PINSON, DOROTHY (BETTY) (BEM)
Betty Pinson was born on the 16 September 1915 at New Plymouth, the daughter of Frank and Ada Ethel Pinson nee Whitaker. The family came to Hawera in 1924. After Frank's daeth, Ada remarried, Mr H C A Fox, the well known Hawera musician.
At school, Betty was always in the top three or four in the class, and was a keen violin student. She had to leave school early when her mother had a big operation. Grandmother Whitaker was also part of the household for many years, and Betty became very capable in the house. She became a violin teacher, and first violinist of the Hawera Orchestral Society. Betty also worked part-time in Liddington's gift shop, was a Brownie leader and sang contralto in the Methodist choir.
In 1942, she was the first Hawera woman to be called up for the Women's Royal Naval Service (WREN) and started work in the canteen section as Chief Wren Pinson. She served at Devonport, where she was in charge of the Officers' mess and all the speciality catering. She was also at Shelley Bay, Wellington and Lyttelton, and served in the navy until November 1949. For her wartime service, Betty was awarded the BEM in 1951.
After the war, Betty worked at the North Shore Women's Hospital, and later as food supervisor for the Auckland Area Health Board from 1958 to 1968. She then became food supervisor for the Taranaki Area Health Board from 1968 until 1980, working at both Barrett Street Hospital, and Base Hospital at New Plymouth. A cherry tree was planted at Base Hospital in her memory, and her sister-in-law Beatrice Pinson of Stratford unveiled the plaque.
Betty was a keen knitter, and knitted for all the family. She was also a keen reader, and enjoyed gardening, especially bonsai trees. She was a strong reliant definite person, hard working and could cope with almost anything.
Betty Pinson died on the 20 June 1987 at New Plymouth.
Mrs Beatrice Pinson, Stratford (sister-in-law)
Miss Beth Catran, Hawera (friend)