Hundreds of mourners gathered at Gardenia Funerals Melton on Tuesday to farewell popular greyhound racing stalwart Norman “Normie” Walls, who passed away last week aged 90.
Walls epitomised the ‘suburban’ greyhound training era and was involved in the industry for over 60 years. He was a regular sight walking his greyhounds around the streets of Melton.
His partner of 35 years, Patricia, said Walls – a former president and life member of the Melton Coursing Club – devoted himself to greyhound racing.
“He loved them,” she said. “He looked after them and they got the best tucker… But he was thorough in everything – even his lawns were like glass.”
Patricia and her “Normie” met through a love of dancing and socialising, but it wasn’t long before greyhounds also became a big part of her life.
“Two of his favourite greyhounds were Miss Blanche (18 wins from 63 starts) and Campaspe Will (13 wins from 37 starts),” she said. “He bred from Miss Blanche, but sadly his dream to see the progeny of Campaspe Will race will never be realised.”
In fact, Walls renewed his trainer’s licence around 18 months ago, hopeful of training some offspring of Campaspe Will’s only two litters.
Walls also had a passion for horse racing. He even attended a meeting at Royal Ascot, an Irish Derby, a couple of Darwin Cups and a Broome Cup. And he enjoyed his travels around Australia with Patricia.
Close friend John Jowett said Walls was “just one of those guys who was fun loving”.
“I knew him since I moved into Melton, and that’s the best part of 40 years,” he said. “I met him through the greyhounds and having a beer at his favourite watering hole, Mac’s Hotel.”
Jowett added that Walls was “very family orientated”. “He was a fantastic provider for his family – one of a kind. And he loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He had friends in every age group, and always had a smile on his dial.”
Walls had eight children, 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.