Tribute to a legend

Tribute to a legend

As 88-year-old motorcycle legend, Maurie Quincey walks into his usual Friday afternoon activity at Baptcare Karana Community, his face lights up. In front of him is a 1961 Manx Norton TT Racer and Dunstall-Atlas Norton, motorcycles similar to the ones Maurie raced in and made him a nine-time Australian champion in the 1950s.

Maurie, a Karana resident for nearly 12 months with his wife Betty, is truly a legend of his time.

Staff at Baptcare Karana wanted to honour Maurie and his career and the Men’s Group gatherings on a Friday afternoon provided the perfect setting.

The Men’s Group is run by volunteer Jack Jenkin and aims to reconnect residents with things that are no longer readily available to them.  Jack and music therapy host Peter Couglin, both avid motorcycle enthusiasts, got together to plan the event to honour Maurie.

Although Maurie’s career ended 45 years ago, his love for the sport is very much alive and a chance to reconnect him with his racing past is part of Baptcare’s best of care approach.

Starting his racing career in 1947, Maurie competed in his first Australian TT championship in Bunbury, WA in 1950.

He won that race as his proud father, Percy Quincey, a Victoria side care champion in 1922, who made the trip down to WA just in time to see his son win.

That was the first of nine Australian Championships that Maurie won throughout his career. His ambitions did not stop there, he went on to race in Europe in the 1954 and 1955 Isle of Man and also competed in Ireland, England, Belgium, Germany and Holland.

An accident in the 1955 Isle of Man left Maurie badly injured, but he recovered and was back at the top and leading the 1957 Philip Island race, when another accident forced him to retire, without ever returning to the European circuit.

Maurie’s focus turned to his motorcycle business and young family but racing was still in his blood and in 1967 he took up Elfin Formula 2 racing. He was leading the Australian championships that year when technical faults on his car caused him to lose the race. Maurie decided to retire from all racing in 1972.

The memories of his time as an Australian champ was brought to life by the Karana Men’s Group together with Maurie’s son Ray, another man in the family with racing in his blood, and daughter Sue who provided photos and memorabilia.

“Dad was a big influence on me, he is an amazing role model and he ignited the competitive instinct in me,” Ray said as he recounted stories behind his five Australian Championships, stories remarkably similar to that of his father’s.

Surrounded by the old memories, Maurie and wife Betty took a trip down memory lane, smiling and laughing.

“Mum and Dad were very chuffed, I think that was very evident to all involved. I'm sure those memories will actually stick with them for quite some time,” Sue said.

Before the motorbycles made their way out the door, Maurie sat on the 1961 Norton on display. When asked if he would like to take it for a ride, he laughed, looking at Betty “she won’t let me”.

After 64 years of marriage, and nine Australian championships, Maurie still maintains that the biggest race was “the race to win Betty’s heart”.

Contact: Annemarie Watt

Phone: 0428063664

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