At home I’d take them (his parents) up a cup of tea every morning at 6 o’clock. Every day for 52 years. I didn’t know I had Cerebral Palsy until ten years ago.
I didn’t know. In 1920/1930, nobody knew. In 1927 I was born. If something happened when I was born, I don’t know. Some people said I didn’t cry for three days.
I might be the oldest person in Australia with this disease.
(Ian’s father was a doctor, they could never pinpoint exactly what was wrong with him. He had a very loving family and they never deterred anything that he tried to do. His Dad got him into the share market. He was very independent, but he lived with his parents his whole life and that’s why he’s always been such a devoted son. When he was first born, they thought maybe he’d live till he was 30 and if he lived after 30 he’d be in a wheelchair until 50. It’s probably only in the last ten years that he’s deteriorated. He drove, he did everything at home, he could walk. – Sally, Ian’s niece)
I enjoyed two jobs. One job I had for 8 months. I didn’t last long. Then I joined the Murwillumbah hospital. I was there for 40 odd years. I helped them in the storeroom and messenger boy. I was never paid the full wage. Handicapped. But I did all right. My holidays were in July. They said on Friday, ‘you need to take them on Monday’. On Monday night they rang up me and asked me to come back to work. Which I did. A fool. I should have said no. We had a farm at Mooball, I like going out there. I would try and work the farm with my brother but my back’s too bad. I went on tours. I’ve been to Japan. I’ve been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Noumea, New Zealand eight times – five of them on a cruise. My favourite place is here, always here. (Ian grew up in Kingscliff on Hungerford Lane overlooking the creek). I went around the world in 7 weeks. Via Japan, Honolulu, Seattle to England. 23 days on the continent. Beijing. Rounded the Cape of Good Hope around South Africa because the Suez was closed. I rode a camel in Ayers Rock. They were all encouraging me, so I did it. I’ve got two scooters. I go out to town. I might go away for about an hour and a half. It (scooter) goes about 15mile an hour. I’ve been down to Salt (Village). I’ve been to Fingal (Head). Going along the boardwalk near the creek. I try and go out as much as I can on my scooter. Only problem is, it’s not far enough out (town). I like to keep busy. I’ve had an adventurous life. I got all my travel in. I have an amazing family.