Vera Buret 1908-2006
27 October 2006
Vera Buret served as librarian at the Department of Music between 1964 and 1968, but her involvement in the life of the University and the city went much further.
She served as librarian within the Department of Music (then in Royal Fort House) between 1964 and 1968, and also assisted Professor Grant and his colleagues with the production of programme notes for the major concerts organised by the (then) University Chamber Music Committee and the Department itself.
Miss Buret was a woman of commanding voice and presence. Born in 1908, the only daughter of a sea captain, she lived in Redland with her mother and received a musical education. She held the LRAM in Pianoforte and Elocution and the ILAM with gold medal, as well as being a Licentiate of Trinity College of Music. For many years before, during and after the Second World War she taught both elocution and music privately.
In 1928 she became a member of the Bristol and Clifton Dickens Society, the oldest society (founded 1902) dedicated to the works of Dickens in the world, which numbered among its first presidents Professor Cowl of the Department of English in University College, Bristol. The Society became a central part of her life, and she perfected the roles of Mrs Steerforth, Miss Lavinia Spenlow, Miss Pross, Mrs Rudge, Miss Havisham and Betsey Trotwood in the many readings and short plays adapted from Dickens’ novels, which the society performed in costume in numerous Somerset and Gloucestershire village halls. For many years she was the honorary dramatic secretary of the Society. In July 2003, she attended the annual conference of the International Dickens Fellowship, held in Clifton Hill House.
Miss Buret had a long and active life. She was a committed member of the congregation of St Mary Magdalene, Stoke Bishop. On retirement from the University, she became a member of the RWVS, and ran the shop in the BRI for many years. She was greatly respected for her loyalty, her wry sense of humour, integrity, high standards, cheerfulness and charm of manner, and for her gift for friendship. She is greatly missed.
MJ Crossley Evans