Chapter closes for long-time history volunteer

Published: Monday, 2 September 2019 at 9:03:49 AM


After more than three decades dedicated to preserving and recording local history, 101-year-old Gwen Norman’s chapter as a City of Albany volunteer is coming to a close.

Possessing a wealth of knowledge about all facets of local history and heritage, Gwen came to Albany in 1943 as a sergeant with the Australian Women’s Army Service, where she met and married Royal Australian Navy volunteer reservist Gordon Norman (dec) in 1944.

Gwen and Gordon were instrumental in gathering information from Albany’s earliest newspapers to create a card catalogue in preparation for a ground-breaking online index, pioneering digital access to archives for regional libraries in Western Australia in the 1990s.

Gwen’s achievements leaves a lasting legacy in the annals of Albany’s history.
City of Albany Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharpe described Gwen as a living treasure and lauded her for her dedicated service to Albany.

“Gwen’s long contribution to Albany will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come, with our history preserved well into the future thanks to her efforts,” Mr Sharpe said.

“She proves that age is just a number and with so many volunteers like her in Albany, we’re very lucky as it wouldn’t be such a fantastic community without them.”

City of Albany Local History Coordinator Sue Lefroy worked alongside Gwen for many years and said she was sad to see her retire from volunteering.

“Gwen is an inspiration to us all. She has been an exceptional mentor to the library and history collection staff and other volunteers over the years. Her knowledge, energy and generosity will be sorely missed,” Ms Lefroy said.

The City of Albany presented Gwen with a gift and certificate of appreciation on Wednesday to recognise her retirement.

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