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Celebrating Norm: A Lifetime of Service and Community Spirit

Updated: May 22

Photo Credit: Vince Lethbridge

In honour of National Volunteer Week, we are proud to feature the inspiring story of our beloved resident, Norm. At 95 years young, Norm continues to be an active and cherished member of the Carinya community, participating regularly in various activities and most recently joining our Diversity and Inclusion committee. His story is a testament to the enduring spirit of volunteerism and community service.

Norm as a child
Norm as a child

Norm was born in Koo Wee Rup, Victoria, but his early years were spent in Portland after his family moved there shortly after his birth. In 1956, life brought Norm to Korumburra when he and his wife moved to our loved town. Norm accepted a job driving trains from Yarram to Melbourne, a role that came with the wonderful perk of a house for them to live in, making their transition smooth and exciting.

Over the decades, Norm has woven himself into the fabric of Korumburra through his unwavering dedication to volunteerism. He proudly displays his awards from his extensive volunteer work with the Lions Club and the Freemasons, each symbolising a milestone in his incredible journey of service. Remarkably, Norm has achieved 50-year awards from both organisations, a feat that highlights his long-term commitment and passion.

Among his treasured accolades, Norm holds the Lions Club "Melvin Jones Fellow" Award in high esteem. This prestigious award recognises his dedicated humanitarian services. In addition to this, Norm has a collection of badges from organising bus trips across Australia and even to New Zealand, each badge a reminder of the adventures and memories made along the way.

Norm's leadership skills shone brightly when he served as District Governor for the Lions, further broadening his horizons and connections within the global Lions community.

Recently, Norm experienced a heartfelt moment as he was invited as a special guest to present the "Most Improved" award to the Korumburra Lions Club. This award, initiated by Norm and his wife May, over a decade ago, continues to encourage and recognise growth within the club, a legacy that speaks to their enduring influence.

Norm presenting "Most Improved" Award
Norm presenting "Most Improved" Award Photo Credit: Vince Lethbridge

Norm also shared some insights into his involvement with the Freemasons, a group often surrounded by mystery and misconceptions. "Everyone thinks Freemasons is this secret society, and yes, we do have a handshake," he chuckled. "But the community work is what should be celebrated." This perspective emphasises the significant and positive impact the Freemasons have through their charitable efforts, an aspect that Norm deeply values.

When asked what has motivated him to keep volunteering for so many years, Norm’s answer was simple yet profound: “It makes me feel good to help other people and keeps me alive.” This sentiment captures the essence of Norm’s spirit—a genuine desire to uplift others and stay engaged with the world around him.

Norm’s story is not just about the awards and accolades; it’s about the countless lives he has touched through his selfless acts of kindness. His presence at Carinya and in the broader community serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all of us. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we honour Norm and his remarkable contributions, reminding ourselves of the power of giving back and the joy it brings.

Thank you, Norm, for showing us that a life well-lived is one dedicated to the service of others. Your legacy is a shining example for future generations to follow.


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