Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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


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 

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.”

Joe Snell (left) and Toby Halls

Two boys with “hearts of gold” will be handed a BBC Radio 1 teen hero award for their charity work in Sudbury on Sunday, following the death of their close friend when he was just 13.

Fundraisers at Sandman 2015. This year's event has been cancelled. Image: Kevin Bell

A fundraising event which had hoped to raise tens of thousands for an Essex hospice this weekend has been cancelled.

Corrie CCTV Screen

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the crash

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

Ron Harris outside the first home he shared with his wife, Nina, at Shingle Street before the Second World War. Photo supplied for Life on the Edge by the Harris family.

It’s a place with tragedy and mystery in its past – but as many stories of resilient determination to build a community amid its wild and isolated environment.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24