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Touching send-off for Sam

Thursday, 18th January, 2018

A small group of people release balloons at Joe Keenan Lookout while the Beatles’ song Blackbird plays in the background. A small group of people release balloons at Joe Keenan Lookout while the Beatles’ song Blackbird plays in the background.

By Michael Murphy

A young man who led a major fundraising campaign for the Silver City Cinema was yesterday remembered at a beautiful memorial service at Joe Keenan Lookout.

About a dozen friends of the late Sam Norman swapped stories and paid tribute to the Flinders University student who stayed in the city for about two months last year.

Sam worked in Broken Hill as part of placement for his Bachelor of International Tourism degree, investigating ways to help improve the lives of people with a disability.

Sam, who lived in Hallett Cove, South Australia, with his grandparents, died suddenly at a friend’s house at Morphett Vale on Sunday, January 7. The cause of his death was being investigated.

He was 23.

Sam was remembered yesterday as a man with a big heart, huge potential and influence.

He stayed with Noel Lee while he was in Broken Hill.

“We just sort of gave him an opportunity,” Noel said.

“He was a uni student, he wanted somewhere cheap to stay, he couldn’t afford to stay at a motel or hotel.”

While staying with Noel, Sam took calls from federal politicians Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese, and Sam Dastyari. 

“He had contacts with both political parties - Labor and Liberal.

“Kevin Humphries and the deputy premier (John Barilaro) ... he had tea with them while he was in town,” Noel said.

“So he really had the ability to reach out and bring people into his circle and do something.

“I’m very saddened by this ... he did not realise how much potential he really had.”

Mayor Darriea Turley opened the ceremony and paid tribute to Sam and his work in the Silver City, and then called on others to share their stories.

The service was organised by good friend Brendan Barlow.

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