Tabor, Herman “Norman”

Regimental Number: L-433485 (Army); V-63428 (Navy)
Rank: Able Seaman

Norman, born on July 10, 1923 in Vibank, Saskatchewan, was the 2nd youngest in Frank and Elizabeth Tabor’s family of five children; Edward, William, John, Norman and Virginia. Frank was employed as a grain buyer and Elizabeth was an excellent seamstress and cook. The Tabor children attended the Vibank School.

With the onset of WWII in 1939, many young men from the area enlisted including Norman’s brothers. When Norman enlisted on April 27, 1941 at age 17, he found out his legal name was actually “Herman”. Apparently the priest who officiated the baptism was hearing impaired and recorded the name as Herman and not Norman as his parents had requested. Norman served with the Canadian Army Reserve, 2nd Battalion, Regina Rifle Regiment until August 11, 1941 when he was discharged at Regina. On June 1, 1943, Norman enlisted with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve at Regina. He was listed as “On Active Service” as of June 30, 1943 and was stationed at several land-locked naval training centers; HMCS Chippawa at Winnipeg, CFB Cornwallis at Nova Scotia, Signal School at St. Hyacinthe in Quebec, HMCS Stadacona at Halifax, HMCS Peregrine (formally known as Stadacona II) at Nova Scotia and HMCS Queen at Regina. Norman was promoted to A/Able Seaman on June 30, 1944 and received the recognition of “superior ability” in Gunnery & Disciplinary Training. He was discharged on demobilization on October 31, 1945 at Regina and returned home to Vibank, Saskatchewan.

Once Norman and his brothers had all arrived home from the war, they, along with their father, opened a garage that became known as “Frank Tabor and Sons”. The garage had an attached restaurant known as “Tilly’s Café” – named after Norman whose nickname was “Tilley”. Norman met Pearl Obrigewitsch at a “Married Folks” dance in Vibank. Pearl was visiting her grandparents who had convinced her to attend the dance and Norman happened to be taking tickets at the door. The young couple subsequently married on June 10, 1952 at Windthorst, Saskatchewan and had three children; Don, Tannis and Jim. Shortly after Norman and Pearl were married, Norman became employed with the Federated Co-Op. As Norman was transferred often by the Co-op, the family lived in various locations; Calgary, Cranbrook, Vancouver, Bathurst, New Brunswick, Strathmore, Whitecourt and Grande Prairie followed by a move to Bezanson. Once retired, Pearl and Norman loved to travel and spent several years as snowbirds in Arizona.

Norman was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Knights of Columbus. Pearl and Norman both volunteered countless hours of their time for the betterment of their community.

Norman passed away on July 18, 2010 and was buried at the Grande Prairie Cemetery. Pearl passed away on December 11, 2017 and was laid to rest next to Norman.

Written by Tannis (Tabor) Trydal – daughter