HSPer Col Harris (1937 – 2021)

In Memoriam


As a boy Col was always the slowest mover in his class and soon learnt to dodge sport and the taunts of classmates.  Schoolwork was no great problem and when he left he took a plumbing apprenticeship. Col was never confident on roofs or narrow ledges and always took great care.  He had his own business for many years.

With hindsight Col thought that choosing a “manual, active” career path saved him from earlier impairment from HSP.  Col summed up the wisdom of his experience with HSP in this simple motto: “If you want to keep moving, keep moving!”

Col felt he had been lucky. Doctors said they expected him to be in a wheelchair many years ago. After retirement, Col kept as active as possible, with water aerobics, tending his exhibition poultry and gardening.

Col showing exhibition poultry

Despite having HSP, Col managed to climb the 20 m high Galston Fire tower in his role as a fire spotter for the Rural Fire Service until he was 75. Col had wide-ranging interests covering history, including family histories; navigation, skills that he used to advantage as a fire spotter; and a special interest in poultry breeding and exhibiting, assisting with poultry shows and being the Treasurer for the Bantam Club.

Col and his wife Judith were amongst the first members of the Foundation’s HSP community and have been great supporters throughout. Together they were instrumental in the Galston Garden Club giving substantial annual amounts to help fund HSP research. Judith served on the Foundation Committee as Secretary for some years, while Col made regular visits to the four teaching hospitals in the Sydney area over the years as a “guinea pig” for student and specialist examinations. The work done by the Foundation and the fellowship offered by the social network of members in the Western Sydney area provided an interest and satisfaction to Col.

Col passed away in January aged 83. He is survived by his wife Judith and daughters Wendy and Kathryn.

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