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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ervin, Wilson

[Picture courtesy of the Belfast News Letter]

Wilson Ervin CBE
was born on 13th December 1923.  [Belfast News Letter quotes 13th November 1923].

He was the son of Robert John Ervin, 32 Lucerne Parade, Belfast.  Ervin attended Stranmillis and Fane Street Primary Schools before moving on to RBAI (Inst.) from 1936 to 1941.
In an autobiographical article in ‘The Link’ he reflected on his teenage years during World War II:
“I was very anxious to get out there and try and do my bit but my father was keen that I should look for a good job to which I could return after War Service.” 

Ervin joined the Belfast Banking Company on 15th April 1942 at Dungannon branch.  He says:
“It’s difficult to imagine I was only paid £90 a year and still had spending money after buying a new suit and paying for my return train fares to Belfast.” 

Ervin joined the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and served 4 years. He served in home waters as well as all over the world ... to South Africa, the Far East, Ceylon, Burma and Australia. His 21st birthday was spent in the Indian Ocean.

Ervin returned from Active Service on 22nd August 1946 when his address was recorded as 32 Lucerne Parade, Belfast.  His first branch after the war was Bangor and he arrived with what his manager thought was 5 years banking experience.  The bank looked upon his 4 years Royal Navy service as ‘Banking Service’.  

Ervin was a member of the Belfast Banking Company Sports Club in March 1947 paying 5 shillings subscription. 
It was in Bangor that he met his future wife, Joan Mercer, who was also a bank official.  

He is recorded in the 1966 annual accounts of the Belfast Banking Company as being the assistant manager of Donegall Square North branch.  Transfers followed to positions in Head Office, Inspection Staff, Advances Controller, Regional Director and Managing Director (1972). 
Later he was appointed Chief Executive and Senior Managing Director, a position he held until his retirement in 1974 or 1984. 
He was appointed as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). 
The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Summer 1973)’ contains 2 photographs of Ervin. 
The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Summer 1984)’ contains a photograph of W Ervin in the Belfast Bank Cricket Team of 1947. 

Ervin attended the 2000 re-dedication ceremony of the Rolls of Honour.

The Belfast Telegraph dated 24th February 2015 published a death notice saying that Wilson Ervin had died on 22nd February 2015.  A Service of Thanksgiving was held on 25th February 2015 at Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Malone Road, Belfast.

Wilson Ervin's obitiary features in the Belfast News Letter of 1st June 2015.

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