Cynthia Darwin, formerly Eames: ?1930– [Heath 1969–1985]

Cynthia Darwin passed away peacefully at home on , aged 93 years. Devoted Wife to Alan, dearly loved Mum to Robin, Richard, Lindsay, Christopher, Geoff, and Hilary, Mum-in-Law to John, Janet, John, Karran and Kerrie, treasured Grandmother and Great Grandmother, and a friend to many.

The funeral service took place at Rose Hill Burial Ground, Birkby on Monday followed by burial in the grounds. Afterwards at Heath Rugby Club, West Vale.

Donations if so desired will be gratefully received for Smile Train.

Cynthia was recruited by W.R. Swale in 1969 as a part-time assistant to the then secretary, Margaret Livermore. She became secretary after Margaret retired in March 1973. You can read her reminiscences of the job in School secretaries.

John Bunch [Heath 1972–1984] writes:

Although she had reached to age of 93, the news of the death of Cynthia on still came as a shock. I had last had a telephone conversation with her a few months ago when she seemed to be as full of life as ever, talking about future plans and discussing the welfare of mutual acquaintances, many of them with a Heath connection.

I came to Heath in 1972 and it was about a year later that Cynthia, having been her assistant, took over from Margaret Livermore and made the role of School Secretary her own. From then, until the amalgamation of 1985, she was at the heart of the school and built up an encyclopaedic knowledge and understanding of the boys and of the staff. These were combined with great care and kindness so that ‘Go and see Mrs Eames’ became the automatic instruction to any boy in difficulty, whether it was a lost bus fare, torn blazer or minor injury or ailment. She probably performed the duties of about three or four people under present day staffing arrangements.

It goes almost without saying that Cynthia was totally efficient in her main job of School Secretary. She knew all the ins and outs of local authority bureaucracy, kept pace (or was well ahead) of the varying demands of the academic year and lightened the load of the person occupying the Head’s study. Her positive attitude to life and her lively interest in the world around her informed everything that she did. She made personal friends with many of the staff and, indeed, with the families of the youngsters at the School.

Cynthia loved Heath Grammar School and the people in it and that feeling was reciprocated. She followed the progress and careers of the boys with close personal interest. She gave generously of her time in addition to her duties. One notable contribution was the planning and execution of the Elizabethan Evening as part of the celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the School’s charter.

Our sympathies and condolences go to Cynthia’s extensive family and we hope they are in some part comforted by the knowledge that she enriched the lives of so many and is firmly lodged in their memories.