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Betty Dymond was born in Langtree, Devon, England the daughter of James and Grace Dymond nee Welsh.


During World War One Betty was involved with munitions making. She gave up a promising career in a traditionally man's field, the electrical industry, to come to New Zealand in 1922.


In 1924 she married Sidney Herbert Nicholls, and in Rotorua the couple worked as a team in the St John Ambulance Brigade, he as driver and she as nurse.  They attended some unusual places and activities such as accidents in bush camps in the Mamaku Ranges, an entirely voluntary service.


Betty served as secretary of the Women's Section of St John Ambulance in Rotorua for some years.  Later she established the Women's Section of St John Ambulance in Otahuhu.


The family settled in Hawera in 1940 where they became active members of the St John Ambulance during the years of World War Two.  Betty trained as a VAD at Hawera Hospital during the acute wartime staff shortage.  She also served on the Hawera Red Cross Sub-centre committee for some years and was an active member of the Hawera branch of the Plunket Society in the late 40s.  She was also a staunch member of St Mary's Anglican Church, with a deep interest in the church and its social activities.  For six years she cared for the altar linen for St Mary's and St Elizabeth's (Pacey Avenue) Church.


Betty also maintained a keen interest in both indoor and outdoor bowls, as an active player and committee member of the Hawera Women's Bowling Club.


Betty Nicholls died on 18 July 1969 at Hawera aged 76 years and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.



Obituary "Hawera Star" 21 Jul 1969