I am sorry to report that Ken Norman died peacefully in his sleep on 17th April 2019.
Ken had joined us in 2001 upon his retirement from the West of England where he had spent his entire working life; starting in the post room and ending as a senior manager.
He brought to the Charterers’ Club the benefit, not only of his experience, but of his wisdom. His chief attribute was probably his ability to get on with people; he had a good sense of humour and was rarely seen without a smile on his face. Ken had an impressive presence, standing over 6ft tall.
His father had been a warrant officer in the Royal Navy and no doubt Ken acquired his self-discipline from him. He could handle people with tact and diplomacy, invariably getting the best out of them. He was in his element visiting and dealing with correspondents, where his natural ability to put people at ease helped to forge strong relationships throughout the world.
Ken loved social occasions when he was anything but a shrinking violet; he would be the life and soul of any party. At a Seatrade occasion at the Guildhall where the First Sea Lord was the Guest of Honour, the band called for volunteers to perform ‘a Policeman’s lot is not a happy one’ from the Pirates of Penzance. Ken immediately volunteered the two of us! Needless to say, there were no requests for an encore!
Whenever I think of Ken, these words of Kipling come to mind:-
If you talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
He will be sorely missed by all his many friends from around the world and at MECO.
23rd April 2019