Interview with Norm Henry

By Chris Bright

From left: Stephen Hanlon (Executive GM – Commercial), Robin Norris (L&H Group CEO), Norm Henry and Ian Pannell (Executive GM – L&H/Auslec).

Meet Norm Henry, one of Lawrence & Hanson’s most loyal customers. Norm has been purchasing his materials from L&H for over 52 years!

Norm began working at the age of 15, as an apprentice in Leongatha during the late ‘50s. In 1960, he started an electrical business with his first wife Jean, called N&J Henry. To this day, Norm is still self-employed.

N&J Henry was one of Australia’s first specialised electrical companies. The business initially concentrated on farmers and milking factories, helping to connect and repair electric motors. Eventually the business moved with customer demand, and shifted into power line work.

It was in the early ‘60s that Norm was introduced to L&H sales-rep Jack Nagle. Jack was one of the first L&H employees to reach 50 years with the company.

Norm said he enjoyed the personalised service that L&H salespeople offered, especially when it came to Jack Nagle.

“Sales-reps used to be called “travellers” actually, on account of being on the road all the time. And the first thing Jack would do when he arrived, would be to tell us a joke, and then we’d start talking business. He was very good at what he did,” he continued with a chuckle.

“Jack would take us up and down every isle in and make sure that we had everything we needed, even if we hadn’t thought of it. If we bought one power point, for example, he would always ask ‘Are you sure you won’t need two, or four?’”

Norm said he appreciated the attention to detail, because he always knew he had the parts when he needed them.

“The important thing to remember, is whenever you’re out on a job, whether it’s in the city or out in ‘whoop-whoop’ – is that if you’re missing one Earth clip, for example, you have to go all the way back into town to get it. You can’t finish the job without it. If we didn’t get everything we needed before we started, it cost money later on,” he continued.

“Lawrence & Hanson has always kept good stock, and there’s never been any trouble… the range is very specialised but they always find and supply the things I need, when I need them”.

Over his time, Norm has worked jobs almost everywhere in Australia, with most jobs taking him around Victoria, Northern Territory and finally Queensland, where he now lives with his family.

At 75 years of age Norm has since moved into semi-retirement, but still takes part in major projects around Australia. He is regularly contracted as a consultant for some of the world’s biggest mining companies – so if there’s a problem they can’t work out, they call in the expert, Norm Henry.

After 52 years of loyal service, Lawrence & Hanson will continue to supply Norm with everything he needs to get the job done – hopefully for many more years to come.

On behalf of everyone here at L&H Group, we thank you for your loyal support!