Norman Boehm (1927–2007)by John Boehm
Norman Harold Boehm, the fourth child of Wally and Bertha Boehm, was born on the 26/12/1927 at Hopetoun, Victoria where his father was share farming. Norm was baptized in the Yellangip Church by Pastor Jericho.
The family moved to the Antwerp – Arkona area and at the age of six years Norm commenced school at the Arkona School.
The early thirties was a time of depression and poor prices so the family moved into Dimboola. Norm attended the Dimboola Primary School, and then the Dimboola High School. Norm left school at the age of 14 years to help on farms, as labor was scarce with many young men away at the war. Fruit picking at Mildura followed, as did work in the factories in Melbourne. Getting a truck driver’s license at 27, Norm drove for a local contractor, carting road- making rubble.
After the war he worked in many different jobs – potato farmer at Drysdale; assembly line in the Geelong Ford Factory; with a shearing gang around the Western District. For a number of years Norm, with his brother Clarrie, ran a trucking business until 1958 when he joined the Shire of Dimboola as a grader operator. Norm studied for the Municipal Superintendent of Works Certificate and with the Certificate was appointed Superintendent of Works for the Shire of Dimboola. Norm served as Superintendent for 25 years until retirement at age 60 plus 6 months, having worked for the Shire of Dimboola for 31 years. As a community minded person with untiring energy, Norm was able to utilize his many skills for the development of Dimboola. In this role Norm was a quiet achiever who was to become a facilitator for development in this community. Norm’s recollections and his own contribution to the many projects and community facilities constructed here has been documented and archived in our local History records in Dimboola.
Norm was confirmed by the late Pastor W. G. Schultz, and with his parents and brothers and sisters was an active member of the former St Johns Lutheran Church, Dimboola. For a number of years he was treasurer of the St Johns congregation. Norm also held the position of elder prior to and through the formation of the new amalgamated congregation between St Johns and St Peters. Norm continued as an elder in the new congregation of St Peters. Other offices he held in the Dimboola congregations included Superintendent of the Sunday school for a few years, a member of the finance committee for a combined total of some 32 years (between the two Dimboola congregations) and for a great part of the period in the role of Committee Chairperson.
On the 31 May 1952 Norm married Ruth Anna Domaschenz in St Johns Lutheran Church Jeparit, with Pastor 0. W. Backen officiating. The marriage was blessed with 6 children:
Joylene, John, Frank (wife Lorraine – Kurt, Dylan, Rhys), Marlene (husband Robert – Daniel, Hannah), Norma (husband James- Stephen, Caitlyn, Anthony), Trevor (wife Natalie – Benjamin, Shane)
During the period his children attended the Dimboola Memorial High School, Norm served on the School Advisory Council in the capacity of Ground Committee Chairperson.
Norm was a member of the Dimboola Scout Group Committee for many years, serving as Group President on that committee.
At the age of fifty years Norm suffered coronary artery blockage and underwent a bypass operation. He then enjoyed fairly good health for nearly 18 years when it became necessary for another bypass operation, after which he again returned to good health.
In his retirement Norm worked diligently with duties for his Lord, continuing on with Church committees and activities, including a regular Monday carpet bowls in the Church Hall. One notable long standing congregation activity Norm supported as a study leader and organizer was the monthly friendship group which commenced many years ago, and of which Norm led the last study for the 2007 year on the Thursday prior to his death. It was with pride that Norm celebrated many family parties in the church complex which he often described as “a most magnificent and spectacular place” in which to hold a celebration.
In retirement Norm, with Ruth, had numerous holiday excursions, including many trips to Rob and Marlene in Perth, to Frank and Lorraine in Alice Springs, Trevor and Natalie in Singleton, a snow holiday at Falls Creek with Joylene, to James and Norma in Melbourne, and other trips including Tasmania, the Hawkesbury river and Canberra.
Norm held a very deep love for his Lord’s work, and his Lord’s House here in Dimboola.
Norm recently completed his regular medical checks, and was noticeably happy with the results. After a brief bout of flu he attended the Dimboola show, entering his 1939 Fordson tractor, and then went about his normal domestic chores.
Norm passed away suddenly and peacefully with his family on 24 October 2007.
We give thanks to God for a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, workmate, friend, neighbour and brother in Christ.