Robert H. Noorduyn - In Memorium
Robert H. Noorduyn, Honourary Chairman of the Norseman Festival, and son of Noorduyn Norseman designer R.B.C. Noorduyn, passed away on August 28, 2008. He was remembered in last year’s Festival.
Bob was born November 17, 1922 in New York and spent his childhood in Montreal and Vermont before marrying Geraldine Barber. Granddaughter Julia Boddy created a web site in honour of her grandfather several years ago and friends or Norseman fans will find many Norseman photos, stories and remembrances there.
Bob was a friend of the Norseman Festival from the concept stage. He visited Red Lake in 1990 as the guest of honour at a “Norseman Reunion” produced by the Waterfront Development Committee with the strong support of Debra Shushack and Bill Coppen. The event was designed to determine if the idea of a festival inspired by the Noorduyn Norseman was worth pursuing. Bob provided a lot of information leading to the “story” that Norseman Park tells and to the first Norseman Festival two years later. His enthusiasm and that of the other attendees led to the Festival becoming an annual event and a major attraction toRed Lake.
Bob returned to Red Lake in 1992 for that first Festival and to officially dedicate Norseman Park.
He returned again in 1995, this time with his long time friend Bill Shaeffer, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Noorduyn Norseman.
That was Bob’s last trip to Red Lake, but his friendship for the Festival and the community was not circumscribed by his visits. It was evident in the willingness with which he acted as researcher and historian for the Festival, in the friendships which grew out of it and in the mementos and information which he passed on. It was through his generosity that the original Noorduyn logo containing a helmeted Viking was able to be registered as an Official Mark of the Township of Red Lake.
Bob was appointed Honourary Chairman of the Norseman Floatplane Festival out of respect for what he contributed to it and it is in similar recognition that he will be remembered in the theme of last year’s Festival. visit www.noorduynnorseman.com