Norm Water­son cel­e­brates his mile­stone birth­day

Daily Mercury - - PEOPLE - LUCY MAR­TIN lucy.mar­[email protected]­ly­mer­

NORM Water­son’s doc­tors told him he’s in per­fect health, not too bad for some­one who’s about to cel­e­brate his 95th birth­day.

Mr Water­son was born on De­cem­ber 11, 1923 in the Lis­ter Hospi­tal. He was the fourth of five chil­dren of William and He­len Water­son of Shin­field, near Sarina.

Grow­ing up on the fam­ily’s cane farm, Mr Water­son moved to Mackay in his mid­teens to take up a build­ing ap­pren­tice­ship but had to leave that role when he was called up for army ser­vice dur­ing World War II.

He was de­ployed for four years only re­turn­ing home on leave twice.

Af­ter the war he met his fu­ture wife in Mackay’s for­mer Sun­shine Cafe.

Joyce (Joy) Pitt was work­ing at the Syd­ney St cafe in 1946 when Mr Water­son left her a note ask­ing her to meet him.

Un­known to Miss Pitt, she had pre­vi­ously met Mr Water- son – as a pri­mary school stu­dent at Swayneville State School near Sarina.

Nor did she know that he had also re­lo­cated to Mackay in the late 1930s.

Mr Water­son served in the army dur­ing the Se­cond World War, so it wasn’t un­til he re­turned home that they fi­nally found each other.

Af­ter a seven-month re­la­tion­ship, the cou­ple mar­ried in Cairns on July 19, 1947.

They had be­come en­gaged in Mackay be­fore and re­lo­cated to Cairns for work rea­sons.

“He pro­posed on the banks of the Pi­o­neer River – he parked the car and I had no idea there would be a di­a­mond ring. It was Christ­mas Eve 1946,” Mrs Water­son said.

With no work in the Mackay area af­ter the war, Mr Water­son ac­cepted a job at a Cairns’ sawmill.

Mrs Water­son joined him and worked at a ho­tel.

They were mar­ried in a quiet cer­e­mony at St John’s Church of Eng­land.

Af­ter the birth of their first daugh­ter, Colleen, the fam­ily re­turned to Mackay where Mr Water­son took sea­sonal jobs with the coun­cil and cut­ting cane.

The Water­sons ex­tended their fam­ily with Dianne, Ron and Narelle.

Their fam­ily now in­cludes in-laws Wayne Olsen, David Sturdy, Gaye Water­son and Chris Reinke, nine grand­chil­dren and 19 great-grand­chil­dren. The cou­ple now en­joy gar­den­ing at their home near Valetta Gar­dens.

They both en­joy out­ings to the South Sub­ur­ban Bowls Club and watch­ing hockey.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

MAR­RIED: Norm and Joy Water­son (nee Pitt) on their wed­ding day.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

Norm and Joy Water­son re­newed their wed­ding vows with Rev­erend Rod Gooden.

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