Recently, the District was saddened to hear of the passing of Past District Governor, Geoffrey Olsen, of Rotary Club of Dungog.
 
Geoffrey was born on 5th May 1924, in Dungog. Unfortunately, all of his siblings pre-deceased him.
 
He attended schooling in Dungog and Newcastle. When he completed his schooling, he did Engineering at Newcastle Technical College. He began his working career at Lysaghts as a fitter/maintenance Toolmaker, where he worked on the production of the Owen Gun used in the second World War. In Jan 1947, he went back to Dungog to work in the family business Davey & Olsen Pty Ltd. He became Dealer Principal of the Ford Franchise in 1974 to 1989, when he retired.
 
Geoff Olson, OAM, PHF, was an outstanding member of the Dungog community. 
 
Geoff joined the Rotary Club of Dungog on the 11th September 1953, shortly after the club’s formation in 1950, where his father was the founding president.
 
Geoff was in the Rotary Club of Dungog for 66 years and in that time had 100% attendance, until in 2019, when due to illness, moved into Lara aged care. He was awarded life membership of the Club in  January 2020.
 
Some of Geoff’s achievements during his Rotary career were:
  • President of the Rotary Club of Dungog 1958-59
  • District Governor 1976-77
  • Delegate to two Rotary International conferences.
  • 34 years on District Committees, including several years as chairman of RYLA and Rotary Youth Exchange Committee.
  • In 1979, Geoff was awarded a PHF for his service to the Club, District and Rotary International.
  • In 1980, he led a group study exchange to Norway
  • In 1997, Geoff was awarded the Order Of Australia medal for his service to Rotary and his Community.
  • In 1999, he was Dungog Citizen of the Year
Geoff was a founding member of Lara, our district nursing home, along with fellow Rotarian Ray Neilson. Some 33 years later, he and Ray were still involved, Geoff as Deputy Chairman and Ray as Chairman.
 
Lara nursing home was a major Rotary project which they initiated and was contributed to by the whole community.
 
Geoff’s other interests included:
  • NSW Rural Fire Service as a volunteer for 63 years or so and was awarded the AFSM for his service and life member of Dungog Brigade.
  • Masonic Lodge for 54 years of membership
  • An elder of his church
  • Was a life member of Dungog Memorial Bowling Club
  • Was a competitive road cyclist
  • A Gifted singer
At his 60 years commemoration dinner in 2013, Geoff was asked how he maintained 100% attendance for 60 years - his answer was “When you are with a group of friends, who do what they can for the Club, community and for your fellow man and you are a part of that organisation, then attendance is easy”.
 
Geoff was a kind, understanding, ethical, humble, and patient gentleman, who showed tolerance and understanding in all that he did in his life.
 
Geoff will be sadly missed by all who new him.
 
Rest in Peace Geoff. Vale.