Obituary: North Walsham’s Betty Calaghan, Salvation Army officer who dedicated life to helping young and old
PUBLISHED: 11:10 20 November 2012
Major Betty Calaghan, who has died aged 76, dedicated more than half a century of her life to helping vulnerable people of all ages in her role as a Salvation Army officer.
Miss Calaghan (pictured) spent her final 29 years in North Walsham where she was posted in 1983 as officer in charge of the Mildred Duff Eventide Home, which has since been rebuilt and renamed Furze Hill House.
Born into a Salvation Army family in Lincolnshire, Miss Calaghan was commissioned in 1960 and appointed to serve in a secretarial role at a home for unmarried mothers in Belfast; a post she kept when she was transferred to a similar institution in London.
As Captain Calaghan she became lodge officer at a children’s home in Liverpool’s Strawberry Fields in 1966 and later worked as “home mother” at an approved school in Southsea.
In the 1970s she switched to working with elderly people, holding posts around the country before her final appointment in North Walsham, which she held until retiring due to ill health in 1993.
Maureen Payne, a friend and care manager at the Furze Hill Day Centre, described her as a “true grafter, a perfectionist, very organised, friendly and a good laugh.”
A funeral service was held at North Walsham’s Salvation Army Hall.