Pa­tience the key, says cen­te­nar­ian

Albany Extra - - News - Shan­non Smith

Al­bany cel­e­brated the 100th birth­day of one of its most ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, Gwen Nor­man, on Sun­day.

As a vol­un­teer at the City of Al­bany for 34 years, Mrs Nor­man and her late hus­band Gor­don tire­lessly pre­served the re­gion’s his­tory with work to­wards the Al­bany His­tory Col­lec­tion.

The pair were in­stru­men­tal in cre­at­ing a search­able card cat­a­logue of Al­bany’s news­pa­pers, and when the col­lec­tion came online in the 1990s, it pi­o­neered dig­i­tal ac­cess to ar­chives in the re­gion.

Mrs Nor­man moved to Al­bany in 1943 as a sergeant in the Aus­tralian Women’s Army Ser­vice, and she said pre­serv­ing the town’s his­tory had been very im­por­tant to her.

“Gor­don and I started off read­ing all the old news­pa­pers right at the very be­gin­ning and Gor­don used to take the dates and names and events and I would tran­scribe them onto lit­tle cards,” she said.

“We stopped that in 1997 and

You have to wait for things to hap­pen and not force them on.

Gwen Nor­man

trans­ferred all those cards onto the com­puter and I took over, “oral typ­ing” the sto­ries of peo­ple that had been put onto tapes.

“Now I am trans­fer­ring ar­chives and read­ing them and tak­ing in all the dates and in­for­ma­tion.”

When asked what the best les­son she had learnt over her years, she said pa­tience was the most valu­able thing.

“You have to wait for things to hap­pen and not force them on,” she said.

“The best thing that ever hap­pen was be­ing trans­ferred here in the army and meet­ing Gor­don.”

Mrs Nor­man is the proud par­ent of two chil­dren and has five grand­chil­dren and four great-grand­chil­dren.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Gwen Nor­man turned 100 on Sun­day.

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