Faithful 'Henry' seeks new home
THERE are few cars that have been as reliable as this 1986 Nissan Prairie, known as "Henry", used in a four-year 16,500km journey around Australia as part of the late Jacob Baldwin's lifetime humanitarian mission in the service of disability awareness.
This historically important car is being offered for donation to a suitable organisation or individual collector.
Jacob's 'Ability Trek' departed from Lismore in January 1992, with the goal of celebrating the abilities of people with disabilities and inspiring disability policy improvements on a national scale.
The journey took four years and with Jacob using only his motorised wheelchair to cover the distance, he needed a reliable support vehicle.
"Henry" proved its worth by completing the entire trek, and survives intact today in the garage of Jacob's Goonellabah home.
Efforts so far to have the vehicle placed in an automobile museum have been unsuccessful, but Jacob's parents remain committed to supporting their son's dream that the car be preserved as an icon of Jacob's mission.
Jacob Baldwin used his "formidable intellect" to improve the lives of Australians with disabilities, and as a founding member of the NSW Disability Council he worked to ensure they had access to proper insurance, ready access to buildings through proper building codes and appropriate health care.
He was a true pioneer of disability awareness on a national scale, able to work in the system - as the first person classified as having a disability in a senior role of the NSW public service - and outside the system, as shown by the trek.
Among many other achievements, he was honoured with an Australian Achiever Award in 2000.
Jacob's life and achievements have been formally recognised with a permanent exhibit in development at the National Australia Museum, Canberra, which will include a DVD of the national trek.
Anyone interested in providing the 26-year-old vehicle with a permanent display home should contact 0431 611 251.