MOURNERS gathered at the Church of St Mary The Virgin in Magor yesterday to pay their respects to Monmouthshire County Council's first chairwoman, Olive Evans.

A congregation of around 200 people included family, friends, and colleagues from a range of organisations that Mrs Evans worked for and supported.

Those paying tribute to Mrs Evans MBE, who died on April 25, aged 89, highlighted her passion for teaching, her commitment to public service, and her unquenchable interest in the lives and welfare of everyone she met.


Her son Chris had told the Argus earlier this month that his mother had been someone willing to “lend a hand to anyone who needed one” - and this was a theme reiterated by speakers throughout the funeral service.

READ MORE: Loving tributes paid to former teacher who was council's first chairwoman

Mrs Evans, who had four children with husband Gwilym - they had met as apprentice teachers - spent most of her teaching career at Sandy Lane School in Caldicot.

The couple played a major role in reviving the Caldicot and District branch of the Royal British Legion, helping run and support it for many years.

That involvement was acknowledged at the funeral service by the presence of representatives from several Gwent branches of the Royal British Legion, whose standards were lowered during the playing of the Last Post towards the end of the service.

Mrs Evans, who played a crucial role in the early education of generations of children in the Undy and Caldicot area, followed her husband into public service after he died in 1995.

A committed Labour Party member, she served first on Undy Community Council and later on Monmouthshire County Council, eventually becoming its first chairwoman in 2004.

“People set aside their political views to vote for my mother, because of her values in the community,” her son Chris told the Argus previously. “She used her platform to help people.

“She was very proud to be the first chairwoman. She was a strong character and a feminist.”