Gwen’s values will live on for her family

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Gwen Norman turned 100 on Sunday.
Camera IconGwen Norman turned 100 on Sunday. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Albany’s Gwen Norman has died at the age of 101, but her family say her kind and caring values will continue to be treasured by all who knew her.

It was only three months ago that Mrs Norman retired from 35 years of volunteering, preserving local history with the City of Albany.

Albany’s senior of the year in 2012, she was a life member of the Albany Historical Society, the Albany Agricultural Society and the Albany Ladies’ Probus Club.

Mrs Norman moved to Albany in 1942 as a sergeant in the Australian Women’s Army Service, where she met and married her husband, Royal Australian Navy volunteer reservist Gordon Norman in 1944.

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The couple were instrumental in preserving information from early local newspapers to create a card catalogue in preparation for a groundbreaking online index.

Matt Hammond, Gwen Norman and David Theodore.
Camera IconMatt Hammond, Gwen Norman and David Theodore. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Her daughter Kathy said the qualities she had as a sergeant meant she tackled whatever life threw at her with a positive attitude.

“That discipline, determination and the leadership qualities have enabled her to do all the things that she has done through her life,” she said.

“Her positive attitude and her ability to make the best of every situation she was in was probably what kept her going.

“She lived very much by her Christian values and that coloured everything she did.

“We were very proud of her, and her values are something that we all stand by and respect, and they have influenced our life.

“She always saw the best in everybody, and she loved meeting and learning about people.”

Part of the Australian Women's Army Service exhibition in 2017.
Camera IconPart of the Australian Women's Army Service exhibition in 2017. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Mrs Norman met Queen Elizabeth II in 1954 when her husband was on the City of Albany council.

In an interview with the Albany Advertiser on her 100th birthday, she said patience was one of the most valuable things she had learned throughout her life.

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

“I don’t know what my secret to a long life is but I have always been very active and never turned anything down and taken an interest in everything around me.”

Mrs Norman will be farewelled by many at her funeral at 10am on Friday at the Wesley Church.

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