He committed unforgivable crimes and paid the price. However, the community has lost perhaps much more: faith.
How could we be so wrong? We loved him; believed in him and admired his many great talents.
There was still the hope after the many weeks of the court hearings and testifying by victims and witnesses that we would wake one morning and find it was all a bad dream.
It is almost as though Bassendean itself has been declared guilty.
Rolf Harris was Bassendean and we were always extremely proud to claim him ‘The Boy from Bassendean’ as ours.
Rightly or wrongly, Rolf provided our Town with a certain prestige because people all over the world knew him not only as a great artist but also as ‘The Boy from Bassendean’.
Now paintings and art is removed from every venue here and overseas, he’s stripped of all his decorations and his music no longer be heard.
Nevertheless, his name is etched in history for the great artist he was and the shock we all felt at his dark side.
We cannot feel sorry for Rolf; he must pay the price.
Yet we can feel great compassion for his wife and daughter. Their lives are shattered, perhaps beyond repair.
TINA KLEIN, Eden Hill