Airport remembers Godfrey Olson

Tributes paid to long serving councillor and founding member of Southampton Airport Consultative Committee who passed away last June


“Godfrey Olson OBE. 1929 – 2019. A Great friend of Southampton Airport”

Southampton Airport Consultative Committee has honoured its former Chair, Godfrey Olson, with a ceremony to mark his passing. A framed photographic portrait bearing the inscription ‘Godfrey Olson OBE – a Great friend of Southampton Airport’ has been installed in the Airport’s Spitfire Room which is the venue for Committee meetings.

Alderman Olson died in June after a lifetime spent in local government having served a record 61 years as an Eastleigh Councillor. He had been Mayor of Eastleigh three times and served as the Council leader from 1976 until 1986. Olson also sat on the Airport for many years most recently as Chair.

Last Friday (February 7) members of Alderman Olson’s family joined other guests of the Airport Consultative Committee to hear committee members pay tribute to him.

Airport Managing Director Neil Garwood told the audience that the committee wanted to recognise the contribution Godfrey Olson had made to airport over many years. Mr Garwood said he had found him to be “incredibly wise and very knowledgeable” adding that he liked the idea that, by hanging the portrait in the committee room, he would have the wise Godfrey Olson watching over him while he conducted the airport’s business.

Richard Ward, the Committee Honorary Secretary, said that Godfrey Olson was very ‘knowledgeable about aircraft and aircraft matters’ and described his passing as a sad loss, while committee chair Councillor David Airey said he thought Olson had always been ‘a perfect gentleman’ adding:

“It was a tremendous honour to have known Godfrey. He was a remarkable man who achieved so much in his lifetime. This is a fitting event to mark his contribution to the Airport Consultative Committee over the years.”

Godfrey Olson’s son Malcolm – who predeceased him – had previously held the post of Airport Director and in responding for the family Mr Nick Olson thanked the committee and acknowledged that the airport “has always been very special to us.”

Nick Olson remarked that the family had seen the airport evolve from a humble post-war facility into a ‘modern efficient airport’ and said they hoped that despite difficulties, it would continue to “maintain its position and carry on.”

Report on Airport Consultative Committee meeting to follow.