BIRTHDAY JOY FOR NORM
Norm Waterson celebrates his milestone birthday
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.
MARRIED: Norm and Joy Waterson (nee Pitt) on their wedding day.
Norm and Joy Waterson renewed their wedding vows with Reverend Rod Gooden.