Obituary: Evelyn Small, civil servant

Evelyn Small. Picture: Contributed
Evelyn Small. Picture: Contributed
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BORN: 29 April, 1922, in Edinburgh. Died: 3 August, 2015, in Edinburgh

Miss Evelyn Small, a well-known figure in Edinburgh circles, died peacefully at Edinburgh on 3 August.

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

Upon leaving school in 1938 she sat the civil service examinations and commenced a lengthy career in the service, 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 London Blitz and was often to recount 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.

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 on the termination of the trust, she voluntarily prepared a short history of the trust 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 chairman.

She was also an enthusiastic member of the English Speaking Union, attending world conferences in Australia and Canada and serving as chairman 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 prizes at the annual Royal High prize giving.

She 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 held in her beloved St Cuthbert’s Church on 12 August.

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