A Tribute to Bruce Ellison

10/10/1953 – 29/05/2016

Written by Carolyn Campbell-McLean in Talking Point 2016

Sadly, we have lost another of our MD legends. Bruce Ellison passed away, aged 62, in May this year, survived by his darling partner Ursula, beloved dog, Kermit the Poodle, and Yuki the Japanese Spitz, and large family of 10 siblings. Bruce Ellison was an outstanding, active, positive man, compassionate friend and all-round true gentleman.

Bruce was one of the strongest contributors to our MDNSW in its history, serving 15 years as a Board Director and 3 years as President, stepping down in 2007. His great contribution was not only in a professional capacity, but in his genuine understanding of the needs of people living with neuromuscular conditions over different life stages. He developed our newsletter, Talking Point, into a useful and member focused publication, was involved in a number of access campaigns and was a fierce advocate for change for people with disability. Bruce was involved in access campaigns, the launch of Lime Taxis, and also served Push and Power Wheelchair Sports and a range of other community groups. All this community work and he worked fulltime as an Accountant at Lifesavers Confectionery since 1974.

A proud “sports nut” Bruce adapted his dreams to bat for Australia and play fullback for the Kangaroos into his skill on the wheelchair footy court. I fondly recall sitting up the back of the bus with Bruce, laughing at all his jokes and he told me it was so good to have more girls play sports!

Bruce was well known for being the most knowledgeable and passionate sports fan in Northern Sydney. He spent much of his time at the SCG, following the North Sydney Bears and watching his beloved motor racing. In 1983 Bruce took an incredible opportunity to travel to Europe with a friend who set up an accessible van for them to live and travel in. They went to the San Marino GP, Monaco GP, Belgian GP and British GP and visited as many of the normal tourist destinations as possible. Bruce recounted this trip as one the highlights of his full and active life.

We will treasure our time with you Bruce, and always be grateful for the contribution you made and legacy you have left to our neuromuscular community. You have inspired me and may others to accept our disability, get on with life and ‘Live the Dream’. We will miss you Wombat! In Bruce’s own words “We must never despair; life is too short to miss any of it. Keep smiling”.

Read the touching words Bruce read at his 50th birthday party to his loved ones.