PHOTOS

Photos | Remembering Norm Provan the family man, businessman and shire councillor

Norm Provan was a lot more than a rugby league Immortal, who won 10 straight premierships playing for and coaching St George and nearly won a title for the infant Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Provan, who died on Thursday at 88, was a man of great character, a successful businessman who pioneered discount appliance and furniture stores in the area, a Sutherland Shire councillor and a strong family man.

Sister-in-law Carol Provan recalled his support for her husband Peter, who captained the Balmain Tigers 1969 premiership winning team, during an eight year battle with cancer, which ended in 2010.

"All families have their tragedies and hardships and Norm was a wonderful support to all the family during this and other times," said Ms Provan, a shire councillor and former mayor.

"When Peter was in Stella Maris at Cronulla, Norm would often take him out and push him in a wheelchair along the Esplanade."

Norm and Peter were part of a family of eight children, which moved to Sydney from a farm at Urana in the Riverina.

They initially lived in Willoughby, where Norm, Peter and their brother Ian delivered papers, moved briefly to Bondi and then bought a house in Bath Road, Kirrawee.

The children attended school at Sutherland and the boys played rugby league for the Sutherland Woronora club.

All the boys took up trades, with Norm becoming an electrician and Peter a builder.

Norm Provan went into business with former door-to-door salesman Keith Lord after initially delivering black and white TVs to homes for a free trial.

He and Lord opened the Norm Provan electrical goods store at Rockdale in 1959, where he worked on the floor as a salesman.

"You couldn't live on what you got out of football back then,'' he said in 2010 in a story for the 50th anniversary of the Leader.

A family first: Peter and Norm Provan were the only brothers to captain separate premiership-winning teams.

A family first: Peter and Norm Provan were the only brothers to captain separate premiership-winning teams.

The Rockdale store opened two years before Gerry Harvey and Ian Norman established Norman Ross.

"The Leader was a great advertising vehicle and the only problem I had with them was when they stopped me taking the full back page," he said.

Despite a government-imposed "credit squeeze", the store celebrated its second birthday in 1961 with an eight page advertising supplement.

"In a short time, the firm has developed a turnover of 1/2 million pounds ($1 million),'' an ad stated.

Provan and Lord went their separate ways after a few years, with Norm Provan Discounts eventually having five stores, including one at Caringbah and a bulk warehouse at Blakehurst.

Financial difficulties in the late 1970s saw Provan close most outlets and sell the Caringbah business.

Carol Provan said he worked out arrangements with all his creditors.

Provan was elected as an independent to Sutherland Shire Council in December 1968 and served for three years.

His views were Labor oriented and he supported the group's leader Arthur Gietzelt, but eventually a gulf developed.

The Provan family is spread across NSW and Queensland, where he moved 40 years ago. He is survived by his wife Lynne, daughter Suzanne, sons Noel, Douglas and Nathan, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

His sister Marge, the oldest of three surviving siblings, lives in Cronulla while brother Don lives at Penshurst.

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