Our Betty Edwards has become famous. We held a traditional tea party for her when she decided to step down from the village hall committee after 44 marvellous years and everyone cheered when we made her an honorary life president.
Now she has been in the papers and on Rutland Radio.
We had joked about it earlier during the party, but on the following Monday when Rutland Radio appealed for an ideal record to commemorate her long-standing efforts someone said they ought to play Hotel California by the Eagles.
This has the classic line: “You can check out, but you can never leave.”
Hopefully things were never that bad during Betty’s tenure at the village hall, though over four decades you could be forgiven for thinking much was possible.
Still, today what we want to say is, Thanks for everything Betty. We may never match your achievements but we will always aim to be as good as you.
Here are the links:
Below is the speech we gave at her party with pictures of family, committee members, and guests. It was a great celebration and we thank all those who helped make it possible. Particularly Betty.
OUR THANKS TO BETTY
Paul Huddleston voices the appreciation of the village hall committee; 2nd July 2017
Welcome everybody. It is a pleasure to see so many of you here this afternoon for what is a genuinely special occasion.
Betty, who has been a major figure in the life of Ryhall Village Hall, is stepping down from the committee, one on which she has served faithfully and with great devotion, for 44 years.
We are here to celebrate her tremendous efforts and thank Betty in one way we hope she regards as appropriate: with tea and scones.
I thank everyone involved here for their help in this. Sandy, Anne, Lorraine and Lynda have worked tirelessly to prepare this fine spread of tea and cakes and they did it with a smile on their faces. It is a true measure of our love and affection for Betty.
As you know, Betty is a founder member of the hall committee and in the 1970s saw the site change from Back Lane to the old village school where we are today.
She and the then other committee members campaigned and raised funds tirelessly to create what is now recognised as one of the best village halls in Rutland.
You have to admire the sheer grit and willpower of the first committee. They turned the old 1830s building from a shell into a homely place where the whole village now meets and mingles in comfort and style.
Those of us who follow in their footsteps can only look back in admiration.
This hall is at the heart of village activities and it is through the dedication of volunteers like Betty that it is held in such high regard.
Betty, and her late husband Bob, alongside their family, the Ryhall Revellers and countless others, always kept the hall centrepiece.
Betty, while still maintaining her other voluntary work with the Church choir and Bowls Club, also held office as chair of the hall.
Her time on the hall committee was constant and loyal. It is hard to imagine just how many meetings she must have attended… more than 500 at a guess and how many chairs and committee members she has seen come and go.
Through it all she was there for us: Maintaining the standards, always there to help. Today, her bingo calling (number 55 anybody?) and raffle fundraising are legendary.
There is much, much more, but today we just want to express our thanks.
Betty, please know how grateful we are for all your efforts. We will miss you.
However, having said that, we cannot let her go entirely: we have decided to make Betty our honorary life president.
We would also like her to accept these flowers.
[Anne presented Betty with a splendid display of hydrangeas]
Betty, we thank you. You have been the heart and soul of this hall and you are an example to us all.