Former Morisset police chief Les Norris remembered for lifelong commitment to his community

COMMUNITY: Les Norris with the Morisset town clock in 2014. For years, he dutifully maintained the clock and made sure it kept time. Picture: David Stewart

COMMUNITY: Les Norris with the Morisset town clock in 2014. For years, he dutifully maintained the clock and made sure it kept time. Picture: David Stewart

FORMER Morisset police chief Les Norris has been remembered as a caring and energetic man who had a lifelong commitment to his community.

Mr Norris passed away on Saturday, April 6. He was 84.

As police chief, Sergeant Norris and his wife Margaret lived in a small residence which doubled as the old Morisset police station, from 1971 to 1979.

The police lock-up was also attached to the residence.

Living in the police station, he was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"I didn't think about it at the time but looking back now I must have been bloody capable to handle it," Mr Norris told the Lakes Mail in 2015.

Mr Norris's son, Patrick, delivered the eulogy at his father's funeral at All Saints Anglican Church, Morisset, on Monday.

Patrick said his father was born in Orange, and grew up farming, shearing and riding horses.

"When Dad turned 18, he was called up for National Service, an experience that allowed him to see a different world and changed his entire perspective on life," Patrick said.

Sergeant Les Norris and his wife Margaret lived for a time in the old Morisset police station, where he was on call 24-hours, seven days a week. Picture: from 'Iron Horse and Iron Bark', by Beryl Mullard.

Sergeant Les Norris and his wife Margaret lived for a time in the old Morisset police station, where he was on call 24-hours, seven days a week. Picture: from 'Iron Horse and Iron Bark', by Beryl Mullard.

"He told me that if it hadn't been for National Service, he would never have become a police officer."

Mr Norris joined the police force in 1955 and had postings at Brewarrina, Kempsey and Clarence Town before, in 1971, he earned a promotion and a move to Morisset.

"Dad joined the Morisset Rotary Club forming many longtime family friendships and getting involved in an abundance of community events and projects," Patrick said.

That involvement was to span 25 years.

Mr Norris retired in 1984 after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Before his retirement, Mr Norris and some friends formed Morisset Rugby League Football Club. The playing field at Morisset Showground was named in Mr Norris's honour.

"Seeing a need for retired Rotarians to carry on their friendships and other retirees to make new friends Dad, along with others, formed the Morisset Probus Club," Patrick said.

"His involvement in this organisation was to span more than three decades.

"If there was any organisation needing a volunteer, Dad had his hand up."

Morisset Showground Trust, Morisset Show Committee and Morisset Bowling Club are among the groups Mr Norris achieved life membership with.

Mr Norris is survived by wife Margaret; children Pam, Patrick and Megan; grandchildren Drew, Kris, Elizabeth and James; and great-grandchildren Xavier and Indigo.

The late Les Norris pictured on Dora Street, Morisset, in 2014. Picture: David Stewart

The late Les Norris pictured on Dora Street, Morisset, in 2014. Picture: David Stewart

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