Norman Sutherland was the youngest son of Hector and Margaret Sutherland of Okauia. He attended Matamata Junior High School in the 1920s and in 1925 was a member of the 1st XV.
He was later engaged to Miss Dorothy Palby but before they could be married he enlisted in the RNZAF and went overseas during World War II. He became a Flight Sergeant and piloted a Lancaster Bomber with 207 Squadron of the RAF. On the night of 16-17 August 1942 he and his crew took off from Bottesford airfield on a “gardening” expedition (the laying of sea mines) in the “Willows” area somewhere near Denmark. The plane was lost without trace.