Norm Hawker (1926-1995)

A Tribute to Uncle Norm

This tribute to Norm Hawker is certainly belated.† Norm passed away some 20 years ago.† That he is still fondly remembered in the National Mapping community is sufficient testament to the high regard in which Norm was held.

Norm Hawker worked for National Mapping in two separate periods; firstly from 1954 to 1956 and secondly from 1964 to 1978.† While his Nat Map career extended over these two periods, Normís career involved four discrete phases, namely working on the national geodetic survey (1954-1956); undertaking Elevation Meter surveys for vertical topographic mapping control (1964-1966); participating in Aerodist surveys for horizontal topographic control (1966-1971); and finally managing the Survey and Map Records Section (1972-1978).

Norm commenced with Nat Map in 1954 as a Field Assistant and retired in 1979 as a Senior Technical Officer.† By todayís standards, Normís formal school education was relatively modest and all of his survey and other work skills were learnt on the job.† But Norm was a fast learner who has able to quickly grasp and readily apply complex technical concepts and related work practices.† He had a sharp mind and an amazing head for numbers and mental arithmetic.† Some of Normís skill with numbers had been honed during his younger days when tallying in the woolsheds and when pencilling for a bookmaker.† Norm also used to raffle new Holden cars at some time in his early days.

In the workplace, whether in the field or in the office, Norm was a driven man, seemingly reluctant to go along quietly but always keeping his finger on the pulse and looking at or planning for the next move.† His personal modus operandi involved chain smoking usually roll-your-own cigarettes and having endless mugs of highly sweetened black coffee; most of which were invariably drunk when cold.

Norn Hawker was a highly capable National Mapping technical officer and a natural and popular leader and work colleague.† By his unstinting personal efforts he did much to ensure the smooth running of field survey programs and his own work section back in the office.† He contributed much to the success of his organisation.† Norm had the ability to get on with people of all levels.† He was greatly respected by all Nat Mappers who knew him.† Owing to his hail fellow well met approach and his cheerful, caring and cooperative demeanour, Norm was usually referred to by his field colleagues as Uncle Norm.†

Some Nat Mappersí Recollections

Con Veenstra (Nat Map 1965-1987) worked closely with Norm throughout Normís Aerodist days. †Con went on to become the Director of Nat Map from 1982 to 1987.† Con recalled Norm as a great and reliable colleague and Con always enjoyed working with him.† Con also recalled introducing Norm to the crew-cut hair style in the field one year.†

Syd Kirkby (Nat Map 1959-1984) worked with Norm Hawker during Normís second period with Nat Map. †To Sydís mind, Norm was best summed up by his nickname Uncle Norm. †At first Syd thought Normís nickname was from him being considerably older than most field staff.† Later Syd realised it was far more, as Norm was indeed pretty much everyone's wise and kindly uncle. †Syd found Norm to be always helpful and readily on hand or at least close by. †Syd recalled that in his own quiet, unobtrusive and often almost undetectable way Norm could and did lead people. †Syd included himself as Aerodist party leader as one whom Norm would sometimes counsel to give matters some second and more penetrating thoughts. †Syd believed Norm was just about the greatest living repository of things that field party leaders didn't need to know about.† Norm quietly sorted out many of the messes that some party members sometimes got themselves into. †Syd remembered Norm Hawker as being hugely and broadly competent and a NatMap loyalist far closer to being totally dedicated than merely diligent. †For Syd Kirkby, Uncle Norm was a great bloke and a real asset on any venture.

Frank Leahy (Nat Map 1961-1965) worked with Norm Hawker on the Elevation Meter from late September 1964 immediately after Norm had rejoined Nat Map.† Franked recalled that at first he thought Norm was a little old to be taking up a field assistant position.† However, Frank said that his initial view was quickly proven to be wrong.† Norm was a great team member, totally reliable, ready to take up any task and a pleasure to work with. †He added that Norm was always a star at making any necessary compromise to see that his group worked efficiently and did much to promote camaraderie among field party members.

Carl McMaster (Nat Map/AUSLIG 1962-1993) also worked with Norm throughout Normís second stint with Nat Map and at the end of one field season boarded for a time at Normís Reservoir home.† Carl recalled Norm as a good friend and an outstanding work colleague.†

Carl remembered an incident in the 1968 Aerodist field season when Murray Porteous drove across country from near Tennant Creek to Hooker Creek.† The vehicle journey was to establish several dumps of drummed helicopter fuel in the featureless scrub of the Tanami Desert.† Murray was driving Bedford ZSU 262 with a new field assistant, French national Bernard Morell.† Murray intended to travel along the DE level traverse that had been established in 1964 by Department of Interior surveyors N Vaughan and Carlos de Lemnos.† This traverse ran from around the Warrego mine north-west of Tennant Creek and went generally westward for about 250 kilometres until it terminated at the Tanami to Hooker Creek track to the south of Wilson Creek, roughly 140 kilometres south of Hooker Creek.† The route of the traverse was not marked.† It was simply the wheel tracks of the 1964 survey vehicles.

At first the Aerodist centre party at Hooker Creek maintained regular radio contact with Murray as he made his way along this nearly 400 kilometre journey.† But travel became progressively slower as the Bedfordís radiator became clogged with spinifex (Triodia) heads causing it to overheat and necessitating stops every couple of kilometres.† After radio contact with the fuel truck party was lost, the Aerodist measuring aircraft VH-EXZ made a flight to locate them.† Owing to an acute shortage of water following a leak from the water tank tap, Murray had decided to do most of the driving during the night as it was much cooler than travelling during the day.

Eventually when it seemed that Murray and Bernard were nearing Hooker Creek, Norm Hawker and Carl McMaster drove south one evening to try to guide them into the base camp. †As usual, Uncle Norm was prepared for many possible eventualities.† The still night air enabled Norm and Carl to hear the Bedford engine apparently stopping and starting every few minutes.† True to form, Norm produced a magnesium road flare saved from his days with Nat Mapís Elevation Meter vehicle. †The flare was tied to the top of a 30 foot telescopic radio aerial then lit and the aerial lifted into place in the aerial mounting tube fitted to the vehicle. †The light from the flare was magnificent and provided a brief but glowing beacon to guide the fuel truck party in the right direction.† However, as it glowed into the night sky, dripping magnesium rained down on Norm and Carl and their vehicle!

During 1-12 August 1970, Norm Hawker established and operated a helicopter fly camp on the DE level traverse to support Aerodist measuring operations.† The aircraft in 1970 was a Hughes 500 (VH-BLO) chartered from Jayrow Helicopter; the pilot was Cliff Dohle.† The 1970 camp was a solid dayís drive along the DE level traverse that was accessed through the Warrego mine.† The camp was situated part way across the Green Swamp Well (SE53-13) 1:250,000 scale topographic map sheet about 160 kilometres west of the Warrego mine.† Some of the Aerodist remote parties also drove into the fly camp as did Laurie McLean in the Bedford RLCH fuel truck (ZSU 278).† Laurie McLean and Paul McCormack dove back to Tennant Creek in ZSU 278 on Monday 10 August 1970 and the rest of the party followed a couple of days later.

Stations on the 1966 Helen Springs-Ord River Theodolite/Tellurometer traverse

Aerodist stations

Bench Marks comprising the 1964 DE level traverse identified as DE 03 to DE 59

Location of 1970 helicopter support camp


Ed Burke (Nat Map 1961-1986) also worked with Uncle Norm on many occasions in the field and in the office and recalled him as a great bloke.†

John Manning (Nat Map/AUSLIG/Geoscience Australia 1966-2004) worked with Norm during the 1970 and 1971 Aerodist field seasons (when John relieved as field party leader on several occasions) and also interacted with Norm in the Melbourne and Dandenong offices. †John remembered Norm well and said that from his then young party leaderís viewpoint Norm Hawker was integral to keeping the Aerodist party members together and focused on the work to be done. †John noted that despite setbacks (such as vehicle, aircraft, or electronics equipment failures) Norm was always supportive of everyone from the party leaders to the field assistants.† John mentioned that with his wealth of experience and acute mental agility Norm was always able to check Johnís often ambitious logistic plans and see if the forthcoming weekís measuring program had any flaws.† John added that he found Norm to be a very reliable man of good heart who always applied sound common sense and played an important role in making the remote helicopter support camps run so well.

John Ely (Nat Map 1965-1990) worked with Norm Hawker during their Aerodist field days.† John recalled being with Norm at Calvert Hills and Borroloola in 1967.† During the 1969 field season John and Norm drove together from Melbourne to Camooweal in a C1300 International 4X4 utility.† John remembered Norm as a down-to-earth person and a really nice guy.† John found Norm to a very knowledgeable man who really knew his stuff and was a sharp operator.† John also remembered Norm as a chain smoker.

Murray Porteous (Nat Map 1966-1969) recalled working with Norm in Queensland and the Northern Territory in the mid-1960s.† Murray recalled Norm as a knock about sort of a bloke who was diligent and hardworking but who also a good sense of fun which included taking a large goanna home from the field as pet for his children.† (It transpired that Norm had smuggled the large reptile on the Aerodist measuring aircraft VH-EXZ for the flight to Melbourne.† Field party leader Con Veenstra only became aware of the goannaís presence on board the aircraft when trying to trace the source of a strange noise amongst the baggage and by Normís subsequent urgent warning: Donít open that container in the aircraft!† After his warning Uncle Norm was obliged to confess his smuggling.)

Lawrie OíConnor (Nat Map 1967-1972) worked in Aerodist field parties with Norm Hawker from 1969 to 1971.† He remembered Norm as a very likeable bloke and one who was very worldly with considerable knowledge and experience.† Lawrie added that Norm had a helpful disposition and was always ready to give a hand when there was physical work to be done or to provide advice.† Lawrie noted that in the field Norm always seemed to just get things done without any fuss.† Lawrie also said that Normís true worth in the office during the off seasons was always realised and greatly appreciated when the next field season got underway and the extent and level of detail in Normís planning and preparation that greatly assisted party members became apparent.

Simon Cowling (Nat Map/AUSLIG 1967-1988) worked in the Topographic Survey Branch at Nat Mapís Rialto office with Norm Hawker in 1970 and was also in the 1971 Aerodist field party with Norm.† Simon remembered Norm for his dedication in arranging purchases in the office.† Simon recalled Norm had his own separate office in the Rialto and spent most of the day ringing around getting quotes for field supplies.† Simon also remembered working with Norm from time-to-time during parts of the 1971 field season.† Simon added that Norm was a very competent operator from whom Simon learnt some valuable management lessons.

Paul Wise (Nat Map/AUSLIG/Geoscience Australia 1968-1999) interacted with Norm Hawker in Nat Mapís Rialto and Ellery House offices between 1968 and 1979.† Paul found Norm to be knowledgeable and always helpful.† Paul said Norm also conveyed to him small pieces of wisdom on how a few other professionals had been less than astute in aspects of their conduct and how this had later affected their acceptance within the organisation.† Paul added that Normís shared observations turned out to be valuable advice; much like that given by a kindly Uncle.

Graeme Lawrence (Nat Map/AUSLIG 1968-1998) worked in Aerodist field parties with Norm Hawker from 1968 to 1970.† Graeme remembered Norm as a very knowledgeable person who was always extremely helpful to field party members and particularly to any new staff.† Graeme added Normís caring manner helped many new staff who were feeling their way with working in remote areas under camping conditions and also trying to obtain hands-on knowledge of Nat Map work requirements.† Graeme said he admired Norm greatly and visited him at his Reservoir home occasionally.

Michael Lloyd (Nat Map/AUSLIG 1969-1991) liked working with Norm during Normís Aerodist field days and recalled him as a top operator and a good scout.† Michael remembered many eventful little incidents during his time in the field with Norm.† For example, Michael recalled a new junior surveyor being most impressed when Norm showed how to overcome several unsuccessful attempts to get a camp fire started when using damp firewood.† This incident happened in western Queensland in 1969.† Norm drew off a small size fruit can of petrol from his vehicleís fuel tank and used this instant fire to immediately rectify the matter.† Michael also recalled Norm noticing a party member discard a pair of desert boots at Docker River in the Northern Territory in 1970 when one boot was damaged beyond use or repair.† Always aware of his surroundings, Norm retrieved the one good desert boot and approached a local aboriginal man who only had one leg; the matching leg for the good boot.† After a little bartering, Norm came away pleased with an interesting artefact and the other man walked off happily with his new boot.

Ted Graham (Nat Map 1969-1980) worked with Norm Hawker during the 1971 Aerodist field season and also interacted with Norm in the office.† Ted recalled operating with Norm from the helicopter support camp at NM/F/595 near Balgo mission in Western Australia in 1971.† He remembered Norm a very kind and gentle person who was well liked by all who knew him.

Brian Shaddick (Nat Map 1970-1972) joined Nat Map soon after arriving from England as a young man seeking to start a new life in Australia but at that stage with no family and few friends for support.† Brian first met Norm Hawker in 1970 and worked with Norm during the 1971 Aerodist field season.† Brian was very impressed with Norm who he remembered as a kindly man and an all round good bloke.† Brian said Norm went out of his way to take Brian under his wing and to see that Brian was going okay both at work and after work.† Brian added Norm would always give all the time Brian needed and provided a friendly ear and acted as a mentor in guiding Brian to do the right things both organisationally and personally.

Early Life

Norman Keith Hawker was born at the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Carnegie on 27 June 1926.† He was the youngest of the seven children born to Frederick Newton Hawker (1881-1954) and his wife Mary (Minnie) (1883-1944).† Normanís older siblings were: Frederick Edwin, George, Ronald Gordon, Lawrence, Minnie Amelia (later Mrs Arthur Illif Aylen), and Allen Donald.†

Normís mother Mary Hawker died at age 60 years on 4 January 1944.† She was survived by her husband and her seven children.† At the time of her death Mrs Hawker resided at 6 Highfield Road Canterbury; a few doors south of Canterbury Road.† Mrs Hawker was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Box Hill cemetery.† Norm Hawker was seventeen years of age when his mother died.† Normís father Frederick Newton Hawker died at Murchison in July 1954.† He was 73 years of age and was also buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Box Hill cemetery.

From electoral roll entries it seems that Norm Hawkerís father Fred Hawker had several occupations and changed his place of residence on a number of occasions.† For more details please refer to the appendix below.

When Norm was growing up, some members of the Hawkerís family were in the fruit and vegetable industry and had an orchard in the Warrandyte area in Melbourneís then outer-east.† Normís oldest brother Fred operated a greengrocerís shop in Canterbury Road Canterbury where Norm would occasionally help out as a youngster.† The growing of vegetables was something that the young Norm took a keen interest in.† He went on to win some prizes for his home-grown carrots.† But there was a secret to his success.† Norm would grow his carrots in cones into which he put sandy soil with the fertilizer at the bottom.† The carrots had to grow long to reach the nutrients and the cones forced them to keep a good shape.† Norm was never one to leave such matters to chance!

After leaving school and obtaining his intermediate certificate through the then Standard Business College, Norm worked as a Wool Classerís assistant with the then well known wool brokers Elliot and Dibb who had premises at 522-536 Flinders Lane Melbourne.† (These premises were between King and Spencer Streets not far from the Rialto Building at 497 Collins Street that was National Mappingís Melbourne office from 1959 to 1977.)

In the late 1930s or early 1940s, Norm would often go motorcycle riding in the Williamstown area with Jim Kretzshmar with whom he became a life-long friend.† Jim was also a great fiend of an Altona local named George Johnson.† Georgeís daughter Lyn later married Ian Ogilvie who worked with Nat Map from 1968 to 1970.†

Army Service 1944-1947

After applying at Armadale a week earlier, Norm enlisted in the Australiaís Second Australian Imperial Force at the Royal Park Army depot on 19 September 1944, about three months after his eighteenth birthday.† Norm Hawker joined the Army some eight months after his motherís death.† When he enlisted Norm gave his home address as 28 Gnarwyn Road Carnegie.† The Department of Veteransí Affairs nominal roll indicated that Norm was the only member of his family to serve during World War II.

Norm undertook recruit training from late September 1944 until late November with the First Recruit Training Battalion at Kapooka near Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales. †Afterwards Norm underwent three months training with the First Australian Infantry Training Battalion that was based at the Dubbo Army Camp in central New South Wales.† In early March 1945, Norm was posted to the Second Australian Regimental Signals Training Unit at Bonegilla in north-eastern Victoria.†

Norm spent most of April and May 1945 being treated for appendicitis at several military medical establishments in Victoria.† He returned to signals training in early June 1945 but soon afterwards was posted back to the First Australian Infantry Training Battalion at Dubbo.† From early July to early August 1945, Norm undertook jungle warfare training at the Army Training Centre at Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland of southern Queensland.† After this he was posted back to the First Australian Infantry Training Battalion.

Owing to a military paper work bungle, Norm was posted back to Canungra in mid-September 1945 and undertook a second jungle warfare training course!† Norm finally left Canungra in mid-October 1945 and was posted to the General Duties Depot at Royal Park.

From early November 1945, Norm undertook a three-month posting with the Tatura Interment Group that operated four internment camps in central Victoria.† Camps 1and 2 were at Tatura and Camps 3 and 4 were at Rushworth.† Camp 1 housed German and Italian internees.† Camp 2 initially housed German Jewish internees and later housed Italian prisoners of war and German officers.† Camp 3 housed family groups of Germans and Italians from Australia and overseas.† Camp 4 housed Europeans living in Australia at the outbreak of the war and later Japanese internees.† The camps were closed progressively between February 1946 and January 1947.

On 12 March 1946, Norm embarked on the MV Duntroon in Sydney for service with the Headquarters of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan.† On 9 April 1946, he disembarked at Kure in the Hiroshima Prefecture towards the south-western end of Japanís largest island Honshu.† On 6 August 1945 just eight months before Normís arrival, Hiroshima had been devastated by the worldís first atomic bomb.

(Between 1945 and 1952, the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan comprised a total of some 45,000 service personnel drawn from Britain, India, New Zealand, and Australia.† About 16,000 Australians served in the BCOF including an infantry contingent, base units, an Air Force wing, and an Australian General Hospital. †The Royal Australian Navy also had a presence in the region.† For some two-thirds of the period of occupation the Commonwealth was represented solely by Australians and throughout its existence the BCOF was always commanded by an Australian officer.

The BCOF area of responsibility was the western prefectures of Shimani, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Shikoku Island.† The BCOF Headquarters were at Kure, the Army was encamped at Hiro, the RAAF was at Iwakuni and the naval shore establishment was at the former Japanese naval base at Kure.† At the peak of its involvement the Australian component of the BCOF was responsible for over twenty million Japanese citizens and some 57,000 square kilometres of country.

The main role of the BCOF was to enforce the terms of the unconditional surrender that had ended the war in September 1945.† The BCOF was required to maintain military control and to supervise the demilitarisation and disposal of the remnants of Japan's war-making capacity. †To this end, Australian Army and RAAF personnel were involved in locating and securing military stores and installations. †

The Intelligence Sections of the Australian battalions were given targets to investigate by BCOF Headquarters for dumps of Japanese military equipment. †Warlike materials were destroyed and other equipment was either retained by BCOF or returned to the Japanese. †The destruction or conversion to civilian use of military equipment was carried out by Japanese civilians under Australian supervision. †Regular patrols and road reconnaissances were carried out in the Australian area of responsibility as part of general surveillance duties.)

During Norm Hawkerís time with the BCOF he served as a Private with the Military Police attached to the Provost Marshall at Force headquarters at Kure.† As well as helping to fulfill the role outlined above, Normís unit was responsible for policing black market activities.† One of the country-wide measures taken to limit black marketing was to periodically change the currency in circulation. †Years later, Norm talked of seeing vast fortunes in worthless confiscated redundant notes.

Norm served in Japan for some 334 days.† He departed Kure in HMAS Kanimbla on 26 January 1947 and disembarked in Sydney on 8 February 1947.† He was discharged from the Army with the rank of Private on 13 February 1947 with some 878 days of active service.† Norm was still only 20 years of age when he left the Army.

After Army Service

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Norm Hawker worked for some time in the Riverina area of southern New South Wales including in the Deniliquin and the Jerilderie districts.† During some of this period Norm drove an ex-Army Chevrolet 4X4 Blitz light truck.† His work included wool classing and more general rouseabout work with sheep.

During periods back in Melbourne, Norm would often stay with the McKay family at Paisley (now known as North Altona).† In an electoral roll entry for 1949, Norm was listed as a student living at 4 Yeovil Street Glen Iris.† Also listed on the roll at that address in 1949 were Normís brother Allen Donald Hawker (fruiterer) and Winifred Florence Hawker (home duties).† Thus it seems that Norm was then living with his brother and sister-in-law.† (Winifred Florence Hawker died at Wangaratta on 27 June 2010 at age 90 years.)† In an electoral roll entry for 1954, Norm was listed as a labourer living at 39 Munro Street Kew North. †Normís brother Ronald Gordon Hawker (sales) was also listed at the Kew North address at that time.

National Mapping 1954-1956

In early 1954, Norm Hawker joined the Melbourne-based Photogrammetric Survey Section of the then National Mapping Office within the Department of the Interior as a Field Assistant.† The Section was then located at the All Saints Anglican Church Hall (Gregory Hall) in Chapel Street St Kilda East.† The Melbourne office was then headed by Chief Topographic Surveyor GRL (Lindsay) Rimington.

The 1954 National Mapping field season was significant for its pioneering and history making.† It was the year that renowned Geodetic Surveyor Howard Angus (Bill) Johnson came to Nat Map to head the national geodetic survey.† (Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson MBE had had a distinguished career in the Royal Australian Army Survey Corps before, during and after World War II.)† Another notable new face that year was Surveyor Keith Waller who was to work with Nat Map until early 1959.

Early in the 1954 field season there was pressing need by the Bureau of Mineral Resources to reconnoitre and observe a triangulation scheme for mapping purposes covering the area around Broken Hill and the Barrier Range.† Twelve main stations were selected plus another four stations in the base net as well as two other third order points for BMR purposes. †On the completion of the reconnaissance by Bruce Lambert, a short base line was measured with a 300 foot steel band under Bruceís supervision; he returned to Canberra soon afterwards.†

On this Broken Hill triangulation network, stone cairns were erected on eight of the stations. Moorkaie survey station in this network was to be the first of numerous cairns erected by National Mapping as part of the national geodetic survey.† One other first for National Mapping was the laying down of calico strips to form a cross centralised on each station mark before the mapping photography was flown by the contractor Adastra Airways.

After surveying the Barrier Range network, the field party carried the triangulation network from Broken Hill south-west towards Peterborough and then into the northern Flinders Ranges and on to Maree.† Norm Hawker was engaged in this part of the survey only as far as Carrieton that is located in the southern Flinders Ranges between the towns of Orroroo and Hawker.

In August 1954, Keith Waller with assistance from Surveyor TM Austin and Norm Hawker initiated the operational survey use of electronic distance measuring equipment in Australia when Keith used a Swedish instrument called a Geodimeter Type NASM-1 to remeasure the Carrieton Base in the southern Flinders Ranges of South Australia. †(The Geodimeter worked on the principle of the speed of light.† It used the comparison of phase shifts in the light it transmitted to and received from a reflector to measure the distance between the instrument and the reflector.† As sunlight affected the Geodimeter signal, the instrument could only be used at night.)† The Carrieton Base was one of several geodetic base lines initially measured by the Australian Survey Corps before the start of World War II.† The 1954 remeasurement was a history making event as prior to that, distances could only be accurately measured with a surveyorís chain (or steel band).† Thus Keith, Norm and Surveyor Austin pioneered the operational use of electronic distance measuring equipment in Australia.

(On receipt of the Geodimeter in May 1954, Lindsay Rimington and Keith Waller had conducted familiarisation tests near Melbourne to find suitable operating procedures and to obtain a working knowledge of the equipment that was entirely new to the surveying profession.† They found that a strong steel table on which to mount the Geodimeter that weighed some 200 pounds would have to be designed.† The table would need to be triangular in shape and the top needed to be capable of being roughly levelled when the table was set on uneven ground.† A 12 by 12 feet Auto tent was required for shelter and a vehicle with a long wheel base capable of providing a reasonably gentle ride over corrugated roads was required for transport.† An orthodox two wheel drive International panel van was selected as the most likely vehicle to fulfil this purpose.)

During 1954, the field party from time-to-time comprised the following members:

Bruce Lambert

Director (Broken Hill reconnaissance)

Bill Johnson

Senior Surveyor

Ted Caspers

Field Assistant (Survey)

Reg Ford

Field Assistant (Survey)

Bill Dingeldei

Field Assistant (Survey)

Norm Hawker

Field Assistant

Bluey Wells

Field Assistant

JH Werner

Field Assistant

K Fevarvi

Field Assistant

G Jaeger

Field Assistant

E Sachs

Field Assistant

E Stuart

Field Assistant

P Svoboda

Field Assistant

Keith Waller

Surveyor Grade 1

Trevor Austin

Surveyor Grade 1

As mentioned previously, Norm was a fast learner and diligent worker who soon gained a good grasp of geodetic field survey requirements.† By the start of the 1955 field season, Norm had been promoted to Field Assistant (Survey) which was roughly equivalent to the Technical Officer grade that was introduced some years later.

Over the next two years, Norm worked in the field with Keith Waller and they used the Geodimeter to carry out the measurement of various baselines and triangle sides in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland. †The locations of these measurements included Cockburn, Benambra, Melbourne, Mildura, Ouyen, Thorpdale, Somerton (NSW), Jondaryan, Mt Ainslie (ACT) and Glen Waverley.† During these Geodimeter field operations, Keith Waller was also assisted from time-to-time by Bob James and J Slama.†

Norm Hawker aligning the Geodimeter spherical reflex mirror reflector.

Marriage to Robin Adams

Norm decided to leave National Mapping at the end of the 1956 Geodimeter field season as he wanted to spend less time away from home.† In 1957, Norm married Robin Barbara Adams in Victoria.† Soon after they married, Norm and Robin established their home at 2 Orange Avenue Reservoir about 13 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD.† Both Norm and Robin were listed at that address in 1958 electoral roll entries.† (Normís occupation was then given as driver and Robinís occupation was home duties. †Normís occupation was changed to public servant in an electoral roll entry for 1977.)† Norm and Robin were to have three children: Mark, Stephen and Lindy.† Later Norm and Robin adopted another daughter Anne.† Sadly in the early 1970s Norm and Robin went their separate ways and were later divorced.†

Television Antenna Installation in mid-1950s

The 1956 Summer Olympic Games that were held in Melbourne between 22 November and 8 December of that year.† The Games prompted the then Menzies federal government to facilitate public television broadcasting in Australia.† Sydney TCN Channel 9 began test transmissions on 16 September and commenced formal public broadcasting on 27 October 1956.† In Melbourne, HSV Channel 7 became the first television station to broadcast to viewers there when it commenced transmission on 4 November 1956. †Melbourne ABV Channel 2 commenced transmission on 19 November and was followed by GTV Channel 9 on 19 January 1957. †

Thus from late 1956 and early 1957, there was a rapid and enthusiastic public uptake of television receivers by householders and other establishments in Melbourne and Sydney.† By 1960, some estimates suggested that nearly 70 percent of Sydney and Melbourne households had television receivers.† Norm Hawker saw a business opportunity in meeting the growing demand to have television aerials installed.† Thus for a few years after leaving National Mapping he ran his own business installing television aerials; mainly on houses in Melbourneís northern suburbs.

Chemical Factory Production Manager

As the peak demand for television aerials started to wane, Norm saw the need to pursue a more financially rewarding line of employment.† Thus sometime prior to re-joining National Mapping in late 1964, Norm worked as a production manager in a suburban Melbourne chemical factory for a few years.† Here Normís role included purchasing the component ingredients needed to manufacture his firmís chemical products.† In the early 1970s, Norm said that one of his tasks in those earlier years was to schedule the delivery of the purchases to suit the factoryís production timetable.† With tight delivery scheduling, unnecessary handling and storage of input materials and the holding of costly input inventories could be avoided.† Thus some decades before it became widely used in manufacturing, Norm was already applying just-in-time production input scheduling.

National Mapping 1964-1978

Norm Hawker returned to the then Division of National Mapping within the Department of National Development in September 1964 and thus commenced the second phase of his Nat Map career. †The Melbourne office was then located in the historic Rialto Building at 497 Collins Street towards the western end of the city centre.† Norm was re-appointed as a Field Assistant but was soon promoted to Technical Officer Grade 1 in the then Topographic Survey Branch.† At that time the Branchís primary field work focus was on the acquisition of horizontal and vertical control for the 1:250,000 and 1:100,000 scale topographic mapping programs.† Norm was again working with the very latest mapping technology.

Johnson Ground Elevation Meter 1964-1966

From 1964 to around 1969, National Mapping used a Johnson Ground Elevation Meter to obtain around five per cent of the vertical control needed for its topographic mapping of Australia at 1:100,000 scale.† The Elevation Meter was then leading edge technology that was used only by government mapping agencies in Australia and North America.† It was a vehicle-based system that provided level traverse results with errors of less than 10 feet in 50 miles at an average traversing speed of about 15 miles an hour on reasonably good road surfaces.† Thus on average about 100 miles per day of level traversing could be achieved.

The Johnson Ground Elevation Meter was a specially modified General Motors Corporation four-wheel drive van (ZDA 256) that had four-wheel steering, power assisted brakes and air conditioning.† The vehicle had a small fifth road wheel on the right side.† This fifth wheel was connected to an electronic pendulum system.† Together with an on-board computer, the overall system allowed distances travelled and changes in height to be measured and provided on paper printouts.† Tyre pressures for the three road wheels on the measuring side of the vehicle were critical for measurement accuracy.† An engine operated air compressor and a tyre pressure control system was used to continually maintain the required tyre pressures during measuring operations.

Norm worked with the Elevation Meter between 1964 and 1966.† In this period he worked under Senior Surveyor Ted Seton.† Norm was in the inaugural Elevation Meter field party in September 1964 with Surveyors Frank Leahy and John Donal Madden (1936-2011) and with Jacques de Stefani.† John Madden worked with Nat Map from 1964 to 1989. †Later, Norm worked in the field with Senior Draughtsman John Jenkins who left Nat Map in the early 1970s.† Much of Normís Elevation Meter field work was in northern Victoria and the Riverina area of southern New South Wales.† This was country that Norm knew well from his earlier wool classing days and included the Swan Hill, Deniliquin and Jerilderie districts.† In recalling his Elevation Meter work in the Riverina in the early 1970s, Norm said he was impressed with John Jenkinsí photogrammetric knowledge.† This knowledge allowed the level traverses to work to the corners of photogrammetric models and avoided measuring to redundant control points.

Norm also operated with the Elevation Meter in central Queensland.† He once recalled surprising a local council parking officer in Mackay with the vehicleís ability to fit into a tight parking spot outside the hotel where the field party was accommodated.† Normís explanation of the vehicleís purpose and its four-wheel steering system apparently suitably impressed the parking officer.† Afterwards the parking officer set up two no standing signs outside the hotel so Norm would have a reserved spot to park the Elevation Meter when he came back for the night after each dayís work!

Norm Hawker operating the computer in the Johnson Ground Elevation Meter.

Aerodist Field and Office Work 1966-1971

In the second half of 1966, Norm moved to the Airborne Horizontal Control Section of Nat Mapís Topographic Survey Branch and commenced the third phase of this Nat Map career.† This section deployed a then leading edge microwave based airborne distance measuring system that was of South African origin.† Between 1963 and 1974 this Aerodist system was used by National Mapping to obtain horizontal control for 1:100, 000 scale topographic mapping over more than 50 per cent of Australiaís mainland area.

Aerodist flying operations were fairly complex.† Prior to undertaking an Aerodist measuring flight, several separate two-man ground parties with microwave remote transponder units would be positioned at survey control marks.† In a simplistic configuration the survey marks would be at the four corners of a quadrilateral that was one degree of longitude wide and one degree of latitude deep with each corner being close to the intersections of degree meridians and parallels.† Although there were nominally four remote parties, up to six remote transponders could be deployed on an ad hoc basis as necessary to extend operational measuring capacity.

The nominal four remote party configuration would yield six unknown distances or Aerodist lines to be measured, namely the four lines along the sides of the quad (each about 60 miles long) and the two diagonals that braced the quad each about 80 miles long.† The measuring aircraft usually had two Nat Map operators on board as well as the pilot.† The aircraft would fly at an oblique angle through each line roughly at its centre so the line could be measured by the on‑board Aerodist master measuring equipment interrogating return signals from the ground transponders.† During Norm Hawkerís time with Aerodist, the measuring aircraft was a high-wing, twin-engine Rockwell Grand Commander 680FL (VH-EXZ) on charter from Executive Air Services that was based at Melbourneís Essendon airport.†

For each Aerodist line being measured there would have to be a minimum of seven good runs with the goodness of the measurement being determined by the quality of the traces on the automated recording chart.† Each measuring run would start at about 7,000 metres on the approach side of the actual line crossing point and continue for a similar distance on the departure side of the crossing point.† The aircraft would then come around and start the next run.† During each run the pilot had to strictly maintain aircraft height and heading to optimise the measurement.† Of course sometimes more than seven runs were needed to obtain the necessary good measurements.

Usually the first run across a line was the most difficult as the master operator would give height, heading and even aircraft positioning corrections to the pilot to get the best simultaneous return signals from the two ground station transponders.† Generally the aircraft flying height was 5,000 feet above sea level but if necessary due to weak signal strength such as on the longer lines in the Coral Sea surveys the aircraft would fly higher; even to 13,000 feet above sea level.† After completing a minimum of seven good measuring runs on an Aerodist line, the aircraft would ferry to the next line to be measured and start the procedure again.†

Once an initial measuring quad configuration (as in the example above) was completed the aircraft would return to base while the ground parties were repositioned for the next dayís measuring operations.† To some extent day-to-day Aerodist operations were like playing chess across Australiaís remote interior or off-shore territories.† In its later years, measuring aircraft Grand Commander VH-EXZ was configured with an endurance of around seven hours; thus the working day could be quite demanding for the pilot and for the Nat Map on-board operators.†

The Aerodist measuring aircraft would also be used to take spot photography of the survey control marks.† This photography was carried out either in conjunction with line crossing flights or on dedicated spot photography flights.† The measuring aircraft was equipped with a motorised Vinten 70 mm format reconnaissance camera for this purpose.† Each survey mark would be photographed from several different heights (namely: 500, 1,500, and 3,000 feet above the terrain) to facilitate the later transfer of the survey mark position on to smaller scale aerial photography used in the map preparation process.

In early October 1966 Norm worked in the Aerodist field party with Ed Burke in the Mackay-Slade Point area and also flew in aircraft VH-EXZ on measuring operations based from Mackay. Later that month Norm worked in the Charters Towers area and on 25 October 1966 he drove the centre party Commer bus (ZSK 434) from Pentland to Hughenden. Norm was at Hughenden when Nat Map remote operator Russell Tappy was tragically fatally injured in a vehicle accident on 26 October 1966. The 1966 Aerodist field operations ceased a few days later.

For the 1967 and most following field seasons Aerodist measuring operations were in the more remote areas of Australia.† Accordingly, a helicopter was used to ferry the two-person Aerodist remote unit operating parties in to position at survey control stations.† This helicopter support helped to ensure the timely progress of the annual measuring program.† The helicopter crews (pilots and engineers) and Nat Mappers using the helicopters were supported by a helicopter support unit that nominally comprised two people including a fuel truck driver who would ferry-in necessary supplies of aviation turbine kerosene for the helicopter, motor spirit and water.

The helicopter support party also usually provided the initial recovery response to retrieve remote parties from survey control stations in the event of a helicopter becoming unserviceable.† Such recovery situations arose in 1970 and 1971. †Often the helicopter support base would be located as close as possible to the centre of the area where remote parties were to be positioned so that the helicopter could operate within its flying range and overall flight distances could be minimised.† Thus helicopter camps were often located out in the bush some distance from any form of settlement or station homestead and had to be fully self-sufficient.

During most of his time in the field with the Aerodist measuring party, Norm Hawker ran the helicopter support party.† An exception was the 1969 field season when there was no helicopter contract.† However, Norm also spent time in the Aerodist centre party including stints flying as a relief Aerodist master operator in aircraft VH-EXZ.† As the helicopter support man, Norm had the radio call sign 8-SQC (8 Sierra Quebec Charlie).† For Aerodist field party members there was always a feeling of some comfort when 8-SQC was within radio contact; a sense that operations would run smoothly with Norm around.† In the following paragraphs is a brief summary of each of Normís Aerodist field seasons.††

In 1967, a Fairchild-Hiller FH-1100 helicopter (VH-UTZ) was chartered from Sydney based Helicopter Utilities.† This helicopter was powered by an Allison 250 series turbine engine.† That year Aerodist measuring areas of operation included the south-western the Gulf of Carpentaria region of the Northern Territory from bases that included Borroloola, Calvert Hills, Brunette Downs, Cresswell Downs, McArthur River, Katherine, Daly Waters† Elliot and Camooweal.† The helicopter pilots included George Treatt who flew during July and early August.† After the conclusion of the helicopter contract measuring operations were undertaken in southern New South Wales and northern Victoria.† Aerodist measuring for the 1967 field season concluded at Kerang on 30 November 1967.

In 1968, the Fairchild-Hiller helicopter (VH-UTZ) was again chartered from Helicopter Utilities. †It was used to support Aerodist operations in the Northern Territory from bases that included: Limbunya, Timber Creek and Victoria River Downs.† Pilots included: Bill Mayo and Frank Hillier. †Norm Hawker ran the helicopter support party.† During November 1968, Aerodist measuring operations were undertaken in the Great Barrier Reef.† The remote parties were positioned by helicopter and by a number of vessels including Royal Australian Navy minesweepers HMAS Gull and HMAS Hawk.

In 1969 there was no Aerodist remote party helicopter contract.† The Aerodist party operated vehicle-based ground remote unit parties in western New South Wales and western Queensland including around Tibooburra, Windorah, Jundah, Bedourie, Winton, Longreach and Camooweal.† There was also further Aerodist measuring in the Great Barrier Reef with remote parties positioned by helicopter and by a number of vessels including Royal Australian Navy minesweepers HMAS Gull and HMAS Hawk.

Normís 1970 Aerodist field season started at the end of April.† Initially, it involved vehicle supported measuring operations in the Riverina district based from Hay.† During May and early June vehicle supported operations continued in western-Queensland. †Norm worked around Longreach, Cloncurry, McKinlay, Duchess, Malbon, Dajarra, Boulia and Bedourie.† Early in June helicopter supported operations commenced with a Hughes 500 369HS helicopter chartered from Jayrow Helicopters Pty Ltd based at Melbourneís Moorabbin airport.† †Initially the aircraft was VH-BLO but later in the field season it was replaced by VH-BLN. †Each of these helicopters was powered by an Allison 250 series turbine engine.†

Norm Hawker conducted 1970 season helicopter support operations into the Simpson Desert from bases at Birdsville, a fly camp west of Glengyle homestead, Bedourie, Boulia, survey control station NM/B/293 about 100 kilometres west of Boulia, Tobermorey homestead, survey control station NM/G/265 about 45 kilometres south-east of Tarlton Downs homestead, survey control station NM/G/270 about 15 kilometres south-west of new Jervois homestead and from Andado homestead.† The helicopter positioning work was then conducted over central and southern parts of the Northern Territory. †Initially this was from Alice Springs and subsequently Tennant Creek.† Later, Norm Hawker ran helicopter support operations from a fly camp on the DE level traverse west of Tennant Creek, from a fly camp at The Granites, Willowra homestead, from Yuendumu, Ayers Rock and Docker River.† Helicopter pilots that year included Vic Barkell, Peter Clemence, Cliff Dohle and Lloyd Knight.† Helicopter engineers included Peter Smart, Dave King and Jim Marsh.†

After helicopter supported operations concluded at Docker River in early October 1970, Norm continued to work with vehicle supported Aerodist operations in Aerodist Block 18 that ran to the east of the Stuart Highway from Tennant Creek and between the Barkly and Sandover Highways and further east into Queensland.† On Thursday 22 October 1970, Norm Hawker and Laurie McLean drove from Alice Springs towards survey control station NM/G/272.† They travelled via Hatches Creek mine, past Elkedra homestead and then north along the Annitowa station western boundary fence for about 20 kilometres to the survey mark. †They travelled in two vehicles (a C1300 International and a Bedford RLCH).† During this travel and while at the survey mark, daytime temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius; it was hot!† After operating an Aerodist remote unit at NM/G/272 Norm and Laurie departed there on Tuesday 27 October 1970 and headed to Camooweal via Tennant Creek.†

After spending Melbourne Cup day in the Camooweal area, Norm travelled with the Aerodist party to Charleville from where he returned home to Melbourne around 9 November 1970. †Vehicle supported Aerodist measuring operations continued to the west from Charleville and south to Broken Hill as the positions of several new supplementary survey control stations were being determined.† The Aerodist party returned to Melbourne from Broken Hill towards the end of November 1970.

Normís 1971 field season commenced in early May when he travelled by vehicle from Melbourne to Halls Creek.† On this trip he was accompanied by Simon Cowling, Brian Shaddick and Laurie McLean.† That year a Hughes 500 369HS helicopter (VH-UHO) was chartered from Sydney based Helicopter Utilities.† Helicopter supported operations started in late May 1971with fuel positioning flights from Halls Creek.† Helicopter fuel positioning flights were the made from Christmas Creek homestead and later from survey control station NM/G/132 north-west of Vaughan Springs homestead.† Helicopter supported measuring activities commenced in June from bases at Rabbit Flat, survey control station NM/G/132, survey station NM/F/595 near Balgo Mission, and from a fly camp at control station NM/F/366 in the Great Sandy Desert south of Christmas Creek homestead. †During the helicopter contract that year there were two helicopter pilots namely Harvey Else who started and finished the contract and Brian Harriss who relieved Harvey for a time.† The helicopter engineers that year were Jack Fackrell, Frank Summers and John More.

Norm Hawker left the Aerodist field party to return home to Melbourne in early August 1971.† At the time he was running the helicopter support camp at NM/F/366 south of Christmas Creek homestead.† As it transpired, his departure from NM/F/366 signalled the end of the field work phases of Normís National Mapping career.† (The 1971 Aerodist field party continued measuring operations in the Great Sandy Desert and later in the Camooweal area until mid-September 1971.† After that time the party travelled to Cairns to undertake a further survey in the Coral Sea.)

Aerodist Planning and Preparation 1966-1971

Norm Hawkerís significant contributions during his six years with the Airborne Horizontal Control Section from 1966 to 1971 involved more than just field work.† In the off season each year Norm was fully engaged in necessary field work planning and preparation.† This was an exacting task that required a comprehensive understanding of field operations and considerable attention to detail.† Initially Norm would arrange necessary purchasing procedures for consumable stores and for the repair or replacement of camping and related field equipment.

After the next yearís measuring program had been determined, Norm would lead a small section of staff in preparing the necessary and detailed survey, map and aerial photography information the field party would need to undertake the survey program.† This information was extensive and would usually cover several discrete survey areas each of several hundred thousand square kilometres in area.† The survey stations to be occupied and the lines to be measured had to be plotted onto mosaics made from 1:1million scale map bases and were then called the scheme diagrams.† Sets of topographic maps at 1:250,000 scale had to be assembled to cover the various survey areas and related access routes.† The survey stations were marked on each relevant map.†

As control stations were often at the four-way intersection of adjoining map sheets, mosaics from cut-outs from the four 1:250,000 scale map sheets had to be prepared and the position of the relevant control station had to be plotted on each one.† These mosaics were called map cut-outs.† Sets of black and white aerial photographs at 1:80,000 scale had to be assembled and the survey control stations plotted on to each relevant 9 inch format photo.† Sets of relevant survey control station summaries had to be assembled for all of the survey stations planned to be or likely to be occupied.† These summaries gave descriptions of the survey marks, their coordinates, and access information.†† Of course, multiple copies of all of this material had to be made into sets that were required by the centre party, the helicopter support party and each remote party as well as the fuel truck driver.† In additions sets were needed for the fixed wing aircraft pilot and for the helicopter pilot.† Norm would ensure that all this material was assembled, boxed and indexed for ready use in the field.† He would also have a few spare sets for both field and office use.† With Norm Hawker in charge of preparing this material for the field party, there were never later difficulties in the field due to lack of sufficient information.

Some of the Aerodist People

Over the years five years Norm worked in the field with Aerodist, centre party staff included party leaders Syd Kirkby, Con Veenstra, John Manning and Frank Johnston.† †The electronics technicians included John Ely, Mick Skinner, Terry Mulholland, Bob Lucas and Ozcan Ertok.† Other centre party members and master operators included Carl McMaster, Ed Burke, George Eustace, Simon Cowling and Andrew Turk.

Some of the Aerodist remote operators and support staff† who worked in the field with Norm Hawker included Terry Douglas, Neil Fenton, Murray Porteous, Ron Francis, Gavin Chambers, John Doherty, John Nolton, Lachlan Ely, Mick Skinner, Alan Mould, Colin Cheary, John Nicholson, Brian Mahoney, John Sheridan, Hans Delange, Lawrie OíConnor, Kevin Arnold, Ted Rollo, Ken Manypenny, Ian Ogilvie, Norm Hubbard, Mike OíDea, Wayne Mein, Scott Crossley, Ian Campbell, Ragnar Berg, Derek Hatley, Dennis Jones, Michael Lloyd, Graeme Lawrence, Paul McCormack, Laurie McLean, Peter Bach, Neville Stonehouse, Grahame Arnold, Frank Ayers, Brian Shaddick, Peter Blake, Roy Turner, Ted Graham, and Peter Salkowski.

Survey and Map Records 1972-1978

In early 1972, Norm commenced duty in the Survey and Map Records Section as a Technical Officer Grade 2 and thus entered the fourth phase of his Nat Map career.† This was to be the longest and final phase.† The Survey and Map Records Section was a creature of the hard copy paper-based records world that had existed for centuries prior to the digital era of today.† The section maintained a repository of survey information for both horizontal and vertical control stations with relevant station summaries and bench mark descriptions together with indexing map overlays.† These records included related coordinate and height information.† The section also stored the thousands of field books generated by work undertaken by Melbourne-based field parties in Australia, Antarctica and Papua New Guinea.† There was also an extensive repository of base and compilation sheets generated from the photogrammetric plotting of map information.†

The section had an extensive library of aerial photographic material including the original 9 inch format film negatives, paper prints of aerial photos for every map area in Australia as well as the film diapositives used to mark survey and photogrammetric control points and to plot the map detail.† This photo library contained around a million separate items.† In addition, for several years in the mid to late 1970s the section held a repository of Landsat imagery.† There were also various records of ancillary information such as spot aerial photography and terrestrial photography of survey control stations.† While most of this information was used internally by Nat Mapís Melbourne and Canberra offices, some material was made available to other users including the general public.

Normís move to that area of Nat Mapís operations was due to the retirement of Clifford Stanhope Tyler.† Tim Tyler was a greatly respected, kindly and very knowledgeable man who headed the section as a Senior Technical Officer Grade 1.† Tim had come to Nat Map in the early 1960s after a distinguished career in the Royal Australian Army Survey Corps in which he served before, during and after World War II.† Tim Tyler had retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel.†

The Survey and Map Records Section was part of a branch headed by renowned Nat Map senior surveyor David Roy Hocking (1920-2000).† Dave worked with Nat Map from 1948 to 1985.† After Tim Tyler retired, the section was headed by Alan Spencer Colvin (1915-1975) who was promoted to Tim Tylerís former position.† (Alan Colvin had served in the Militia and the Second Australian Imperial Force from 1939 to 1945.† He saw active service in New Guinea and Bougainville as a Bombardier with the 4th Field Regiment of the Royal Australian Artillery.)

Following Alan Colvinís promotion to Senior Technical Officer, Norm Hawker was promoted to Alanís former position of Technical Officer Grade 2 and was the nominal second in charge of the section.† Sadly within a couple of years of these staffing arrangements being put in place Alan Colvin was forced to take some extended periods of leave to cope with serious illness.† During Alanís absences Norm headed the section on an acting basis.†In late 1974, Alan's health had declined to such an extent that he retired. Sadly on 21 January 1975 at 59 years of age, Alan Colvin succumbed to the lung cancer for which he had been treated. In March 1975, Norm Hawker was promoted to Senior Technical Officer Grade 1 and thus became the section head.

Survey and Map Records Section staff who worked under Norm Hawker in the Rialto office until early 1977 included: Alan Clayton Mason (1927-1994); Alan Leo Chaikin (1924-1999); Milton Ralph Biddle; Louise Hansford; Evelyn Therese (Enid) Ditty (1921-2006); Maria Esther Ronay (1926-2007); Patricia Joan Booth (later Mrs Tricia Hatfield); and Salvatore (Sam) Rizzo.

In March-April 1977, the National Mapping Melbourne office shifted to Ellery House in 280 Thomas Street Dandenong.† Some of the Survey and Map Records Section staff who were at the Rialto decided not to make the move to Dandenong.† Other staff later joined the section there, including: Laurie McLean; Henry Leonard (Harry) Simpson (1923-2009); Stanley Harold (Stan) Stafford (1918-1990), Penelope (Penny) Thomas, and Eric William (Blue) MacGibbon.

In the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (Public Service) of 22 September 1977, Norm Hawker's promotion was promulgated to the recently created position (No. 979) of Senior Technical Officer (Surveying) Grade 2 in charge of the Survey and Map Records Section at Dandenong.


For Norm Hawker who still lived at 2 Orange Avenue Reservoir, the commute to the new Nat Map office location was always problematic.† Reservoir was some 13 kilometres north of Melbourneís CBD and Dandenong was 34 kilometres south-east of Melbourne.† Norm preferred not to drive in across-city peak hour traffic.† Thus he travelled by train each working day from Reservoir to the City and then on to Dandenong; and then back home in the reverse direction.† After about two years of these arduous daily commutes Normís health began to suffer.† Norm retired from National Mapping in March 1978 due to ill health from a heart-related condition.† He was then 51 years of age.† Norm was to enjoy some seventeen years in retirement.

After Retirement

During his Aerodist field days Norm had formed a life-long friendship with Ian Ogilvie (Nat Map 1968-1970).† In 1974, Ian and his wife Lyn moved to Harcourt in central Victoria where Ian ran Harcourt Auto Wreckers in partnership with his brother Allan.† From 1974 onwards, Norm would often spend weekends and longer holidays with Ian and Lyn and their young family.† Between 1977 and 1980, Ian operated the BP service station in Barker Street Castlemaine.† For a couple of years Norm served petrol at the service station on a part-time basis.† While there, Ian helped Norm renovate an XR model Ford Falcon sedan that had previously been used as a taxi cab.† The finished vehicle was quite neat and sporty and Norm used it as his personal transport for several years.

In 1979, Norm bought a large elevated block of vacant land in Goodes Court Castlemaine with the intention of building a home there.† However, this intention did not come to fruition and Norm later sold the land to Ian and Lyn Ogilvie who then established their own home on the block.† In 1980, Norm bought a home in Happy Valley Road on the eastern side of Castlemaine where he resided until 1988.† (Around the mid-1980s, Norm bought and later helped renovate a substantial rendered brick and tile California Bungalow style home for his former wife Robin at 21 Johnstone Street Castlemaine.)

In the second half of 1985, Norm spent a few days in Canberra catching up with friends from his Nat Map days.† Here he stayed with Laurie McLean who was then living in a unit at Bourne Gardens Cook.† Norm caught up with Con Veenstra who was then Nat Mapís Director as well as with a few other former work colleagues.† Conís then secretary Deidre Donnelly apparently thought Con was receiving a visit from a relative when he enthusiastically greeted his visitor along the lines: Iím very pleased to see you Uncle Norm!

Between early April and late August 1986, Norm and Steve Dwyer undertook a road trip through Victoria, New South Wales and parts of Queensland and returned through eastern South Australia.† They travelled in Normís 1985 model Nissan 720 series dual cabin 4X4 utility and towed a wind-up caravan.† In 1989, Norm bought a 75 series Toyota Land Cruiser utility as his personal transport.† Around 1992, Norm did a trip to Western Australia in his Land Cruiser during which he was accompanied by his son Stephen who drove a Land Cruiser Troopie station wagon on the trip.

Throughout his time at Harcourt and Castlemaine, Norm kept in close contact with Ian and Lyn Ogilvie and their three young children Leah, Michelle and Megan.† The Ogilvies became Normís adopted family.† By 1988, Norm had tired of living on his own at Happy Valley Road so he sold that property.† Norm then lived for the rest of his life at the Ogilviesí property in Goodes Court Castlemaine.† Here Norm purchased a comfortable demountable home that was set up as separate flat so he could live independently.† During his years with the Ogilvies Norm spent much time caring for the three girls when Ian and Lynn had commitments away from home.† It was only after Normís death that Ian and Lynn learnt that Norm had not been responsible for many of various little misdemeanours for which he had taken the blame.† The breakages of precious crockery pieces or the saucepan burns on the laminex were not Normís doing after all.† He had just taken the blame to shield his charges from their parentsí wrath of the moment.


In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Norm had a couple of episodes of indifferent health.† Firstly, in 1988 he suffered a heart attack and was just fully recovering from that when the second episode, a mild stroke occurred.† Norm was fortunate to recover from the stroke without any lasting impediments.

But the end came suddenly in July 1995.† When living in his flat at the Ogilvieís property in Castlemaine, on Friday 14 July Norm complained of severe chest pain.† Lyn called an ambulance and Norm was conveyed to Castlemaine Hospital.† Later in the day he was transferred to Ballarat Base Hospital.† That night he underwent a surgical procedure to correct a leak in his aorta.† Sadly the surgery was not successful as the aorta burst during the procedure.† Norm did not regain consciousness and his life support was turned off on Monday morning 17 July 1995.† Norm Hawker was 69 years of age when he passed away.

Norm was survived by his former wife Robin and by their three children Mark, Stephen and Lindy and by their adopted daughter Anne.† He was also survived by Markís wife Janice and grandson Scott; by Stephenís wife Maxine and grandchildren Peta and Anthony; and by Lindyís husband Frank Bingham and grandchildren Shane and Kelly.† Norm was also survived by his adopted family Ian and Lyn Ogilvie and by their three daughters Leah, Michelle and Megan.

Norm Hawkerís funeral service was later held at the Odgers Family chapel in Castlemaine.† Afterwards Normís remains were cremated at Eaglehawk and his ashes were interred in the memorial wall at Chewton Cemetery.†

For his many friends and former work colleagues in the Nat Map community, Norm Hawker is still sadly missed but will always be fondly remembered.†

おじノルムありがとう Arigatou Uncle Norm




Compiled by Laurie McLean in December 2014 and January 2015; updated May 2020.




Working at Castlemaine 1981 : (L-R) Ian Ogilvie, Norm Hawker and Michelle Ogilvie.

June 1989 : Norm Hawker with sons Stephen (left) and Mark.

December 1990 Hawker family members : (L-R) Janice holding Peta, Mark, Maxine and Norm.

Norm Hawker and friend Rusty at Castlemaine early 1990s.

May 1995 at Michelle Ogilvie's debutante ball : (L-R) Lyn, Megan, Ian, Michelle and Leah Ogilvie with Norm Hawker.





Some Hawker Family Electoral Roll Entries 1903-1954


(It should be remembered that prior to the 1970s, only persons over 21 years of age were eligible to vote and thus to be listed on electoral rolls.)


In an electoral roll entry for 1903, Frederick Newton Hawker was listed as a compositor living at 481 Nicholson St North Carlton.† Also listed at that address was George Hawker, a coach builder.† In addition, listed on that roll was George Joseph Hawker who lived a few doors away at 467 Nicholson Street.† His occupation was given as coach builder.† Also listed at 467 Nicholson Street was Jessie Sophia Hawker whose occupation was fruiterer.† On the Australian Death Index entry for Frederick Newton Hawker his mother was listed as Jessie Pedley; so it is likely that the Jessie Hawker at 467 Nicholson Street was his mother.

In an electoral roll entry for 1914, Frederick Newton Hawker (fruiterer) and Mary Hawker (home duties) were listed at 112 High Street Malvern.† On the electoral roll for 1919, Frederick (agent) and Mary (home duties) were listed at 16 Victoria Road Malvern East.† Florence Alcia Hawker, waitress was also then listed at that address.† In 1929, Frederick, Mary and Florence were listed at 7 Toolambool Road Caulfield with same occupations as in 1919.† In an entry for 1931, George (cook) was added to the Toolambool Road address entries.† In 1936, five Hawkers were listed on the roll at 7 Toolambool Road; the addition was Ronald Gordon (carrier).† In 1937, Ronaldís name was not shown, otherwise the entries were unchanged.

In 1943, the year before Maryís death, Frederick Newton, Mary and George Hawker were listed on the electoral roll as residing at 6 Highfield Road Canterbury.† Maryís occupation remained as home duties, Frederick was listed as a storeman and George was listed as an iron dresser.† In 1949, three Hawkers were listed as residing at 28 Gnarwyn Road Carnegie, namely: Frederick Edwin N (tobacco worker), Frederick Newton (no occupation) and Renee May (home duties).† This was the home address that Norm Hawker gave when he enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force in September 1944.† Thus it seems that after his motherís death Norm and his retired father left Canterbury and lived for a time with Normís eldest brother and his wife.

In 1954 the year of Normís fatherís death, four Hawkers were listed as residing at 46 Woornack Road Carnegie.† They were Beverley May (radio copywriter), Frederick Edwin N (tobacco worker), Renee May (home duties) and Frederick Newton (no occupation).




Anonymous (1944), Mary (Minnie) Hawker death notice in The Argus, Melbourne, Wednesday 5 January 1944, page 2, accessed on 5 December 2014 from the National Library Australia Trove service at:


Anonymous (undated), British Commonwealth Occupation Force 1945-52, accessed on 28 November 2014 from the Australian War Memorial website at:


Anonymous (undated), Tatura-Rushworth Victoria 1940-47, accessed on 29 November 2014 from the Australian War Memorial website at:


Anonymous (undated), Burial details for Frederick Newton Hawker and Mary Annie Hawker obtained from searches of Australian Cemeteries Index records on 14 December 2014 at: and at


Australian Electoral Commission (various dates), Electoral Roll entries for Norman Keith Hawker from 1949 to 1977, accessed on 11 December 2014 from searches on website at:


Australian National Archives (2014), Norman Keith Hawker: Service Number VX95416, Series Number B883, Item barcode 6053588, in Second Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers 1939-1947 (sic), accessed on 20 November 2014 from Australian National Archives website at:


Burke, Ed (2014), Personal communication March 2014.


Cowling, Simon Gregory (2014), Personal communications March-December 2014.

Department of Veteransí Affairs (2014), Norman Keith Hawker Service Record entry, accessed on 20 November 2014 from search of Department of Veteransí Affairs World War 2 Nominal Roll at:


Department of Veteransí Affairs (2014), Arthur Illif Aylen Service Record entry, accessed on 5 December 2014 from search of Department of Veteransí Affairs World War 2 Nominal Roll at:


Ely, John Herbert (2014), Personal communications March-December 2014.

Ford, Reginald Arthur (1979), The Division of National Mappingís Part in the Geodetic Survey of Australia, Chapters 1-6, in The Australian Surveyor, June 1979: Volume 29, No 6, pp. 375-427.† Accessed at various times during 2014 from XNatmap website at:

Graham, Edward Douglas (2015), Personal communication, January 2015.


Hatfield, Patricia Joan (2014), Personal communication, 14 April 2014 at Palmerston ACT.


Hawker, Stephen (2014 and 2015), Personal communications, December 2014 and February 2015.


Kirkby, Sydney Lorrimar (2015), Personal communication, January 2015.


Lawrence, Graeme Bruce (2014), Personal communication, December 2014.


Leahy, Francis Joseph (2015) Personal communication, January 2015.


Lloyd, Michael Terrence (2014), Personal communication, December 2014.


Manning, John (2014), Personal communication, December 2014.


McMaster, Carl Grant (2014), Personal communications March 2014.


Nash, David (2014), History of Karlantijpa country, northern central Australia (a work in progress); accessed on 11 December 2014, from David Nashís website at:


Ogilvie, Ian Francis (2014), Personal communications April-December 2014.


Porteous, Murray Thomas (2014), Personal communication, December 2014.


Shaddick, Brian (2014), Personal communication, December 2014.


Veenstra, Con (2014), Personal communications April-November 2014.


Wise, Paul Joseph (2014), Personal communications April-November 2014.