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Lerpoolians Farewell > Obituaries > Elvin Smith (Howards, 1958)

Elvin Smith (Howards, 1958)

Stuart Smith, the eldest son of Elvin, writes to us from Australia to inform us of the passing of his father.
30 Aug 2022


It is with the deepest sadness that I announce the death of Elvin Aidan Smith (22/06/1940 to 17/07/2022, 82 years)- son of Robert and Doris; brother of Diane (an old Old Huytonian 1959-1966); husband to Barbara; father to Stuart and Andrew; father-in-law to Kate and Lauren; grandfather to Emily, Caitlin, Lachlan, Oscar and Carter.

Elvin was born in Liverpool (UK) on 22 June 1940. Within months of his birth, Liverpool came under attack from Nazi Germany, with bombers undertaking raids from August 1940 to May 1941. In one of these early raids, he and his parents came close to losing their lives. Elvin recalls visiting family in Lincolnshire and seeing Lancaster Bombers leaving for their night missions over Germany. He also remembers rationing and the difficulties of living in a time of war.

With the end of the War, Elvin returned to Liverpool and continued with his schooling. His memories of this time are of the long journey he would have to take to get to school using bus and train, and eventually staying with family in Liverpool to attend Liverpool College. Upon graduation, he entered Liverpool International College and qualified as a civil engineer.

His first job was with the UK Meteorological Office, where he undertook training in London and placements around the UK. After this, he took a job with Liverpool City Council as an engineering assistant. Stories he tells of his time in this office are filled with humour, as the other engineers in this office were veterans and prone to quirks, pranks and behaviour worthy of a TV show – switching out the bosses’ bowler hat, boasting over the rank they attained in the War, collecting silver foil to roll into a ball, covering desks with sheets to stop soot collecting on plans, and niggling each other over the brand of tea drunk. As the office junior, it was his job to make the tea. In parallel, he enlisted in the Territorial Army as a signaller in the Liverpool Scottish.

In time, his intentions and designs shifted until he decided to emigrate to Australia as a ‘£10 Pom’. He arrived in Darwin on 25th April 1965 and then to Brisbane, where he moved into a boarding house in Toowong and started a new job as an engineer in the Queensland Department of Main Roads.

Eventually, he moved to Mackay and there met his wife, Barbara. They were married on 24/06/1967. Subsequently, he accepted a position in Winton, outback Queensland.  Their first son, Stuart, was the first child born in the newly completed Winton hospital. After some time in Winton, the family moved to Gympie and then to Barcaldine to continue their western sojourn. During this time, their second son, Andrew, was born.

With schooling needs looming, the family moved to Rockhampton in 1976, where they remained for the next 12 years, with Elvin continuing his work as a civil engineer and officer in the Australian Army Reserve.  In his Reserve career, he would rise to the rank of Major in the 42nd Battalion (Royal Queensland Regiment), and finish his career as an officer cadet instructor, specialising in logistics and military history.

Towards the end of 1988, as his sons drew closer to finishing school and entering university, he accepted a position in the Townsville office of the renamed Queensland Roads in the Department of Transport and Main Roads.  Here, he would see out his career, watch his sons graduate from university and start their careers, and earn a second degree (BA), majoring in history.

Elvin held a simple faith in Jesus for his salvation throughout his life. He took every opportunity to practice it, in small ways and big. Whether in the good words, consideration for others, or serving in the local church, he always lived out his faith and devotion to God in an assured and unassuming manner.

On retirement, at age 67, Elvin and Barbara relocated to Brisbane, settling in the semi-rural area of Munruben.  Elvin and Barbara travelled widely in their golden years, seeing family and experiencing new places.  As the years proceeded, Elvin’s health and mental state began to deteriorate until they finally diagnosed him with dementia and placed him in St Paul de Chartres Residential Aged Care. His death came peacefully with his wife by his side.

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