Norman was born in 1933 in Ballarat, the youngest of four children. His parents had a delicatessen in Sturt Street and the family lived behind the shop. He attended Pleasant Street Primary School and then Ballarat Junior Technical School. He enjoyed his schooling experiences, remembering in particular two teachers whom instilled in him a strong sense of the value of listening, which was to be important in his later work. One of the things Norm enjoyed immensely during his primary schooling was the opportunity to play in the school brass band, an unusual and exciting program. He was disappointed that his parents could not afford for him to continue as a recruit for the Ballarat City Band after his experience with the band in primary school. He also remembers the effect of the war on his schooling with trenches being dug in the ‘boys’ yard’ for air raid drills and the presence of American soldiers on the nearby base. He describes the range of disciplinary measures employed at both his primary and technical schools, but states that overall, ‘we had good teachers’. Norm attended the Ballarat Junior Technical School because he was ‘better with my hands than I was with my brains’ and, due to experience working on his father’s ‘old T model Ford’, he had ‘more of an industrial mind.’ His studies at technical school involved a range of subjects and prepared him well for a machining apprenticeship at the age of 16 at a pipeline valve manufacturer. He remained in that line of work for 45 years, rising through the ranks during his career, eventually becoming assistant to the production manager.
Primary: Pleasant Street Primary School, Number 695, Ballarat, Victoria (1939–1944)
Secondary: Ballarat Junior Technical School, Victoria (1945–1948)
Tertiary: Machining Apprenticeship (1949–1954)
Ballarat Junior Technical School Students and Staff, c1932. Photographer Unknown. Federation University Australia Historical Collection (Geoffrey Blainey Research Centre), 03501
“Norman D'Angri,” Schooling Memories, accessed February 22, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/schooling_memories/items/show/20.