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Evans, Faith Rachel (Duchy) (1912–2003)

by Philip Corbet

The 3rd WDA International Symposium of Odonatology was dedicated to three distinguished Australian odonatologists: Tony O'Farrell, Robin J. Tillyard and Tony Watson. The occasion was made memorable for members present by the attendance, as honoured guests, of Faith Evans (nicknamed 'Dutchy'), Tillyard's second daughter, and Dr Jeremy Evans, Faith's son and Tillyard's grandson, presently a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra. The Symposium included two invited lectures about Tillyard: from Jeremy, about Tillyard's life and work; and from me, about Tillyard's contributions to odonatology. Faith illuminated the occasion by virtue of her exuberant charm and her lively interest in the proceedings. She was clearly very moved by the meeting's celebration of her father's work.

Members felt privileged to experience this link with one of the greatest and best known of odonatologists, who had been known personally to no one present except Faith herself (he died in 1937). Faith was born in 1912 to Robin and Pattie Tillyard, being the second of their four daughters. Faith married the late John Evans, another distinguished Australian entomologist, who was an international authority on leafhoppers, and who finished his varied and distinguished career as Director of The Australian Museum in Sydney. Faith not only married an entomologist but, after rearing two children, worked in a Zoology department and completed an MSc degree on the systematics of an hemipteran group. She took pride in being the only one of her siblings to inherit her parents fascination with insects. Faith was knocked over by a car on a pedestrian crossing not far from her house in Sydney on 18 March 2003, and died in hospital four days later.

She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her, especially her many devoted descendants, to whom we offer our sympathy. Jeremy told me that it meant a great deal to all of them to know how thoroughly she had enjoyed the Beechworth meeting. Her sentiments were richly reciprocated by those attending, who considered themselves honoured to make her acquaintance.

Original publication

  • Agrion: The Newsletter of the Worldwide Dragonfly Association, vol 7, no 2, July, pp 25-26

Additional Resources

Citation details

Philip Corbet, 'Evans, Faith Rachel (Duchy) (1912–2003)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 27 October 2020.

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