Image: The West Australian, Justin Benson-Cooper

Vale Arthur Olsen, 1919 – 2019

The passing of Arthur Olsen should and has been well noted. He left us the day after ANZAC Day. I am sure from his point of view if he had a choice for his last day on earth it would have been ANZAC Day.

You couldn’t miss him during the ANZAC Day March along St Georges Terrace. Bemedalled, this great ‘Rat of Tobruk’ passed by in his wheelchair pushed by a reservist grandson. As I saluted him as he passed the dais, his great record was whispered in my ear. His great family I learned about in the tributary writing on his passing.

Our community was graced and enobled by his presence. His 16 children, 42 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild can bask in the community appreciation of his great life.

It is said we only truly die when the last person to mention our name passes. On that basis, Arthur Olsen will live on for a very long time. His physical passing diminishes us but his life elevated us beyond that adjustment.

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