Fr. Norman Davitt of the Divine Word Missionaries, Donamon, passed away peacefully on Saturday last (16th) in his 101st year.
Born in Birmingham in 1921 to Thomas and Elizabeth Wolfe, Fr. Norman could trace his roots back to Ballyhaunis where his paternal grandfather hailed from.
Fr. Norman first arrived in Donamon in 1939 just two days before the start of the Second World War, and spent three years there. He was ordained in 1947 and was then sent to Kerala, India in 1955 before returning to the UK a decade later.
Following the death of his father in 1968, Fr. Norman made his way to Papua New Guinea, an island off the north of Australia. Fr. Norman was warmly received in Papua New Guinea, while the mainly agricultural island made a lasting impression on him. He remained there until 1997, a term of almost 30 years.
Officially retired, Fr. Norman returned to England but it wasn’t long before he was on the move again, arriving back in Donamon in 1998 where he became a permanent resident.
Fr. Norman celebrated his 100th birthday last March and in August celebrated 74 years as a priest.
He was laid to rest in the Community Cemetery in Donamon following Mass of the Resurrection at Divine Word Church on Tuesday.