A mainstay of amateur dramatics in Angus for half a century has died.
Betsy McKenzie Neil Gibson (nee Nicol) was born in Dundee in 1939, and attended Harris Academy.
On leaving school, she started work at a Church of Scotland Children’s home in Galashiels, but returned to Dundee where she took up a post in the Central Public Library.
She then moved to Telephone House as a clerical assistant, where she remained until 1961.
Betty (Betsy) Gibson, along with her husband Dick and others, was a founder member of Carnoustie Theatre Club in 1969, and over the following decades played a central role in growing the club from humble beginnings to having its permanent home at the Dibble Tree Theatre in Carnoustie High Street.
The club grew and became affiliated to the Scottish Community Drama Association and regularly entered plays into the annual SCDA one act festival of plays, which frequently went on to reach the Scottish final.
A producer of countless full length plays, her favourites included Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, The Diary of Anne Frank, Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias and Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley.
Her strong acting skills are remembered for countless performances in the likes of The Steamie, Stepping Out, Time and the Conways, Nunsense and Calendar Girls.
Friends say it is for her work and contribution to youth development that Betty will be remembered by so many.
As the mainstay behind the creation of the annual Carnoustie Pantomime, children were central to her huge cast numbers.
The first annual pantomime was staged in December 1978 and her pantos from then on regularly had casts in excess of 100.
Children and young people were encouraged to join from as young as four and through her encouragement and nurturing, she developed an environment which allowed youth to be provided with opportunities for social interaction and self-discovery.
Her encouragement allowed young performers to develop skills that are valuable in all walks of life and to simply flourish in ways they never thought they would.
Hundreds of local children found their feet in amateur drama thanks to Betty Gibson, and many went on to study theatre and drama becoming household names or working in many aspects of theatre.
Betty married Dick St Peters Church in 1959 and later moved to a new home in Carnoustie in 1966, where they remained.
Betty and Dick’s commitment and dedication to community amateur drama was recognised in 1996 when they were awarded Carnoustie Citizens of the Year.
Betty is survived by her husband Dick, children Neil, Carole and Nicola, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The funeral will take place at Parkgrove Crematorium in Friockheim on Thursday April 18 at 3.30pm.