I was born 2 June 1963 in what was at the time the Glynwood Nursing Home at 10 am the morning and named Hendrik Lourens Norval after my Grandfather on my Mothers side. My Grandfather, Hendrik Lourens Botes was a sergeant in the SA Police. I picked up the shortened version of my name and am still known as Henry Norval
My parents, Archibald Joseph Norval and Susanna Maria Norval (Born Botes), stayed at number 60 Main Road in Farrarmere. They later built a house in Whitehouse Avenue (1968) also in Farrarmere. I was four when we moved into the house and we stayed there until 2010. I now reside in Derwent Avenue Farrarmere virtually across the road from our old house.
I attended Benoni Junior School from grade 1 to standard 1 (1970 to 1973). Benoni West Primary School, standard 2 to 5 (1974 to 1977). High School was Willowmoore High until 1979 and I was off to the Benoni Technical College which was in Benoni Town at that stage.
While in Grade 1, my parents noticed that I had a major hearing problem that had slowly crept up on me. A few operations later by a Doctor Heron in Rosebank and my hearing was restored. Over the last few years I notice that my hearing has deteriorated, possibly a combination of a prior hearing problem and many years working on jet powered planes.
In 1982 I joined the South African Airforce as a permanent member. After all the training I was posted to 3 Squadron, Waterkloof and spent the next 8 years as an Electrical Technician on the Mirage F1CZ. The first years were spent on Airframes and later transferred to the “Engine Shop” doing maintenance and repairs on the Atar 09K50 turbine motor. The time spent at the Squadron with the people will always be unforgettable … absolutely awesome times.
I left the SAAF in 1989 and joined Atlas Aviation which later became Denel. At Denel I had the opportunity to do major servicing and mods on the Mirage F1CZ and F1AZ aircraft, manufactured electrical looms for the Cheetah and Rooivalk.
I left Denel in 1997 to join Datatec. Repairing Auto ID products which is a fancy name for Barcode Scanners, Printers and Mobile Computers. It was a completely new industry for me but I quickly got up to speed and stayed with the group until 2002.
Since I left the Datatec group we have been running our own business selling and repairing Auto ID Products.
I met my wife at the Afrikaans NG Kerk in Farrarmere in 1982. The same church that was taken down and rebuilt. We got married on 21 January 1984 and had our first child later in the same year. Our second child was born in 1987. Both our boys were born in 1 Military Hospital, Pretoria. At the time I doubt any private hospital could compete with 1 Mil.
I still have a huge passion for aircraft, military and civilian and attend every airshow that I can. My current hobbies include growing Chillies and succulants, building websites and applications and just having an online presence.
My wife, youngest son and myself stay in Benoni and are blessed to also have my eldest son and daughter in law stay really close by so we can see our 2 Grandchildren as often as we like.
Unfortunately my wife lost her father – Manie Maritz in August 2013 and my father – Archibald Norval passed away 4 May 2015, so its been a difficult time for us and our respective mothers but life has carried on.