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10 February 2019 Halesworth & Southwold Community News


MRS ELIZABETH GRACE HATCHER


ST. Peter's Church, Holton was overflowing on January 9th for the Funeral Service of Mrs Elizabeth Grace Hatcher (Betty, formerly Best) who died peacefully in the James Paget hospital on December 23rd. Welcome and sentences of Scripture were by the Reverend Louise Morrissey and the hymns (chosen by the deceased) “Now thank we all our God”, “In Christ alone my hope is found” and “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine” were sung with Jason Busby on the organ. A “Reading” of the contents and sometimes amusing remarks from the many sympathy cards received by the family was given by Rosie Best. The Reverend Robert Soanes


read Psalm 139 and spoke of his 47 years association with Betty. He had known her since 1971 in Loddon and subsequently in 1982 as part of the Lowestoft and E S Methodist circuit where she regularly preached and performed solos. He spoke of how valuable her contributions as a preacher and soloist were in addition to her faithful service as a member of Halesworth and then Wenhaston congregations. He also advised us that despite training together, Betty was accredited earlier than Edwin, late 1964 to enable her to still access the pulpit for her assessment as she was expecting Rosie their fifth child in March 1965, when it was scheduled. A Family Tribute was given


by Betty's eldest son John who said that his parents met in Belfast City Hospital when his mother was a young nurse training to be a midwife and his father Edwin was a recently qualified pharmacist. They were married in 1954 and had five children, John, Stephen, Christopher, Judith and Rosie. They moved from Belfast to Brownhills in the Midlands and worked hard in support of each other and their growing brood. Edwin was employed by Boots and they moved a number of times: to Wolverhampton, Walsall, Epsom, Loddon, Hales and finally to Holton. From there Edwin realised his ambition to run his own business by opening a pharmacy in Halesworth, providing service to a town which was bereft of such a facility. Edwin's and Betty's allegiance to the Methodist cause and their practical application of faith was also welcomed in the area by all denominations, and Betty, as a mezzo-soprano soloist, sang at weddings, funerals, Church meetings, the Ellingham convention and light opera performances at Norwich City College. She was also


a voluntary visitor to elderly isolated patients delivering a Home Library service and a brief spell delivering meals on wheels. The pharmacy flourished and


within 18 months it had become a popular community asset for Halesworth when Edwin died suddenly on September 6th 1984 aged just 53. The family dealt with their grief and sorrow and continued to run the business for several years. Betty was known to many through her Church membership and in particular she had caught the eye of Mr. Norman Hatcher a native of Wenhaston, and after she had being widowed for five years they were married. He was the Methodist Circuit Treasurer when Betty was appointed Circuit Secretary and he was an Insurance Manager working at Norwich where he went daily until retirement. A man with the capability and capacity to celebrate the good, and a quiet, stoic strength to support the challenges that the family endured. Sadly son Christopher died in 2004 after he had endured significant health problems. He had secured a job in the Queen Mother's household at Clarence House by writing to the Queen for a job and Betty was invited to staff Christmas parties as his guest for several years where she met H.R.H. the Queen Mother. Norman and Betty together enjoyed many holidays at home and abroad including a visit to the Holy Land. Betty was married to each of her husbands for 29 years. Family and immediate mourners were: Norman (husband), Mr J Best and Jo Butcher, Mr & Mrs S Best (sons) also representing Mr & Mrs Sean Best (grandson), Amelia Grace (great grand- daughter) Mr & Mrs D Madaffari (grand-daughter) in Australia. The Revd Judith and Alan Miller (daughter) also representing James Bailey and Nicole Walker (grandson). Poppy Noelle (great grand- daughter) in USA. Rosie Best (daughter) also representing Linda her wife in the USA, Alistair Bailey (grandson), Sasha Best (grand-daughter), Amber DeAth (step grand- daughter), Mr & Mrs J Chapman (niece) also representing Mr H Best (brother-in-law) in Spain and Mr & Mrs S Johnston (cousin) in Belfast. Mrs M Goss, Mr R Bailey James and Karen Wright, The Revd Anna Wright also representing Alexander, Rowena, Celia, Margot, Christopher, Susannah and Benjamin, Marilyn, Lianne and Mary Hatcher, Jean & Mike Woodrow.


Others in the Church included: Wendy Adams, Alison & Jonathan Alder, Bob Allard, Karen Austin, Sue Bacle also rep Margi Shiers & Richard Canham, Iris Baker, Peter M. Baker, Henry Bareham, Nina Bareham, The Revd Pam & John Bayliss, Margaret Bloomfield, Dot Booley, Alison & Geoff Cackett, Mr & Mrs A. R. Calver, Mr & Mrs G. Churchard, Betty Cole, Russell Collyer, Alan Cook also rep Margaret Cook, Christine Cox, Margaret Cunnell, Ian Denny, Mrs Pat Doyle, Keith Durrant, Linda and Roger Everett, Gillian Collins, Ann Edwards also rep Roddie Edwards, Richard and Carol Flatters, Lynn Framlingham, Daphne Francis, Gordon & Maureen Frary, Maureen Gillamders, Margaret Goldstone also rep Jean Spindler, Christopher and Linda Gray also rep Ina Gray, Kathleen Gray, Ann Green, Dilys Grimwade, Heather Hammond, Chris Harris also rep the family, John Harris also rep Mrs Gwen Harris, Linda and Clyde Harrison, Trudie Harrowven, Cyrilla Havard, Emma Healey and Karen Kerridge rep Halesworth Volunteer Centre, Mary & Jeremy Henry, Jill & John Hewlett, Sarah Holmes also rep all the McEvett family, Meridel Holland, Wendy Howell St Edmunds Church, Mary Hunt, The Revd M Joel, Viv Kemp, Mrs S. Knights & Lesley, Maureen Larkin rep The Loddon Pantomime Players, Maureen & Michael Larkin also rep Ian, Andrew and Michelle, Geoff Loades, Eileen Lowe also rep Basil Lowe, Jo Macdonald, Viv Burns, The Revd Bill Mahood, Mrs R Mallett, The Revd I Mckillop, Debbie Meechan, Mrs J Moreton also rep Mr & Mrs K Pointen, Roger Moulson also rep Jackie, The Revd Don & Wendy Moxon, Derek Newby, The Revd Don Nichols, Carol and Mick Nichols, The Revd Tony Norton and Tina Norton, Bernard and Kathleen Orme, Graham Orpet also rep the family, Bill & Fiona


Pagan, Valerie Parker also rep Jenny and Paul Grimwood, Rachel Pennick, Edna & Len Petchey, Heather Phillips, Pat & Paul Potts, Sue Puddifoot, Judith Rake also rep Joan Evans, Patricia Rennie, Nikki Sawkins also rep Halesworth Dementia Carers Fund, Sue Seabon, Pauline Self also rep Maurice Self, Bernard & Oonagh Segrave-Daly, The Revd. John & Brenda Sigsworth, Sister Elizabeth (All Hallows Community), Dianne Smith also rep Ray, John Smith, Kathy Smith, Jeanette Soanes, Maggie Stephenson, Diana Thomas, Beverley Warne also rep Graeme & David, Jane Waters, The Revd. & Mrs M Walkey, Jim and Jackie Watts, Mr I West, Sally Westwood, Ted Woods also rep Joan Woods, Gwen & Simon Woolner also rep the family and Seashells, Laura Wood, Seva Newrick, Linda Francis, Linda Brinded and Kerry Daniels (Prestige Care Agency), Debbie (St Barnabas Day Care) Revd Anna Wright also represented Michael and Trish Gower and Howard and Haiying Gosnall. A Cremation Service conducted by the Revd Morrissey and the Revd Soanes was held at the Waveney Memorial Park in the morning. The hymn “She who would valient be” was sung and the 23rd Psalm was read. Other readings were given by Ali Bailey and Judy Miller and there were family flowers. Donations in memory of Betty for the Halesworth Dementia Carers' Fund (HdCF) are invited and may be sent to Woolnough's Funeral Service, The Cemetery Chapels, Holton Road, Halesworth, Suffolk. IP19 8HD. From the many sincere comments on the attendance cards it is obvious that with her lovely smile, sense of humour, fine singing voice, and happy disposition she was loved and appreciated by very many people over a large area. Derek Newby


ALI HOPKINS (1963-2019)


MANY reading this piece will have heard already of the death on January 7th of Ali Hopkins, the much loved and respected manager of Halesworth Library. Ali died of cancer after a short, unexpected illness. Her funeral took place at Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium on January 31st. She would have been bemused by the amazing response to her death, the number of people who have been saddened and moved by it, and the outpouring of affection, evidencing how many lives she had touched. Despite her range of qualities and abilities, Ali was always very humble, often saying she could never do her job without the staff and volunteers she had gathered around her. She very much underestimated the impact she had on those with whom she worked and the customers who she always treated with such respect and warmth. As a member of Suffolk Libraries staff trained by her said: “Her knowledge was very deep and she had vast experience, but she never thought herself better than anyone else”. Ali arrived to manage


Halesworth Library exactly 14 years ago, in January 2005. Becoming a library manager was the culmination of 25 years working for the Suffolk Library Service. Born and brought up in Lowestoft, she attended Kirkley High School and started work at Lowestoft Library aged 17 in 1980. She became a member of a very young team there and dealt with everything with a smile and humour – always taking her turn in tea-making duties for senior managers! She never ducked difficult tasks, and supported managers during tough times. While at Lowestoft


In memoriam: Betty Hatcher


THE family of Betty Hatcher offer sincere thanks to the following for their roles in her care over recent years of failing health - Dr Clare Craik and her colleagues at Cutler’s Hill Surgery, James Paget Hospital, staff at Rayner Green Resource Centre and St Barnabas, the ladies of Prestige Care, Jane Waters and the Halesworth dementia Carers Fund (HdCF). Thanks to all who sent cards


and messages of sympathy, attended the Thanksgiving Service and donated generously to the HdCF. At the


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time of going to press the total received is £1144.00. Finally, thanks to Holton


PCC for the use of their church, to Revd. L Morrissey and Revd. R Soanes for their ministry, to Jason Busby for substituting on the organ at short notice, to Woolnough’s for their care in arrangements and to Derek Newby for compiling the obituary that appears on this page. Please accept this as


our only, but most sincere, acknowledgement of gratitude.


she had many roles, including library assistant, home library assistant, sound and vision assistant, team support and IT trainer. She continued to be in touch with that Library and later, whilst at Halesworth, she stepped in as manager at Lowestoft during sickness there. Interestingly, one of Ali’s roles


whilst employed at Lowestoft, was working with a team made up of half a dozen librarians, whose role was to support other libraries. This included stock work, outreach activities, work in the community, and seeing through any new library projects. Back in 1996 Halesworth Library was one of these projects when it moved to its current location from its old, more cramped quarters on the ground floor of the Steeple End Almshouses. Tasks included choosing new book stock, deciding on the layout, and generally getting the building ready for opening. Ali worked as support for that team, and one of her colleagues at the time emphasised how her attention to detail was so invaluable. Ali never lessened her attention to detail! She was rightly considered


to be one of the best library managers in Suffolk. She took on the challenge at Halesworth with dedication, common sense and always humour. She respected and mentored her staff and created the great atmosphere which is commented on by everyone. She was always very clear that she couldn’t have done it without her team behind her. Ali was also known county-wide as one of the best IT trainers. Ali always gave help and


friendship to all her colleagues, acting as formal and informal mentor or buddy to many across the library service. These comments, made since her death, give a flavour of how it was to work with her, and how she inspired so many of the people she worked with. “She came over every week on her day off to help me, and I honestly couldn't have done it without her. She was so kind, generous and helpful, and never minded how much of her own time it took up”. “I’ve always held her as a benchmark of what a Library Manager should be”. “We had a great time years ago rolling out the training for a new computer system. I so admired her absolute commitment to the Library Service and to the community”. “I don’t think you’ll find anyone with a bad word to say about her”. Ali’s daughter, Justine, has said that Halesworth Library


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was Ali’s “second home” and “such a big part of her life”. Ali wanted the library to be at the heart of the community and many will certainly agree that she achieved this. After her death was announced on the Library Facebook page well over 8,000 people “engaged with” the post (clicked on it to read it or respond). Many comments were made, and 44 people shared the post so it was in turn seen and commented on by many more. Ali was often surprised at the reach that our Facebook page posts could have – but she would not have believed this response! Many more people have signed a book of remembrance in the Library. These memories will be passed on to her husband David, and her children Justine and Rowan – and will be there for her little grand-daughter, one-year old Scarlett, to read one day. A small sample of typical


Facebook comments clearly illustrate the relationship that Ali had with her customers in Halesworth. “She really cared about our Library and its importance to the life of the town”. “Ali was such a warm, kind lady who always took time to help and to get to know her customers”. “So kind and welcoming to me when I was having a hard time. I would not be where I am now without Halesworth Library and Ali”. “I loved that she told me off for trying to keep the children quiet. She wanted the children to relax and love the library and thanks to her they read, laughed and loved their time in the library”. “She had the unique ability to make you think you were her one and only best friend”. There are many who are


mourning the loss of Ali and will never forget this special person. But they, and others who never met her, will continue to benefit from her legacy of our wonderful community-centred library serving the needs of people in Halesworth and the surrounding villages. The staff and volunteers will continue to honour Ali’s memory by doing our best to build on the inspiring foundations that she laid.


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