THE four-wheel drive movement lost a good friend and a tireless worker recently, when Ian Lacey passed away from complications of a heart attack suffered a couple of weeks previously while on a 4x4 trip through Outback SA.
Lace, as he was known amongst his friends, was born in September of 1942. He joined the SEC when he was just 15 and stayed with them all his working life. He came to the four-wheel drive movement here in Victoria in the early ’80s and joined the Yarra Valley 4x4 Club.
In the ’90s he was vice president – and he spent two years as president – of the Victorian 4WD Association (now 4WD Victoria).
I first met Lace in the late ’90s when he was involved with running the scoring for a number of high profile 4WD events, including the Rainforest Challenge in Malaysia. With his expertise he became the head scorer for the Outback Challenge – back then it was run by 4X4 Australia – and it was something he did for many years. The position was challenging and, especially in the early years, often mired in controversy. In his calm and collected way Lace would work through the issues to everyone’s satisfaction.
In 2004 he, along with the late Pete Dwyer and Michael Coldham (then President of the 4WD Victoria), and Alison McLaughlin, established the long running 4WD Radio Show, which helped promote 4WDing and touring throughout Victoria and Australia.
He was a tireless worker for the Australian National 4WD Council (ANFWDC), holding a host of positions until his retirement just a couple of months ago. Between 2004 and 2006 he was one of the main people behind a range of technical training manuals for the council, including the driver training assessment guide. Those manuals and guides are still used today.
He was one of the instigators in establishing the Idlers 4WD Club, a club for retired and semi-retired people. He served in many positions at the club, including president. Over the years Lace took many people on trips and introduced them to 4WDing and touring this great country of ours, especially the Simpson Desert which he loved.
While Ian Lacey’s support and work for the 4WD movement was considerable and long lasting, he will always be remembered fondly for his gentle, kind manner and his willingness to help anyone and everybody. He was one of life’s true gentlemen. To his family and friends go our heart-felt condolences. We’ll miss you Lace!