Sunday, July 7, 2019

Books by Norm

Norm published four books.

His first solo project was Whiskey, Whiskey, Papa - written in 1998. The book chronicles the exciting life and times of a pilot's pilot - Weldy Phipps. Norm contracted the printing to a local company and was promptly shipped many boxes of books as he was also the distributor. This book is out of print.

 Rising was co-written with Alan MacNutt in 2000. There were no boxes of books every delivered to the house, so we assume Alan did not know better and took on the task of printing and distribution.

In 2009, having learned from doing the printing and distribution of a book himself, Norm self published Spartan - Seven Letters That Spanned the Globe using an Internet-based self-publishing site called Spartan was an early force in mapping the earth using planes. The paperback can be purchased here and the ebook here

In 2011, he published Mayhem to Mayday - the two wars of Andy MacKenzie, DFC. It is a biography - the life and times of a heroic pilot. The paperback is available here and an ebook is in development.

His author's page at lulu can be found at

Norm was a prolific fiction writer, but never quite polished any book well enough to publish in his opinion. Who knows - a book of his short stories might still happen and perhaps Whiskey, Whiskey, Papa might get a second edition as there is demand for this book.

Happy reading!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Celebration of Life

In keeping with Norm's wishes, there will be no funeral. As many people have expressed an interest in paying final respects to him, the family will be hosting a celebration of life.

The celebration will be held on Monday July 8th from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Britannia Yacht Club where he was a long time member. 

The yacht club is located at 2777 Cassels St, Ottawa, ON K2B 6N6. Click here for a Map.

Norm requests that no one drive any long distances just for this event. So, if you do choose to do so, you will need to explain yourself to him when you meet again.

Interment will be at a later date in the Paint Lake Pioneer Cemetery just outside of Dorset, Ontario.

No formal attire. No flowers please.

Norm Avery Biography

Norman Avery 1929 - 2019

Born in Parry Sound to Sydney and Hazel Avery, the family moved to Huntsville when he was 2. He had four siblings - survived by Lois and predeceased by Ken, James (Mac), and Harold. He was married for 55 years to Ruth (nee Robinson) - deceased (2011). He is survived by two children - Dean (Colleen) and Joel (Catherine) and two grandchildren - Shannon and James.

When he was 19, he earned his pilot’s licence. When he was 20, he left the grist mill behind and joined the Air Force where he was stationed in St Bruno, Quebec as a public relations specialist. Within a couple of years, he was promoted and then served in France as part of 2 Wing where his work with NATO was rewarded with a special service medal. He took the time to travel extensively in Europe and only stopped travelling the rest of the world a few years ago. After ten years in the force, he left the force with a new wife to pursue a second career and start a family.
When he was 30, an Air Force colleague provided a lead which resulted in an eight year stint at the Ottawa Citizen where he was a staff writer, columnist, reporter and eventually assistant city editor. He specialized in aviation writing and began winning national awards after just one year on the job. Historical pictures show he interviewed PM candidate Robert Stanfield, Governor General Roland Michener, and, in 1966 while being escorted by the UN, Archbishop Makarios III - the president of Cyprus. He also fathered two children while at the Citizen.
Working at the Citizen spawned many freelancing engagements (including the publicity for the Paris air show in 1965). In 1967, he made freelancing his full time job and again was responsible for the publicity of the Paris air show in 1967. It was all good with the Citizen as he continued to write the aviation column for a few more years - however he no longer had to write the column in the smoke filled rooms at the Citizen. In this period he served as a correspondent for CBC Northern Services and also found time to be the founding editor of the monthly Armed Forces Review. In 1968 he formed a PR firm with his Air Force squadron friend Doug Harvey and famed photographer Malak Karch (brother of the other famous Karch photographer Yousef Karsh). While they predominantly had aviation related clients, the firm of Harvey, Avery and Malak were the PR force involved in the resumption of the CFL all star game in 1970. They also represented IMAX which was founded in part by his cousin Robert Kerr; A & W and FTD florists. In 1970, he began his third career in the Federal public service in Fisheries and Forestry; the Canadian Forestry Service; Environment Canada; and Energy, Mines and Resources. He rose through the ranks and several MPs specifically thanked him for making them sound intelligent. He travelled quite a bit across the country and had friends everywhere it seemed. He also went on an expedition to the Arctic. Through all of this, he found time to be a director of the Ottawa Flying Club; an executive in the camera club of Ottawa; and teach a PR course at Algonquin. He wrote, edited, published and likely founded the Avery family newsletter - the Trapper - for many years taking it from print into electronic format. With 26 years of service in the federal government, he retired in 1987, he began his fourth career as an author. He wrote and self published four historical aviation books (available in the lobby on the way out). His books were: Altimeter Rising; Whiskey, Whiskey, Papa; Spartan: Seven Letters that Spanned the Globe; and Mayhem to Mayday.
His true writing love was fiction for which he won several short story writing awards. Throughout his life, he could be found sailing, travelling, golfing, skiing, taking pictures and telling stories. He could also be found in front of the computer writing, researching, playing games and sleeping.

Details regarding a celebration of his life well are available here. Please subscribe to the blog to be notified of new entries.