Nobody can talk about Norm Griffin like Norm Griffin could. His beloved wife & family had always told him he had better write his own Eulogy. Norm was always of the opinion he was going to live til he was 200 and therefore the thought never crossed his mind. So we hope we get it right Norm... The name Norm Griffin means so many different things to everyone who is here today. For some it will mean a fierce Ski Racing competitor or in recent years commentator, others a successful builder, boss, co worker and many others I am sure. However to us it meant Husband, Father, Grandfather & Great Grandfather. Norm was the Griffin family Patriarch. Norman Alan Griffin was born in Kyogle in 1928 to parents Una Ivy Jane & Alfred Daniel. Norm was the youngest of three with older sister Phillys & older brother Allen. Norm only ever had 1 pair of shoes growing up and therefore when working on the farm he had to jump from cow pat to cow pat to keep his feet warm in the winter. In 1946 at the age of 18 Norm moved to Sydney and purchased a motorbike. This was the start of Norm’s love for mechanics. Norm along with his brother Allen started subcontracting as carpenters to the building industry. By about 1952 it was time to branch out into bigger things. Griffin Homes was born. This was the way these two brothers turned a small sub-contracting business into one of the biggest house building businesses in NSW. During Norms early sub-contracting years Norm decided to give boxing ago. Norm ended up having 13 straight wins in a period of 12 months and quickly grab the nickname SNOWIE. His fame in this sport even allowed him to get off a possible motorbike infringement because the copper from Parramatta recognised him. In 1952 Norm met the love of his life Shirley June Griffin known to everyone as June. Norm & June were married in 1953 in Parramatta. On the return from their honeymoon the two moved into their house Northmead home that Norm built located in Lombard Street. In 1954 there first child arrived, Lynette. In 1956 second child arrived, Faye. It became a Griffin family tradition to name the toys after the children and the caravan Faylyn is born. Faylyn was to become the family holiday home towed from place to place as required. A family favourite was Budgewoi, which is where Norm learnt to ski under the watchful eyes of good friends Clem & Eddie Long. In 1959 Ronald was born which prompted Norm to build a plywood panel boat with a Chrysler motor called Ronaldo. As his love for skiing continued Norm decided to build a house at Budgewoi, to which is still owned and used today as a family holiday house where many family and friends continue to stay and learn to ski. In 1966 Louise arrives and the family moved into the Budgewoi residences. The building game was now be paying well as Norm finds time to take off every Wednesday to go Waterskiing on the Hawkesbury with good friends Lonnie Hogan, Geoff Churchill & Keith Clifton. This is where Norm’s itch to go ski racing starts with the purchase of his first to be race boat a blue & gold Fleetfin and in true Griffin tradition the boat is named ‘Louise J’ after the most recent addition to the family. Norm enters his first major ski race event in 1966 the Sydney Bridge to Bridge Ski Race with mates Jeff Churchill as his second skier & Keith Clifton driving. This is where the legend of ‘Louise J’ begins. Norm wanted the whole family to be involved in his new love of Ski Racing and hence he bribed the kids with scoops of ice cream to make them train. It was 1 lap 1 scoop, 2 laps 2 scoops!!! What Norm never knew was that they never let go because they were always to scared of the jellyfish but this lead to some very successful & fierce Griffin competitors. We will leave the rest of Norm’s Ski Racing legacy for John Willett to cover later. Norm loved his family and has six Grandchildren. Kaine, Kellie, Tyron, Hayley, Tom & Jhett and five great grandchildren Khloe, Klayton, Rylee, Rhys & Kasey Norm was a devoted member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, building this very church we are in today to remember and honour him. We will leave THE REST OF Norm’s Church history for Ian Jones to cover later. In January 1976 Norm purchased five acres in Kenthurst, where he would build his final family home. The kids would come & ago and eventually end up leaving home, but Norm & June stayed & would never move. Norm stayed at home until Thursday 11th November 2010. Norm was a real dog lover and over the years had many pets, but who could forget his all time favourite and best mate ‘PJ’. ‘PJ’ was renowned for sitting on Norm’s lap with his head out the window whilst Norm was driving. Norm was very upset at the loss of ‘PJ’ earlier than expected. We all know Norm was a tight ass at the best of times. Some of his classic moments include: • Being Dural McDonalds best non paying customer. Norm everyday would drive up to Macca’s to get his free coffee and read the paper and occasionally scam a free hot apple pie. • Norm was telling Louise not that long ago about how he drove all over town just trying to avoid the toll roads. Most likely costing himself more in fuel but he didn’t pay a single toll. • We also know Norm never liked to spend money especially when it came to cars. Norm would hang onto his cars forever and no matter how many times the family told him to sell them and get a nice new car he refused because he wouldn’t get what they were worth. Norm could be a hard father at times when the kids were exhausted and pain he would tell them to put their ski’s back on or he’ll drag them around the lake. But when a family member was injured or in need Norm was always there. A fond memory for Louise was Norm driving to Wollongong every night to see her in hospital after her horrific skiing accident. Norm was a builder until the end. It was in his blood, always offering a hand to build family and friends houses. At the age of 75 Norm worked day in and day out with Kevin to build Kellie’s house. It was a full time project where Norm would climb all over the house frame like a 20 year old. However Norm’s vision wasn’t getting any better with age and he managed to fall directly into a 2 metre pier hole. A scream we will never forget! Norm also oversaw the construction of Tyron’s house in 2006. He was onsite every day checking the progress and workmanship. In true Norm style, almost getting in several punch ups with tradesmen. Norm being a fierce competitor and a bit cheeky, he never liked losing. So when playing games with the kids he would always cheat to ensure he won. Louise will always remember on a road trip to Perth Norm would continue running up behind her as if he was lapping her. Errol thought it was suss until he found Norm cutting across the middle of the oval. That never changed with the Grandkids either, cutting across the middle of the backyard in a motorcycle race with Kaine. From Norm’s early days as a boxer he learnt to skip and he was renowned for his catch phrase, ‘Flick with the wrists and don’t swing your arms’. Norm loved his trees on his property at Kenthurst, yet he was the worst offender for running them over with the lawnmower. Yet when Louise happened to run over one tree, Norm chased her around the yard hitting her with the trunk of the tree she ran over. Norm was a regular jetsetter, travelling to many continents, countries & cities. Everywhere he went he made friends with complete strangers. Kaine remembers travelling to Canada where it was snowing and Norm told him if he peed outside it would from the ground to his whizzer. So he never peed outside. Norm was definitely a joker, always one to crack a joke and make people laugh. Going out with Norm at times would be nothing short of embarrassing. As you would walk out of Macca’s he’d be trying to steal someone’s burger off their table on the way out. Everyone always had a laugh once they realised what was happening. In March 2010, Norm was diagnosed Mesothelioma. A type lung cancer caused by asbestos poisoning. Norm was always a fighter till the end insisting he would be beat it and never acknowledged that he was sick. Norm put a good fight but took a down turn for the worse in early November. On Friday 12th November 2010 at approximately 5.25pm our lives changed forever with Norm’s passing. His beloved wife and family were at his side. After saying our goodbyes we managed to have our first quiet, peaceful dinner we could remember. Nobody was slurping their food. Nobody was telling anyone how to eat and nobody was stealing our ice cream. These little things we will miss most. We now know that you have your most challenging task ahead looking over all of us & finally being able to see what we are all up to... No more secrets!!!!! We love you and will miss you until we meet again.
I was introduced to Water-Ski racing by another legend John "Rock-Opper" Allen and met Norm. Had the pleasure of ride in his boat. He wil be remembered for being a true competitor by all his peers. From subbies to seniors he towed them all...When speaking of the sport in Australia and around the world everyone will know Norm for being a true gentleman and will be sadly missed by all...but remembered with a smile...honoured to say I knew this man and was lucky enough to see him race his wonderful boats...Rest now Norm... Paul Weber "Comanche"
I have so many happy memories from my childhood especially, but I remember the Blue Lagoon Campground especially and riding in the back of the converted holden ute on trips and Uncle Norm looking ferocioubut being a big marshmallow.. Rosemary (West) Rampton
42 weekends a year we spent travelling with Louise J. And every tuesday night the boys would rebuild the motor with love and dedication and passion. They would reminise about the weekend gone and then June would cook the biggest dinners you have ever seen in your life. Norm would tell stories for hours, he always had time for all of us. My favorite story was when neil Harris skied the Adriatic ski race from Italy to Yugoslavis. They needed fuel and couldnt buy it, then as norm told the story and old guy came down to check out the boat, and the guy knew engines, they spoke for a while and he was inpressed by the blowers, Norm said it was a bugger getting fuel in Italy, so this guy said , let me see what I can do I know some people, they guy weas enzo ferrari, and he knew some poeple, and gave them a truck load of fuel. That was Norm story every time I saw him. Norm said, nice guy, down to earth, just like Norm. The boys got a world record that day. Norm is really a legend . he is one of our real heros. Goodbye my friend I will never forget you. Lots of Love Pelly XXX RIP Norm. we love you