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

PUBLISHED: 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.”

As thousands of fundraisers get underway for Red Nose Day today, Comic Relief has unveiled a pot of £60,000 to help benefit good causes in Suffolk and north Essex this year.

Khalid Masood, 52, was shot dead by police after mowing down pedestrians in a car on Westminster Bridge and stabbing to death Pc Keith Palmer in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament yesterday.

Patrick Casey, 13, who is from the Frinton-on-Sea area in north-east Essex, has been reported as missing to police.

Shopping in Ipswich is to get a welcome boost over the next few months as new stores open in the town centre.

The leisure centre in Crown Street was closed for around an hour this morning after police were called to reports of two men behaving suspiciously inside.

What are you doing for Red Nose Day tomorrow? See here to send in your stories and photos.

The male model, who was crowned winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC Two tonight, has also revealed his love of clay was sparked by a Tinder date.

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