Kiltie 26th April, 1924 – 18th April, 2005
Eulogy by Rev Dave Whiteman at her funeral service in
Maybole West Church on Thursday 21st April 2005.
Betty was born Barbara Maria Robertson at Drumellan Street,
Maybole almost 81 years ago. It’s fitting that we are here today
because Betty was baptised in this very church by Mr Williamson. And Betty
was very proud of the fact that it was her father who planted the trees
around the church. Betty’s father was a forester from Aberdeenshire
from Kincardine o’Neil and the family returned there when Betty was just a
baby. Tragedy struck the family when Betty was about 5 years old when her
father died. It cannot have been easy in those days bringing up a family.
There was no income support in those days, and so Betty’s mum returned to
Maybole to live with her mother.
Betty was very bright at school, she had a good head for
figures but at the age of 13 Betty got special dispensation to leave
school and start work, and she got a job at Lees boot and shoe factory
where she worked in the office. Betty worked for a while at the munitions
factory, and for a while at Turnberry as an auxiliary. And a while at
Monteforte’s cafe. Remember that and of course bringing up the family.
Betty lived mainly in Maybole, apart from her time in Dailly and her 4
years in Scunthorpe, she stayed at Drumellan Street, at 1b Cairnfield
Avenue now part of Glebe Crescent. At Kirkwynd and finally in 1972 moving
to Abbot Street. The last 15 years of her working life was spent at
Interpak, again in the office. Betty was a book keeper and she had a
real head for figures. Betty retired from Interpak in 1984.
What of Betty’s interests, well Betty loved the town
twinning, and especially the friends that she made through that. She
enjoyed going away with a group of people. Betty was one of the first to
be involved and was at the signing ceremony in 1982. Betty had a flair for
French and she enjoyed using her French when she visited. And Betty
enjoyed going around the schools talking to the children about the
Betty also enjoyed her annual trip to Benidorm with her
friends from Interpak, we lost count of the number of trips Betty had with
them. Betty enjoyed reading when she could, especially Mills and
Boonand novels. Betty was a member of several organisations in the
town, the Co-op Woman’s Guild, the OIR, the Trefoil Guild, the British
Legion, and she joined the Eastern Star. Betty loved bingo down at
the old bingo hall in Maybole, what used to be the cinema opposite the
Grey Man. Betty especially loved dancing, what she described as
proper dancing, old time, she loved the dances at the town hall tea
Betty was a lady who liked to be out and about, she was not
one for sitting at home, she enjoyed going to her meetings at Crosne
Street each week and she was a volunteer at Fairknowe which she enjoyed.
And she loved being out sitting on the bench at Abbott Street with the
Strachans and Mary, all together in the summer sunshine - happy days.
Betty attended church regularly, when she was well enough, she was a
regular for home communion, she got tapes of the church services each week
and she enjoyed listening to them, and she was really very interested in
all that was going on in the church.
What of Betty’s character? Well, Betty spoke her
mind, she was a strong person by nature, I suppose that came from the
times she lived through and she had a strong will, she was a determined
person, when she set her mind to something that was it. She was so
full of life. And she had a great sense of humour,. Betty was
fiercely independent and she took it hard when she lost that independence.
Betty was, of course, on oxygen for the last few years of her life and her
breathing was difficult. Betty really thought the world of her
carers, she could not speak highly enough of them.
And she just loved Ainslie Manor in Girvan, she was really
happy there really content, the staff were just wonderful to her and to
the family. The care Betty got was first class and the family are very
grateful to the staff for their dedication to Betty. Usually in my first
prayer I mention the whole family by name, but well if I had tried to
mention everyone in the family we would have been here all day! Betty’s
legacy is her family, I know she loved you all very much indeed. Perhaps
we can gain some comfort from the fact that Betty fell asleep, she slept
away peacefully into eternity with great dignity - and that is what she
would have wanted.