Following the passing of Andi Elizabeth Ewen, BEVA Past President and friend John Owen has written the following obituary.
Throughout our forty- four years of living in the small Wiltshire village of Biddestone Andi Ewen has been the most important element of the village’s life and its many activities. Whenever something needed to be done in the village Andi either did it herself or because of her amazing range of friends, knew someone somewhere who could and would help. It was therefore natural for me to turn to Andi for help in 1983 when as President Elect of BEVA I was required to arrange the 1984 annual BEVA Congress. That year our congress was held at Bath University and 715 people attended it. Andi’s influence on its success was enormous.
At that time the administrative secretary of BEVA itself was Helen Carpenter who previously had been secretary for Sam Hignett at the Welcome Research Station in Kent and who managed to do the BEVA work from her garage.
Two years later, John Parker, who had also helped me at Bath and had got to know Andi asked her to help him arrange his Congress at Warwick University. This also went very well.
It was in the following year when Laurence Gerring was president that Helen Carpenter retired. Laurence asked Andi if she would take on the administration of BEVA including the congresses which after some consideration she agreed to do.
Andi set up her office close to home in the stable block of Hartham Park House and I quote her own words “Thus began some of the happiest years of work I ever had”. It is well worth reading Chapter Two of the BEVA publication “Fifty Years Of The British Equine Veterinary Association” which was written by Andi about those years, about some of the jobs she had to do and the people whom she met..
She impressed everyone with her calm efficiency and kindness. No demand ever seemed to be too much for her and she made many firm veterinary friends both in the UK and from overseas. Many vets and their wives as well as most of most of “her” presidents were entertained by her and her husband Richard in their home in Biddestone. As a final act she arranged a splendid lunch to which all of “her” presidents and their spouses were invited and all attended at a hotel near Malmesbury. ( a “team” photograph of this occasion still graces a wall at BEVA HQ)
On her retirement Andi was made an honorary member of the association, an honour of which she was very proud.
Andi’s husband Richard, who died several years ago, was a well known portrait artist and was commissioned by BEVA to paint Colonel Hickman and Peter Rossdale. These now hang on the walls of BEVA’s permanent home, Mulberry House, Fordham.
I am sure that many BEVA members will be saddened by the news of Andi’s death and would wish to send their condolences to her son Spencer and his family