Living in Harmony

Veteran Digger Norm wanted to be a bus driver when he returned home from serving in World War II.

Instead Norm became a dairy farmer through the soldier settlement scheme. Together Mavis and Norm managed a dairy farm in the Goulburn Valley for over thirty years.

Passionate about vehicles, Norm dabbled in motor racing. He also rode Indian motorbikes and Harley Davidsons before fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming the local school bus driver.

After ’retiring’ at 70, Norm promptly returned to work. He helped out in the bus workshop and drove the motorised cleaner until age 87.

A keen and self-taught musician, Norm plays the harmonica and squeezebox. A regular volunteer entertainer at the local retirement community, Mavis sometimes accompanies him on the piano.

Each day Norm makes fresh orange juice, brings in the washing and keeps Mavis and his Calvary Support Workers entertained with a suite of humorous jokes.


Never give up on your goals or dreams.

It took me thirty one years to achieve my dream to be a bus driver. I drove the school bus for thirteen years and I loved every minute of it. Those kids kept me young. I respected them and they respected me.

You can’t take your money with you.

People say they will do all these things when they retire. I think you should enjoy it now. In 1979 Mavis and I bought a small caravan and have travelled all over Australia together. People said we were mad but I wanted to see the country. We crossed the Nullarbor 15 times and drove to Broome twice.

There are plenty of places in Australia to see but it is a long way between waterholes.

Australia is such a beautiful country with so much to see. 

My favourite place is Our Lady of Mt Carmel church in Mullewa. It was built by Monsignor John Hawes and the local parishioners using stone from the local quarry.


Nature is marvellous.

Have you ever seen a wreath flower? It is a wildflower that grows in a circular pattern in Western Australia.

Great support is available to help you live at home.

The Home Care Experts help us out through Veterans’ Home Care. We also get Meals on Wheels delivered except on a Sunday when we order a double pizza deal.

You can’t carry a piano in your pocket, but a mouth organ can go anywhere with you.

I entertain the oldies at Pine Road and have even played at a fair in Tasmania.

My first harmonica cost six pence and I taught myself how to play it and the squeezebox. Each night I would go into the kitchen to practice. Playing a harmonica is like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it.


If you’d like to join Calvary Community Care and become one of our valued clients, speak to one of our friendly Care Advisers on 1300 797 522.