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News > Obituaries > Bereavement: Mavis Raines (1960-87)

Bereavement: Mavis Raines (1960-87)

We sadly report the death of former Bellan House Headmistress, Mavis Raines (Evans) on Tuesday 4 January, 2022, aged 92.
11 Jan 2022

Mavis began teaching part time at Bellan House in 1960/61. On the retirement of Miss Hamilton Smith, Mavis took on the deputy headship under newly appointed Head, Richard Hales and six years later, when Richard left the School, Mavis became Headmistress.

At the time of Bellan's amalgamation with Oswestry School when Miss Hamilton Smith retired, some of the U6 girls from the Senior School boarded at Bellan, taking over the top floor of the building. Mavis was resident Houseparent, and it was at this time that she forged close relationships with some of the girls, in particular a pupil from Hong Kong called Florence who remained a lifelong friend of Mavis. Florence became a Christian with Mavis as her Godmother, and she attended Mavis's later wedding. Another pupil, Lalu Mutani, arrived as a boarder at Bellan House and he being the same age and in the same class as Mavis's son Gwyn, Lalu would regularly stay with Mavis and Gwyn.

During her time at Bellan, Mavis held a regular handicraft class, instructed the choir who sang annually at the West Midlands Show, and manned a stall at the RJAH Orthopaedic hospital summer fete to promote Bellan House. She was also on the newly formed PA committee along with Jenny Trevor-Jones, Wendy Lea, and Gwef Pearson, who all helped to raise funds for the School.

A widow, Mavis found love again in 1986 when she reconnected with her childhood sweetheart, Eric. The couple had gone their separate ways following Sixth Form, Mavis to teacher training college and Eric to the diplomatic service. As the years passed Eric emigrated to Australia and became a successful businessman. When his wife died, Eric made the decision to take a world tour where he would visit his sisters, one in Canada, one in the USA, and one in the UK. On arrival in the UK Eric based himself at the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester and decided that he would try and find out what had happened to Mavis. When they were young, they both lived nearby in Rossett, and when Eric found Mavis's cousin in a shop, he decided to ring her. Mavis was having lunch with her brother-in-law-when the phone rang.

"Hello Mavis" was all that was needed. She recognised his voice immediately after 34 years.

That Christmas Mavis travelled to Australia, and the following summer, in 1987, she and Eric were married. This was the perfect time for Mavis to retire from School life and she left with Eric for a new life on the Gold Coast in Australia in Mooloolaba.

Sadly in 2002 Eric passed away and Mavis returned to the UK, to Gresford in 2003. She lived here happily since, visited by many friends and family.

Mavis leaves behind her son Gwyn, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.


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