Friends, family and colleagues are remembering Lois Harte-Maxwell. The former city councillor and tireless advocate for the disabled passed away yesterday. Steve Guthrie takes a look back at her life.
Harte-Maxwell contracted polio when she was nine years old, leaving her with limited use of her legs. But even then, she knew she had contributions to make in the face of those who said she could’nt
Lois Harte-Maxwell, April 2008
“I knew in my heart, that I had something to offer, even at that young age. I understood what they were saying, that I was only 9 years old, didn’t matter that I was paralyzed from the waist down, give me a chance”
Laurie Wuis, daughter
“She never identified herself by her disability. In other words, I have polio and I’m Lois Harte-Maxwell , no, I’m Lois I happen to have polio.
Harte-Maxwell helped establish Peterborough Participation projects and the council for persons with disabilities. Vice Chair Andrea Dodsworth says Harte Maxwell knew what she wanted for the disabled, but also knew change takes time
Andrea Dodsworth, Council for Persons with Disabilities
“She wanted something done, she always knew it could be done, but it would take time to find out how it could be done but eventually she would found a way to get it done”
In pursuit of the rights of the disabled, Hart Maxwell ran for city council and served from 1986 to 1994. Sylvia Sutherland served with Harte Maxwell as mayor.
‘Lois, of course, was always a proponent for anything to improve the lives of those with disabilities in Peterborough, she lead that charge, but she was broader than that. I always saw Lois as an excellent alderman as they were back then, or councillor, she was hard working, she listened to her constituents she brought their issues.
Visitation for Lois Harte-Maxwell will take place on Monday October 3 from 2-4 and 7-9 at Ashburnham Funeral Home on Armour Road.
Steve Guthrie CHEX Newswatch Peterborough”