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Tributes paid to long-serving and passionate Highland librarian

By John Davidson

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Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to a much-loved Inverness librarian who died at the new year.

Helen Philip (nee Farrell) died on January 4, aged 67.

She had worked as a librarian in the Highlands for 30 years – initially under Highland Council and more recently for High Life Highland – and was recently retired.

Helen Philip was a well-loved librarian in Inverness.
Helen Philip was a well-loved librarian in Inverness.

A group of her close friends said: "For many years Helen was the librarian at Millburn Academy here in Inverness. Her library was a haven for many children who found socialising in community space and the playground difficult to navigate.

"The pupils enjoyed her company and knew where her boundaries lay. She had natural authority and would deal with those who crossed these boundaries.

"Helen had the gift of making friends and many of us, within school and beyond it, benefited from her friendship. There was also some good Scottish grit about her. She was entertaining company and a great holiday companion – and as easy to herd as a pack of cats.

"From all her friends, we will miss everything about Helen. She died too young."

A spokesperson for High Life Highland said: "All Helen’s colleagues at High Life Highland were very saddened to hear of her passing.

"Helen worked with High Life Highland (and previously Highland Council) for 30 years. Over this period she worked as a librarian at several libraries within the Inverness area, including Millburn Academy library, Inverness High School library, Charleston Academy library and Inshes public library.

"She had a passionate love of reading and learning, and she was extremely supportive of both pupils and the wider community.

"Helen was held in very high regard by her colleagues at High Life Highland and we will miss her immensely."

Helen is described as the beloved wife of the late Michael Philip and a dear friend. The cremation, organised by D Chisholm and Sons, will be held in private at Helen's own request.

A JustGiving page has been set up for donations to MacMillan Cancer Support in Helen's memory at www.justgiving.com/remember/1036366/Helen-Philip

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