Square Dance BOOMIron Lung Life Support

Jim's War Diary
Thrust to Stardom

From the Iron Lung

The Magic of Life
Survivor Stories

Jim's inspiring autobiography: "THE MAGIC OF LIFE"...... Available online in book or Pdf manuscript format. Guaranteed to put a little magic into your life.....................................

The Magic of Life!

This is Jim's Story - the story of a well-known Australian 1950's entertainer who contracted the life threatening polio virus when at the height of his public popularity. This is the story of his fight to survive. A controversial autobiography which also provides valuable information for those seeking quality in their lives.

Jim Vickers-Willis reveals his life - starting life as an immigrant, becoming a young journalist, to flying Spitfires in WW2; then becoming a household name as Australia's BOOM Square Dance caller; to his imprisonment in an iron lung and then his fight to live; to entertaining children on early Australian television; then, authoring a 'relationship" best seller; to making a film about nudists, including 250 people square dancing in the nude; and, then passing a University course....... aged 82.

An inspiring story but also one that reveals many valuable clues on how to survive the challenges that life throws at each and everyone of us.

ESCAPE FROM THE IRON LUNG could have been the title of Jim's book. It surprisingly opens by taking us to Kenya, and the filming of little girls held down by their 'loved ones' to be mutilated for life. In his personal escape to life and love story, Jim equates this clitoral mutilation with the results of what he calls 'psychological circumcision', going on almost unnoticed and still happening to the young in our own society.

Here are some quotes from Jim's 'Magic':

It's one thing giving young people information; it's another thing to pass on an attitude.

What you get out of it depends on your attitude. It applies to many things in life - particularly to sex.

Sitting on the bench watching all this was her younger sister, looking terribly frightened - it was her turn next.

The rock band was wearing guitar straps -and nothing else.

'Magic of Life' is available for purchase as an immediate manuscript download (Pdf format) or by mail order as a hard cover book. Purchases can be made using the shopping buttons at right.

At right, we've also included some links to a number of other multi-media resources on Jim's life. This includes his 40 minute 1996 interview on radio 3LO with Doug Aiton. Here is one sample extract when Jim talks about polio and his disability:

Doug Aiton: How do you feel about being 78?
Jim: Well I'm delighted to have reached it. When I had polio it was predicted I wouldn't pass 55. Here I am having great fun, and you know, life couldn't be better. It's wonderful. I have a wonderful wife - that's one of the main things. But I also have 3 great children and 7 grandchildren, and its just wonderful.

Doug Aiton: Has your disability impaired your enjoyment of life a great deal?
Jim: I don't think so. In some ways, it has contributed, because its been a bit of an education for our young ones to have someone like that around...[my grand kids] accept my disability.

Doug Aiton: And you don't ever get angry about the fact that polio so cruelly inflicted you?
Jim: No. I was very lucky to get out of it [the iron lung]. I'm very lucky!

Very Lucky? Indeed! But Jim and those close to him also know he wasn't alone - he could not have achieved what he did without the love and care of his life long partner Beth - the 'Number One' Lady in Jim's Square Dance Exhibition Set, and herself the focus of public admiration for her courage, determination and devotion in nursing Jim through the after effects of polio whilst also coping with her three children's medical problems, when aged only in her late twenties - in 1955, The Argus awarded Beth "Mrs. Housewife of the Year", whilst the magazine Woman's Day and Home wrote a lead article titled "The Testing of Beth Vickers-Willis" (click to open Pdf of this article).

Here is a potted summary of Jim's Story:

Jim Vickers-Willis

Born Mill Hill, England -16th July, 1918
Father: John Vickers Willis (Pa - Philosopher)
Mother: Mildred Amelia Whitcomb (Moppy)
Grandfather: Horace Whitcomb (Journalist)
Siblings: Eric, Les/Bill, Joan, Charles
Sponsored family migration to Australia 1925
Schools:Brighton Grammar/Haileybury
College:Hassett's (Shorthand/Typing)
Enlisted - 12 September 1941
Discharged - 20th February 1946
Diploma of Life Insurance (1964)
Diploma of Financial Planning (2000-Aged 82)

Married: Beth Parkinson (1947)
Children: Sue, Peter, Merle (fostered), Tony
Grandkids: Justin, Sascha, Lindy, Kellie,
Amber, Katy, Emily, Rebecca, Jareth, James
Great Grandkids: Kiani, Jake

Click here to listen to Jim singing with his Grandchildren

Cadet Journalist - The Sun Herald (Melbourne)
WW2 Veteran: RAAF Instructor & Spitfire Pilot
Thirst Aid Mobile Canteens
Entertainer - Square Dance Caller/Instructor
Author- The Australian Standard Square Dance
Manufacturer - Baby Barriers
Entertainer - Puppet Pantomime
Manufacturer - Puppet Pantomime Sets
Manufacturer - Jack-in-the-Boxes
Life Insurance Representative & Certified Financial Planner (T&G, Nat Mutual, AXA)
Sunday School Teacher (St.Leonards, Brighton)
Awarded 'Paul Harris Fellow' of Rotary International


Author:
The Magic of Life!
Are You (Really) Fun To Live With?
The War Diary
The Australian Standard Square Dance

Author/Producer:
Let's Get It All Off - For Goodness Sake (film)
Report/Talk on Sex (film)
Sexuality & Your Quality of Life (audio)
Female Sexual Expression (audio)
Male Sexuality (audio)
HoeDown-Under (film)
Square Dance at Home (audio)

Social Advocacy:
Comprehensive sex education for all.
Australian withdrawal from Vietnam War
Legal nude bathing beaches
Foreshore bike paths
Anti-tobacco lobby
Prison reform

Australian Senate Candidate 1967
Election Platform:"Vote Us Out Of Vietnam"

 

The Magic of Life

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More on Jim's life story:

Listen to Doug Aiton's interview of Jim Vickers-Willis (40 minutes). Jim reflects on his life whilst guest DJ on Melbourne's Radio 3LO, aged 78.

 

Aged 84, Jim riding his tricycle for the George Negus Tonight Show 2002 (1 minute)

 

Jim & Beth's 5 minute interview on the George Negus Tonight Show (Be patient - buffering will take a little time).

 

View Jim's Photo Gallery

 

 


 

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