Margaret Hemphill. In the early 1970s i used to help a lady in a wheelchair on & off a spectatpr ferry that watched sailing races every saturday sfternoon. Some special races we would get her up the stairs to our clubhouse for presentation and speeches. Being a kid i did not pry too much, but understood like many of that era had contracted Polio whilst a nurse.
Margarets passion was stereoscopic photography so apart from the bulk of her wheel chair, blanket and spray jacket... if a bumpy day, many rolls of film, special jiggs to hold two cameras and a collection of cameras and long lenses.
Not content with her trusty Datto 120Y, controls adapted to drive, Margaret dreamed of simple transport options, to roll in and out of.
Moving onto the 1980s while no disabled consideration the new wider stairs made lifting a wheelchair safer for volunteer backs.
The beginning of the 1983 sailing seasom Margaret was excited and said she would miss most of the racing as she was picking up a special custom 3 wheel motorbike! In America!!! Her normally kind soft looking expression & kind eyes now a firery glaze like Elizabeth Taylor in to kill a mocking bird.
Early 1984 a warrior bikie drove into the park, next to the Ensemble Theatre, it`s Harley Davidson motor echoing from the units each side. Without any outside assistance our Margaret, reached behind to release the ramp & pushed a few seat belt clips, removed her helmet then with a new found freedom started roaming and saying G`Day to all.
Well she would have but a huge crowd had her trapped as the excited push of by standers admired her conveyance. Margaret proudly pulling out newspapers and photos, documenting her across America from West to East skirting up along Canada then down the East coast and as a bonus was able to be in New York dockside to witness the "little Country that could"... Australia win the Americas Cup to break a 132 year stranglehold by the Yanks! Knowing many of the team since they were kids hanging around sailing clubs dreaming of racing one day.
Being a private person a sad end was she was discovered passed away in her unit a few years later. Many of us who always meant to drop by being too busy with young families etc. A loss as when i tried to find out where her archives of stereoscopic photos were, it seems everything was thrown out.