A Tribute to Jim Norbury
                  
                      by Jack Redston
I make this tribute with mixed emotions, pain in losing a colleague and friend, but pride in having worked with him, sharing many experiences and forming deep bonds of friendship. He was of high intellect, a proven academic and a skilful and determined researcher, contributing to many national surveys. The opportunity for him to move to polytechnics and Universities were many, but he was a proud Mancunian and chose to remain at Openshaw Technical College, with its close-knit staff, whom he considered his band of brothers. This was Jim's first love - people. His second love was books, himself a scribe of some ability. He often related a story of when visiting an overstocked bookshop in Stockport a book fell onto his head, he was pleased it was only a small volume, but delighted it was the history of the Geddis family.These people were a fierce clan who moved from Ireland to Scotland, terrorising everybody from the Romans onward. This is where I consider Jim got his determination from for his Grandmother was a Geddis. Some people called this determination - stubbornness - I prefer to call it social conscience, for when he saw an injustice he was resolute to eradicate this transgression. He shared with me a common belief in the "common-he" in that he who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortunes wheel is equally entitled to our regard. He lived by this belief. He was universally respected across the College by both Staff and students,who benefitted from knowing him. Farewell Jim - we shall miss you! but you live on in our memories.

A further, very welcome tribute to Jim has been received from one of his former students and eventual colleague. John Jones. I was saddened to hear of Jims death. Although I lost touch with him over the years, for me he was a very important person one of a handful who helped me to achieve my goals in life. Initially I was one of his students and we later became colleagues and friends when I took up a part-time position at Openshaw. Jim literally changed my life. He was one of those gifted people who could make you believe in yourself even when the tide seemed to be running against you. Id started out studying engineering in the early 60s but gradually realised I was not destined to follow in the steps of Sir Joseph Whitworth. He obviously recognised this and encouraged me to develop my love of writing and eventually establish a successful career in business communications. Ive enjoyed every moment and will be eternally grateful to Jim for his unwavering support. I guess he never really appreciated what an influence hed been, although I did tell him on several occasions. Still, that was Jim, always interested, enthusiastic, generous with his time, honest with his comments yet never seeking credit for his contribution. I suppose I saw him as a free thinker, even a bit of a rebel, unbound and unbowed by convention, who was ready to challenge popular thinking and debunk many of the misconceptions he encountered. His only reward was to see people achieve their full potential - however great or small. He had time for everyone and, as a result, everyone had time for him. I have very fond memories of a truly good guy and no doubt, I will not be alone.



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