Sunday, September 09, 2007

Volunteer contributes to museum vision

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image courtesy

SENIORS have an image of grappling with technology – as in Telstra’s recent launch this week of its ‘grey’ education campaign – but Cleveland’s Norm Dean, 75, is in it up to his eyeballs, converting videos from the Redland Museum’s archives to DVDs.
Norm’s passion for the present meets respect for the past as he performs each conversion on his computer to make the historic vision more accessible for public enjoyment.
The former Revesby, Sydney, refrigeration expert who moved with wife Barbara in 1982 to Alexandra Hills estimates he is about halfway through the voluntary project, which includes sound and vision editing, addition of titles and disk labelling.
He has already created at least half a dozen DVDs. Some are from old film that was copied to video and includes footage of the 1974-94 Strawberry Festivals.

NORM enjoyed working on Hometown Efforts, which details Redlands’ defence activities during World War Two and presentations about steam power and a Redland trip to the Ipswich rail museum.
One of his pleasures in joining the museum team has been meeting his namesake, another Norm Dean, who was museum co-founder – "Norm was declared a national treasure and I had long wanted to meet him."
The technical Norm’s use of video and computer management of vision and sound dates from the early 1980s, after he left his refrigeration trade for a job near home, looking after Vienna Woods State Primary School grounds.
"About six months after the school opened they bought a video camera and I recorded all the school’s special occasions like graduations and sports days for 13 years I worked there," he says.
"I and put it all in the library."
Norm had a longstanding interest in still photography and had recorded Windsor speedway events for two years.

HIS first computer was a Commodore in the 1980s and he has upgraded about five times, most recently about 18 months ago when he commissioned an Alexandra Hills computer firm to put a box together.
"I wouldn’t have a clue about Excel or anything like that," he says. "I’m comfortable with sound and video."
Norm and Barbara recently featured in a Classified ad that their daughter, Sue Stewart, placed for their 50th wedding anniversary.
The couple started a trend back in the 1980s. Sue, her elder sister Jennifer and their brother, Peter, followed their parents to the bayside. Sydney neighbours moved here too.
Norm says Jennifer now lives at Wynnum and Peter, who worked with Redland Shire Council on Macleay Island, recently joined Maryborough City Council.
Norm’s eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren undoubtedly have star roles in a lot of his own DVD collection.

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