Lau­rie Fox

Old Bike Australasia - - BUZZ BOX - From Colin Thomp­son

LAU­RIE FOX, who passed away in Mount Gambier on Au­gust 27, aged 90, lived for mo­tor­cy­cling.

Born and bred in the South Aus­tralian city, Lau­rie be­gan his work­ing life at 14 years of age at Walker’s Garage. He bought his first mo­tor­cy­cle in 1943, a small BSA. Lau­rie was a pro­lific com­peti­tor on both so­los and side­cars, on and off road, and op­er­ated a suc­cess­ful mo­tor­cy­cle and car busi­ness from 1947. For a time he raced both a 250 Tri­umph solo and a 596cc Manx Nor­ton out­fit in South Aus­tralian and Vic­to­rian road races. On the Nor­ton, he be­came a top side­car com­peti­tor and a reg­u­lar at Bathurst. From the time the Mount Gambier MCC re-formed in 1946 fol­low­ing WW2, Lau­rie served as club sec­re­tary, and in 1957 was made a life mem­ber. He was highly in­stru­men­tal in the club ac­quir­ing prop­erty on which to build its own road race circuit, named McNa­mara Park, which is to­day the back­bone of the sport in the area. And ever since that circuit opened, Lau­rie has played nu­mer­ous roles in of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity, no­tably that of hand­i­cap­per for that event on each pro­gram. Ev­ery meet­ing, Lau­rie would be seen wan­der­ing about with his clip­board and stopwatch, cal­cu­lat­ing hand­i­cap times, and he was usu­ally spot-on. He was in that very role on the day he died, suf­fer­ing a mas­sive stroke while pre­par­ing to time rid­ers for the Side­car Hand­i­cap. He was quickly at­tended to by the med­i­cal crew at the circuit and rushed to hospi­tal, but passed away soon af­ter.

While the grief over Lau­rie’s death was felt uni­ver­sally, all agreed that this was the way he would have wished to go. He was awarded an OAM in 2003 for 60 years of ser­vice to mo­tor sports. For 40 years he wrote a mo­tor sport col­umn in the Bor­der Watch news­pa­per, the last pub­lished just days be­fore his death. A tes­ta­ment to the man’s uni­ver­sal pop­u­lar­ity and es­teem was the mas­sive turnout for his fu­neral in Mount Gambier on Mon­day 4th Septem­ber, with a large con­tin­gent of mo­tor­cy­cles de­spite the very wet con­di­tions.

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