Sawtellian Norma in for a busy 2009

NORMA Romeril usually has no time for herself and that is the way she likes it.

The Sawtellian of the Year for 2009, Norma will be busy today acting as a welcome ambassador for the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race.

That is just one of the volunteer activities that keep her busy seven days a week.

Since 1994, Norma has been the co-ordinator of the local Red Cross Hands On Service which provides hand and nail care for residents in nursing homes and aged care facilities.

Norma recruits volunteers for this service, which now has about 50 volunteers working in nine venues spread form Woolgoolga to Toormina, while she is also the trainer for other services at Glen Innes and Armidale.

She also volunteers as an office assistant at the Coffs Harbour Police and Community Youth Club, helping to organise and run the Traffic Offenders Intervention Program.

This program educates drink-driving offenders about their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions.

A Justice of the Peace since 1986, Norma makes herself available to the community for JP services and has been a volunteer at the Visitor information Centre since 1995, helping visitors with their holiday activities.

Norma volunteers at the Visitor Information Centre and as a Sports Unit volunteer, is part of the 'meet and greet' team for the Masters Games and acts as a tour guide for visitors during the visits of tall ships like the Endeavour and the Duyfken.

Norma, who is a young and fit 70 year old, is also the volunteer teacher and joint organiser of the old time and new vogue social dance group for over 45 year olds.

Norma and her late husband managed four businesses in Sawtell until Bob Romeril's death in 1981.

Norma brought up their two small boys on her own, taking up casual teaching to support her family until the boys finished school, but she never stopped volunteering.

She has been a leading light with Breast Feeding Australia; Parent Australia; the Natural Health Society and the Boambee Creek Reserve Trust.

“To volunteer gives me happiness I can't get in any other way,” Norma said this week,” Norma said.

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