Maurice’s inspiring legacy
To everyone who knew him — and even those who knew of him — Maurice Lock has been an inspiring figure.
Born in South Australia in 1939, Mr Lock was diagnosed with cerebral palsy before he could even celebrate his first birthday.
The disability left him with hardly any function on his upper body, with the doctor telling his parents it would be wise for them to leave him in a nursing home.
But his parents refused to give up on their first-born child. They took him back to their family farm where they raised him to be as independent as possible.
At the age of 10, Maurice was able to fly solo from Adelaide to join his father and his family who had just moved to their new farm in Porongurup.
His journey from Adelaide to Perth and then again to Albany was documented by The West Australian newspaper, which told the unique tale of the disabled boy who flew solo interstate.
Mr Lock continued to live an independent and fulfilling life at his family farm at Takalarup Creek where he would then attain his driver’s license and permanent employment in Albany.
He went on to write a memoir of his life to help break down barriers and misconceptions people had about disabled people.
In his memoir, his mother Laurel recalls their efforts to keep their son as self-sufficient and mobile as possible.
“We never treated him as disabled and never treated him as different. He would always get the same treatment as everybody else,” she said in Mr Lock’s memoir.
“If we had done everything for him, he wouldn’t have been able to do the things for himself that he was eventually able to do.
“People thought we were hard, but we had to be firm to keep him mobile.”
Mr Lock retired almost a decade ago and moved into the Clarence Estate nursing house, where he served as a source of inspiration to residents and staff.
He died on Tuesday last week at the age of 80.
His ingenious ways to accomplish the things he wanted to do in his life — often using his feet — inspired many people and had a significant impact on the disabled community in the Great Southern.
His main carer, Clarence Estate clinical nurse, Dom Brennan said he was an “extremely independent” man with a joyful outlook.
“He wouldn’t suffer fools easily, especially when people treated him wrong and looked down on him.
He was a great listener and he was like a counsellor here — staff would even come to him and talk to him about their problems.
His sister, Joy Blair, said he was an outstanding, unique person. His great sense of humour and Scrabble expertise was one of the many things she would miss about him.
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