Tributes were paid at a requiem mass held at SS Peter and Paul’s Church, Eye, on January 10 to Ethel Casebow, wife of retired minister, Ronald Casebow of the Priory Palgrave, who died at the age of 89.
Only daughter of Frederick Everard, a builder and operator of Thames sailing barges from 1889, Ethel joined her three brothers as a director when the limited company F T Everard and Sons was formed in 1922. One of four new steel hulled barges, the largest ever built, acquired by the company, was named after Frederick’s daughter, Ethel Everard. This barge was abandoned on the beach at Dunkirk during the evacuation of troops in 1940.
In his tribute Michael Everard, nephew, described Ethel as a highly successful woman in a man’s world, being the only female director in shipping at that time. A formidable person and a driving force in the company, Ethel was highly respected among the male crew members.
At the age of 59 she had a sudden change of life when, after meeting Ron, she became a vicar’s wife, giving the same love and devotion to society as she had done in business. She was a regular member of the congregation, well known for her passion for hats of which she had a vast collection.
The vicar, Father Andrew Mitcham who officiated, said Ethel had been a remarkable lady who had made a significant contribution to industry, organisations and the church during her 89 years.
The church choir, accompanied by Colin Bartlett and directed by Peter Lee, sang a motet Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart.
A retiring collection was taken for the Woodland Trust and the Eye Church Development Appeal.