A Tribute to Noel Allan Olsson

22 December 1941 - 11 March 2012

These hills where the hawk flies lonely,
beaches where the long surf rolls,
mountains where the snows reach heaven,
these are our care.

Pastures where the sheep graze calmly,
orchards where the apples grow,
gardens where the roses cluster,
these are our prayer.

Lyrics from "These Hills where the Hawk Flies Lonely," sung at Noel's funeral service.

Noel Olsson may have lived at Whakarongo, but he treated Ashhurst like a home town. Public duties called and Noel was elected onto the Ashhurst Ward Committee in 1995. Following his re-election three years later, he was elected Chairperson and continued in that role until the Ward Committees were abolished in 2007. Noel participated in many of the consultation processes of various local body organisations and assisted in making the community voice heard in city hall.

In 1999, public meetings were held to develop a vision for the future of Ashhurst. Noel was again a willing volunteer in the Ashhurst Action Group and its working bees which emerged from those meetings. Noel made a valuable contribution to the Ashhurst community by his perseverance and understanding of City Council processes. His astute advice on raising village issues via Ward Committee or the Ashhurst Action Group led to many of the advances Ashhurst has experienced since 2000.

Born and bred in Woodville, he moved to Palmerston North in his early years to establish his career as a bookkeeper and tax expert. Noel had a long career with the same company until his retirement in 2011.

Noel was involved in many other community and church activities and will be missed by all who worked with him in so many ways.

Noel is survived by his wife, Jenny, and children Murray, Sylvia and Raewyn.

Noel was a public minded citizen in every sense of the word.

The above tribute was first published on the front page of the April 2012 edition of the Ashhurst Village Voice.