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Sudbury: Double celebration for 92-year-old Scout leader and choristor Olive Bettison

15:18 28 April 2014

Olive Bettison  celebrates 60 years a chorister at Cavendish Church

Olive Bettison celebrates 60 years a chorister at Cavendish Church

Archant

Nobody could ever accuse Olive Bettison of being a quitter. The 92-year-old from Long Melford has just celebrated two significant milestones.

92 year old Olive Bettison was presented a certificate for giving 50 years to scouting in Long Melford92 year old Olive Bettison was presented a certificate for giving 50 years to scouting in Long Melford

First she raised a glass of bubbly with fellow choristers at Cavendish church last week after completing an amazing 60 years singing in the church choir.

Then on Sunday, the former accounts clerk who also played a significant role during the Second World War, was given an award for dedicating 50 years of voluntary service to the Scouting movement in the Sudbury district.

After an hour of hymn singing at the weekly service in Cavendish, Olive swapped her church robes for a Scout uniform and headed straight to the annual St George’s Day parade at Long Melford Church yesterday afternoon where she received her certificate surrounded by around 600 Scouts, 
Cubs, Beavers, Guides and 
Brownies.

Starting as a Cub Scout leader in 1964, she held many different roles in the movement. In recent years, she has served on the executive board of the district’s Scout Active Support (SAS) unit.

Olive said: “I tell people I’m a member of the SAS and they laugh but I wouldn’t mind having a go.

“During the War, I was in the RAF and I worked as a barrage balloon operator. The balloons were used to make it harder for enemy aircraft to drop bombs on targets. It was a risky job.”

Although she lives in Melford now, Olive – one of 13 children – was born in Cavendish, and hence her affiliation with the local church.

She is picked up from her home by fellow choir members every Sunday without fail so she never misses a service – and she has no intention of hanging up her hymn book yet.

She said: “I love music but I don’t play an instrument so I sing instead.

“I have always sung soprano – most people seem to think I still have the voice and I really enjoy it so I’ll keep going for as long as I can.”

Of her recent achievements, she added: “It’s lovely to be recognised for what I’ve done. The choir opened a bottle of champagne after the service last week which was nice and to get the certificate from the Scouts was the icing on the cake.”

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

A number of trains – starting with the 16.00 Colchester Town to Colchester – have been terminated or cancelled this afternoon due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

The RNLI

A lifeboat was called to help four people on board an angling vessel off the coast of Lowestoft earlier this afternoon.

The A14 near Stowupland

A crash involving two vehicles blocked the eastbound A14 at Stowmarket earlier this afternoon.

Jade Norman with her dogs Havilland, Mauno, Murphy and Jared

An animal lover on a mission to raise vital funds for a labrador rehoming charity is to embark on a 26-mile dog walk across Suffolk.

Trail makers are needed to keep an eye on the pigs during the summer months

Friendly faces are needed to greet visitors to Ipswich this summer and ensure the interactive Pigs Gone Wild trail is a success.

Firefighters from Colchester were called to a blaze on a boat.

Two fire crews from Colchester were called to a boat moored on the quay in the town after reports of a fire on Saturday morning.

Clacton lifeboat was launched during the drama at the pier.

All four emergency services were called to a drama on Clacton Pier on Friday afternoon when someone was seen sitting on the wrong side of the fence.

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