It is with sadness that we record the peaceful death of a true friend of the Delius Society, Evelin Gerhardi, of Lüdenscheid, Germany, who has left us on 30 July at the great age of 106. In Evelin, we have lost the last living link to the two people she always referred to as ‘Uncle Fred’ and ‘Aunt Jelka’.
Evelin was the daughter of Dr Karl-August Gerhardi and the niece of artist Ida Gerhardi, both of them intimates of Delius and his wife. She led a widely-travelled life, and many of the more senior members of the Delius Society will have enjoyed the company of Evelin and her sister, Delius’s goddaughter Malve Steinweg, in the course of their several visits to Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. The sisters would be welcome guests in the homes of Delius Trustee Norman Millar and his wife Sidonie Goossens; former Society president Felix Aprahamian; writer Derek Hudson and his wife Yvonne O’Neill, daughter of Norman; as well as the present writer, together with many others.
For Evelin’s reminiscences of her stay with the Deliuses in Grez for much of 1932, see the Delius Society Journal 52, pp. 4-9; and she discusses with Stephen Lloyd the friendship between Ida Gerhardi and the Deliuses in Journal 101, pp. 3-8.
The Delius Trust wishes to record its gratitude to Evelin Gerhardi for her frequent advice and for her freely-given work in transcribing so many of the letters to the Deliuses from German correspondents, a task to which she generously devoted much of her time over a number of years. The Trust and the Society have lost a treasured and engaging friend, and we send our deepest sympathy to her family.