Obituary: Evelyn Small, 93

Evelyn Small served many roles with distinction

Evelyn Small served many roles with distinction

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A civil servant who was an active member of Edinburgh civic society has died at the age of 93.

Evelyn Small died peacefully in the Capital on August 3.

Born in Edinburgh in 1922, she was educated at James Gillespie’s High School for Girls.

Upon leaving school in 1938, Evelyn sat the civil service examinations and commenced a lengthy career, mostly employed in what was formerly known as the Ministry of Public Building and Works.

Initially she was posted to London and served during the Blitz and often recalled her experiences, sleeping in an air raid shelter, acting as an ARP Officer for her department and the occasion when a bomb destroyed another section of the building in which she was working.

Evelyn was eventually transferred back to Edinburgh in 1945 and continued her career in the civil service until she retired in 1982.

But her career was only part of her life. Allied to her work she was secretary to the Holyrood Palace Amenity Trust and latterly also treasurer.

In retirement, and following the termination of the trust, she voluntarily prepared a short history of the group and an inventory and listing of items purchased by the trust which was of invaluable assistance to the palace authorities.

She also found time to be captain of the 22nd Girl Guide Company of St Cuthbert’s Church, the church in which she saw service as an elder for 32 years.

The Inner Wheel Club of Edinburgh was another organisation which she served with distinction as president and district chairwoman.

She was also an enthusiastic member of the English Speaking Union, attending world conferences in Australia and Canada and serving as chairwoman of the Edinburgh branch. As if that was not enough, she was a member of the Lothian Region Rates Appeal Panel.

Evelyn was very supportive of her late brother, John, in connection with his many activities in public life within the city and in particular his long connection with the Royal High School.

Evelyn retained a great affection for the Royal High School as well as James Gillespie’s.

She was particularly pleased at being asked on one occasion to present the prestigious awards at the annual Royal High prize-giving ceremony.

Evelyn had a love of music and poetry. She was a personable and enthusiastic individual with a twinkle in her eye and a good friend to many, as evidenced by the very large gathering of friends at the funeral service which was held in her beloved St Cuthbert’s Church on August 12.

She will be sadly missed but respected and remembered as one who led a very full life, contributing greatly to the world around her.