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Passing of Parkes harness racing devotee Wal Norman

The community of Parkes recently lost one of its true gems when highly regarded Parkes Harness Racing Club Life Member Wal Norman passed away after a short illness at Parkes District Hospital surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, June 20.

Passing of Parkes harness racing devotee Wal Norman

The community of Parkes recently lost one of its true gems when highly regarded Parkes Harness Racing Club Life Member Wal Norman passed away after a short illness at Parkes District Hospital surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, June 20.

Wal, aged 90, would not be a name the wider Harness Racing community would readily remember but through his contribution to the sport, many participants have benefitted.

Wal joined the then Parkes Trotting Club in 1970 and over a period of 45 years, season in and season out, he would be a regular at the many working bees held to prepare for race meetings or to contribute to the many track, ground and building redevelopments that were undertaken at the Parkes Showground Paceway.


On race day Wal could be found in the Judges’ Tower, assisting with both the judging and timekeeping, positions he held right up to his late 80's when he decided it was time to retire and take things a little easier.

Many thought Wal would be keen to take a "redundancy" with the introduction of the more modern finish links and timing mechanisms but no, Wal was a man who rarely let things get the better of him and he embraced the changes and operated the remote controlled semaphore board better than most.

Wal, along with his family members raced a few pacers over the years.

Like the Trotting Club, the Parkes Golf Club recognised Wal's wonderful efforts by honouring him with a Life Membership and in 2014, as part of the Australia Day Awards, Wally received a Long Service and Dedication Award for his contribution to sport in Parkes for which he was justifiably proud.

Harness Racing New South Wales, on behalf of all participants in the industry, sends its deepest sympathy to Wal's widow Joyce and all her family on the passing of a great man.

Our sport has been enriched by the contribution of volunteers like Wally Norman.


Harness Racing NSW




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