderful lady.