Obituary - Norm Wilson
Norm Wilson passed away yesterday, Wednesday March 28, 2018, aged 87. Norm was the identifiable face of Northland Cricket for over 60 years. He played 86 games for Northland between 1950 and 1970, including seven seasons as captain. He then served as Northland selector during the 1970s.
He was a key person in the consolidation of the Northland Cricket Association, previously fragmented into Whangarei and a number of other sub associations. At various times he was a Committeeman, Secretary, Chairman, and finally, since 2002, the Patron. He was a Life Member of The Northland Cricket Association.
Always an innovative thinker, Norm as Chairman initiated the recruitment of professional coaches to work in Northland, starting with Glenn Turner and including John Parker, Geoff Howarth, and Lance Cairns.
Norm was the Northland Cricket Association representative on the Cobham Oval Board of Control from the 1960s.This was the body set up to develop and manage the 'Old Cobham Oval'. Norm's involvement was more than administration, from the 1970's to early 2000s he was the groundsman at Cobham Oval, preparing pitches that hosted first class and even international teams. He was also the driving force behind the rebuilding of the clubrooms and associated facilities at that venue. Then, when the time came to move to the "new Cobham Oval", Norm made a major contribution to the planning and construction of Northland's magnificent new facility.
Norm also had a lifetime involvement with the City Club in Whangarei.
Though his major contributions were at club and District Association levels, Norm also made some significant contributions at Northern Districts' level. He played 5 games for Northern Districts between 1957/58 and 1960/61 as a left hand batsman and right arm leg spinner. He served a period as selector in the early 1970s and was also team manager during that period. Norm was sometimes Northland's delegate to Northern Districts Cricket Association meetings and he was a member of the advisory group that opposed Northland's merger with North Harbour in the 1990s, thus preserving Northland's affiliation with Northern Districts.
For his contribution to cricket, especially at District Association level in Northland, but also recognising his contributions to his club and to Northern Districts, Northern Districts Cricket awarded Life Membership to Norm Wilson in 2015.
Norm's funeral will be held at Cobham Oval, Whangarei, Saturday 31 March at 2pm.