Evelyn Rawlins: MBE 1888-1977
Leader of the music teaching profession in the Manawatu for seven decades, Palmerston North-born Evelyn Rawlins received her schooling and musical training from the nuns at the Convent of Mercy, Broadway.
In 1910 with the qualifications of LRSM and LTCL she set up her own music studio overlooking the Square.
After the death of her fiancée in 1921 she dedicated her life to music.
Towards the end of her long teaching career she taught the children and grandchildren of some of her first pupils.
Miss Evelyn Rawlins was forward looking, and promoted whenever possible, the dignity, standards and status of the profession.
In 1911-1932 she was treasurer of the Manawatu Society of Professional Musicians.
When this evolved into the Manawatu Branch of the Society of Registered Music Teachers, Evelyn was secretary and treasurer until 1955, and then president for 16 years - energetically dedicated to furthering the qualifications of music teachers.
Recitals, lectures, scholarships, wartime entertainments and soirées with overseas artists were organised.
She actively supported the Palmerston North Music Club, and the Operatic Society.
The crowning achievement of her long career came in 1966 when she was awarded the MBE for services to music.
In 1981 the former City Council Chamber was rededicated as the Evelyn Rawlins Room and is now used for rehearsals, examinations, and performances … a fitting memorial.