I was sad to see the passing of a lovely Ponsonby woman, Audrey Evans, recently.
Audrey was born in London way back in 1926, and was nearly 93 when she passed away. She was always fully immersed in community events and issues. Audrey fervently believed in people. She had a keen sense of responsibility for the underdog, and was a member of the Tenants’ Protection Society, the Alliance political party, Aged Concern, and enjoyed the U3A.
Audrey Evans was an intelligent woman, who in more recent times would probably have been an academic, somewhat like my own mother who left school to work in an office and then bring up a family. She moved from Rotorua to Ponsonby when her husband died, and immediately became closely involved with local community political and social events.
Five years ago, Audrey left her villa in Ponsonby Terrace and went to Matakana to live with her daughter Mary, but as Mary told Ponsonby News, her heart was always in Ponsonby.
Audrey Evans always had a twinkle in her eyes, and a great sense of humour. Before moving to Matakana, Mary and her husband David had lived in Ring Terrace (they remember Flora McKenzie), Dunedin Street, and O’Neill Street – true Ponsonby locals. Mary taught at Freemans Bay School and at Auckland Girls’ Grammar.
I remember Audrey exactly as her daughter Mary describes her, “Shining integrity, mental and physical courage, wisdom, balanced judgement, compassionate kindness and a wonderful sense of humour. All these qualities were combined in her frail but valiant body. In her gentle, yet determined way she lost no opportunity of ‘spreading the word’. She was ready to help at every turn at whatever task came to hand, regarding it as a privilege to do so.”
Audrey will be remembered with love, gratitude and pride in her friendship. Her family are justly proud of their wonderful mother
– a very fine human being.
Let’s hope we have all absorbed something of Audrey’s qualities which will stand us in good stead in the tough times ahead.