A Tribute from Geoff Hayman
When I joined the Probus Club in 1994, the Secretary was Geoffrey Read who had served for many years in that position. Probus at that time met in the gymnasium of the YMCA in St. Albans Road. In 1997 Geoffrey Read expressed a wish to stand down and we had no problems finding a successor as Norman Parker volunteered to take on the job and duly took over in 1997.
Soon afterwards the YMCA announced a considerable re-building of the premises which some of you may remember. When the project was nearing completion, we were told they wanted the gymnasium to be available on Thursdays for YMCA members and that would mean it was no longer available for us. They could suggest no alternative accommodation for us on the premises.
Fortunately, this occurred during the summer months and gave us a breathing space. Norman took it upon himself to look elsewhere and according to him he made enquiries at nearly twenty places in St. Anne’s with halls. Many of the halls were too small, some already had Thursdays booked for other purposes, some wanted a rent which Norman felt was exorbitant, but he eventually recommended the Pensioners’ Hall Community Centre and we have made it our meeting place for the last twenty years or so. Norman did all this himself without consulting the committee and we owe him a debt. Thanks for what he did at the time.
Geoff Hayman February 2021
A Tribute from Les Hall:
Norman, like relatively select members who match the criteria of "significant or outstanding service to the Club", was invited to become a Life Member at the AGM of March 2015 - proposed by Gerry Goss and seconded by John Longstaff. Norman was the third Secretary of our Club, as stated by Geoff. Norman served seven years in that post, later becoming President and maintaining a regular presence as Chair of the Day and enjoyed all the meetings he attended.
Les Hall, Probus Membership Secretary, February 2021