Maureen Bruce: Obituary / 16 January 2009
As I mentioned earlier, friends and colleagues will be holding a special celebration of the life of Maureen Bruce, Disabled activist and one of the main pillars of the East Sussex Disability Association on her birthday, Sunday 18th January.
It was Maureen, along with other Disabled people in Sussex who worked hard at getting the Association changed from being controlled by well meaning but politically naive non-disabled people to the present organisation run and controlled by Disabled people. Both Jeni and I have had the privilege of working for the organisation in the past.
Loved and respected by all of us who knew her, Maureen was totally uncompromising in her approach to anything that attempted to keep us crips in our place and proved to be an untiring advocate when it came to challenging the barriers that disempowered Disabled people. She was heavily involved in getting the Direct Payments scheme up and running in East Sussex and was one of the first Disabled people in the area to run and manage her own scheme.
Maureen had a wicked sense of humour and I must admit to taking some of the inspiration for some of my more controversial cartoons from her! When she died earlier last year, she left a massive hole in the ranks of Disabled people who are fighting for Equal Rights in our very unequal society.
In keeping with Maureen’s own style and approach to life, the Celebration event will have a definite musical theme, mixed with memories of Maureen’s humour and her amazing impact on everyone who knew her. As you’ll gather from the cartoon, Monty Python’s Life of Brian was high on her list of must have films. I have it on good authority that readings of ‘What have the Roman’s ever done for us?!’ (which is what the cartoon is obviously inspired by), ‘The Stoning’, and ‘The ex-leper’ will feature amongst the cakes and scones that Maureen would have insisted on for any party.
Although not the messiah, Maureen was a very naughty girl … and we all love her and miss her.
If you can’t make it I’m sure that her partner Andrew will be pleased to hear from you. You can contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org – tell him Crippen sent you!
Accessibility - For those of you using descriptive or transcribing software there’s a text version of the cartoon linked to it. You can also click anywhere on the cartoon to get an enlarged version of it along with the descriptive text.