Eastleigh’s longest serving councillor dies

Death of former Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Alderman Godfrey Olson OBE has been announced.

Godfrey Olson OBE

Alderman Godfrey Olson OBE pic: EBC

Eastleigh Borough Council has announced with ‘great sadness’ that a former Leader of the Council, Godfrey Olson has died.

Olson retired from his Hiltingbury East seat in 2016 after 61 years of service to the Borough.

He served as Mayor three times and as Leader of the Council from 1976 until 1986. He became a Freeman of the Borough in 1977 and was made an Honorary Alderman in 2016. In 1994 he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

For many years he was the leader of the Conservative opposition group on the Borough Council and also served as a Chandler’s Ford Parish Councillor. A successful businessman, for many years he owned a chain of local estate agents and supported many local charities.

Mayor of Eastleigh, Cllr Darshan Mann, said:

“We are all deeply saddened by the news that Godfrey has passed away. He was a highly respected and a great servant to the residents of the Borough of Eastleigh.  Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

Cllr Judith Grajewski, leader of the Conservative group on Eastleigh Borough Council paid tribute to Alderman Olson saying:

“This sad, unexpected news has come as a tremendous shock. I have known Godfrey as a friend and colleague for over 25 years. During his 61 years as a councillor, he has touched the lives of many people and will be much missed. Godfrey’s sense of duty, commitment and dedication to the people of Eastleigh were second to none, yet he never sought personal recognition. He often used to say to me, “I’m just doing my job”.

Godfrey was not only a much respected public figure, but also a father and grandfather, so my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.”

Eastleigh’s MP, Mims Davies also added her voice to the tributes being paid to Eastleigh’s longest serving politician.

“The passing of Godfrey Olson OBE is a huge loss to our community, and he will be very greatly and deeply missed but most fondly remembered by people on all sides of the political divide for his unwavering commitment to our area, passionately and determinedly serving the interests of people across the Eastleigh Borough for a truly immense 61 years.

“On behalf of all of my Eastleigh constituents I send my thoughts to his family and friends at this sad time.


CB EBC AGM 2015 2

Cllr Godfrey Olson in 2015 being presented with a pair of whiskey glasses by Mayor Cllr Jane Welsh to mark his 60 years of service Pic: ©Chris Balcombe.

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