By Matthew Lau
Kalgoorlie stalwart Harry Joseph Argus OFS has died on Monday 18 June after a short illness.
His funeral was held on Friday 22 June at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Kalgoorlie, a city and community he had a great impact on.
Born on 4 November 1947, Harry was the eighth and youngest child of Richard Frederick and Eliza Anne Argus of Ora Banda.
He was proudly named after his loved uncles Harry Ware and Harry Argus, and was given the middle name of Joseph after Joe O’Malley, a dearly respected uncle of his father.
Harry had a long affiliation with the Goldfields Catholic Community. His parents, sisters, and grandparents all married in Kalgoorlie Parish respectively.
After the death of his parents, he moved onto a new calling of the monastic life of the Benedictine Community at New Norcia. Dubbed the “Ora Banda Kid”, he was a Benedictine Monk for some 20 years before returning to his hometown.
It was over the past 25 years particularly where Harry became increasingly more active at St Mary’s Church as an acolyte, as a committee member on the parish council, and by regularly lending a helping hand to the priests.
The keen historian researched and authored The Centenary of St Mary’s Catholic Church Building Kalgoorlie 1902-2002, which is a 218-page book that details the history of Goldfields Catholic Community.
As parish archivist, Harry kept the information up-to-date in diary-form after the centenary book was published. He is also known for bringing the Secular Franciscan Order to the Goldfields.
Harry ensured his daily life was kept active as an employee of local coach company Gold Rush Tours, he was also a member the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society, and was a prize-winning member of a local Kalgoorlie rifle shooting club.
“I will live on with inspiring memories of my younger brother,” Tony Argus wrote in Harry’s death notice on The West Announcements.
“From our boyhood days on our sheep station near Ora Banda. Then to see him grow into a hardworking fine stamp of a man doing many good and positive things. Admired and respected by my family, Anne, Owen and Erin.”
The tribute ended with: “Vale Harry, a man as straight as a gun barrel”.
Emeritus Bishop of Geraldton Justin Bianchini was the principal celebrant of Goldfields Catholic Community’s 125th Mass on Sunday 17 June.
The former Kalgoorlie Parish Priest brought Holy Communion to Harry during the weekend before he passed away. Bishop Bianchini paid homage to a man who was “instrumental in the Church of Kalgoorlie”.
“Harry was a man who had love for the Church and had love for history,” Bishop Bianchini told The eRecord.