max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°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.”

The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

The public have been asked to help the church and the police combat thieves targeting medieval churches across the country.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.

The Greyhound, Lavenham

Two fire crews are at the scene of The Greyhound pub in Lavenham after a small chimney fire broke out.

Lost pig found wandering in Wrabness by public and reported to police

Police are hunting for the owner of a large pig found trotting down the road in Wrabness.

The church of St Peter and St Paul in Lavenham

Supporters of one Suffolk church targeted by lead thieves have rallied round to raise the necessary funds to repair the damage caused to it – and help prevent it from happening again.

Robert Morton

MPs have warned the region’s new ambulance chief they will keep a laser like focus on the turnaround of the service when they came face-to-face in parliament.

Community transport, like Dial a Ride, faces financial cuts.

Funding for on-demand transport in Suffolk is to be cut in half – but there was a furious reaction after the Conservative cabinet at the county council ruled out any new debate on the subject.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Bella was brought in the Braintree Police Station with serious injuries

A Shar Pei dog was brought to Braintree Police Station in a “horrific” state with scars across its stomach and internal injuries.

Matt Gaw strikes up a conversation with commuters in London

I’m standing in a queue at a large supermarket. A woman in front of me has long since packed her shopping into carrier bags, writes Matt Gaw.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages