Making NSRI displays at exhibitions and fundraising events interesting is always a challenge. Each of the NSRI regions have different ways of doing things, but most will use a mannequin at some stage … Sea Rescue’s gear is after all pretty eye catching.
Michele Batstone, our retired Gauteng liaison officer, had her favorite … and called him Norman.
Norman went all over the place with her and was quite often photographed. Recently Michele went through her pictures, and sent some photographs taken of Norman over the past decade. Although his hairstyle changed remarkable often, he never aged.
This is what Michele had to say about Norman:
“His checkered career included lots of helicopter work; being hoisted into a chopper on the Vaal Dam, and lowered from another chopper onto fast traveling 5m Waverider along Kyalami main straight was in a days work for Norm.
He traveled with me in my MG, in the passenger seat, and we always got noticed when driving through the dorps.
In between fundraising events he used to stand in our car port (with a plain
track suit on) and could only be seen when sensor light came on, watching for cars. One night, we heard a car drive in and then no-one came to the front door – upon checking we saw a young chap, half way out of his car, asking Norman for directions……!”
So next time you see a mannequin at an exhibition … it just may be Norm. And don’t ask for directions. Michele might juts be watching you.