Last Thursday, 11th September, I and my wife, Vera, attended the Funeral of Norman in Yeovil at the Crematorium. For the Club members who did not really know him, Norman joined GHC in the mid-1960s. His hockey background was very impressive.
He had been in the ‘Far East’ for many years and had four gold medals for Penang, Malaysia, Singapore and another country! He just missed being an Olympian, too. He was 57, I believe, when he joined the Club, and an excellent player.
He was immediately made Skipper of the Shadows and their results were very good indeed. Norman was a person who everyone liked and respected. There was nothing he could not do to help the Club and volunteered whenever we needed help. After many years playing for various teams, he became injured and had to give up playing. So, not to be outdone he became a hockey umpire and good at that as well. The Gondoliers adopted him and he became an Umpire and honary member.
He was always a Guildford man and enjoyed our company. On his moving to Yeovil three years ago to be near his family, The Gondoliers had a farewell lunch party at the Slug and Lettuce pub in Godalming. This was a long alcoholic occasion! We had a group photograph taken and Norman had it displayed on his wall at his home. I am told it was his favourite. Norman was a committed Christian and joined the ‘Martock Christian Fellowship’ Church and where I was told he threw himself into all the Church activities with gusto. He was greatly liked and many members of his congregation were at the funeral.
The Service was taken by Pastor Chris Spracklen who had come back from his holiday especially to officiate and returned after the service. That indicated how Norman had become an important friend of his Church. What was interesting was the reference to our Club Web page where Pastor Spracklen had looked at the page to get information on the Club.
Norman was a keen Cricketer too and umpired many games. It was only after the service that the family became aware that I represented the Club as its President and all the family were very pleased. After the service many attended the family occasion with refreshments at his daughter’s farm and there I met grandsons who had also played hockey and one was the skipper of the Shadows a few years ago, as had David Vowles, Norman’s son! Norman was 90 when he died and he will be sorely missed by all his family, his Yeovil friends, and Guildford Club members.
Ian Russell, President GHC
Norman as a cricket umpire
A young Norman with his wife Kim