Betty Irene Thompson (nee Powell) died 5/03/2019 in Wellington, aged 97. Much loved mother of Trevor, Jennifer, Lester and Louise and special grandmother of Michael and Laura. (Dominion Post, 7 March 2019)
Betty first played table tennis in 1939 at work in Wellington during the lunch hour and after work. She played interclub for Railways and Technical (1948) and was ranked in the Wellington Women rankings 1946 (5), 1947 (4), 1948 (6). She was a Wellington Women’s Representative to the 1947 NZ Championships that won the Women’s A Grade Teams and became the first team to win the Herbert G Teagle Memorial Shield. Betty was an allround attacking player on both wings.
In 1946 Betty won the North Island Women Doubles with May Wareham (Wgtn) and the Mixed Doubles with Eric Boniface (Wgtn). Also the Hutt Valley Open Mixed Doubles with Eric Boniface.
In 1947 Betty won the NZ Mixed Doubles with Eric Boniface. The South Island Women Doubles with Audrey Hunt (HV) and Mixed Doubles with W J (Bill) Fogarty (Otg). Also the Wellington Open Women Doubles with A P (Agnes) Knight (Wgtn) and Hutt Valley Open Women Doubles with A Hunt. In 1948 Betty retained the Hutt Valley Open Women Doubles with A Hunt.
Betty moved to Manawatu in 1949. She won the Taranaki Open Women Singles and Doubles,with M Fahey, and gained a NZ Women ranking of 10th.
Betty then moved to Timaru and won the South Canterbury Women Singles (1951 & 1953) and Women Doubles with E A Collins (1952 & 1953). She won the 1952 South Island Women’s Singles and Doubles with E A Collins. She was on the NZ Ranking list 1951 (9), 1952 (4) and 1953 (7). Betty was the only player to defeat Margaret Hoar in the 1953 NZ Women’s A Grade Teams.
In 1954 Betty moved to Otaki in the Manawatu. She won the Manawatu Closed Women Singles (1954 & 1955), Women Doubles with Merle Rolston (1955) and Mixed Doubles with H Jones (1955).
Also 8 more Provincial Open Doubles and 3 Mixed Doubles Titles. They were:
1954 Wairarapa Open Women’s Doubles with N Andrews (Wairarapa)
1956 Wanganui Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston (Manawatu)
1957 Bush Open Wpmen’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1957 Hutt Valley Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1957 Hutt Valley Mixed Doubles with Hugh Lauder (Wgtn)
1957 Manawatu Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Wellington Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Wellington Mixed Doubles with Hugh Lauder
1958 Manawatu Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Bush Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Bush Open Mixed Doubles with Hugh Lauder
In Veterans events Betty (Rotorua) won the 1978 NZ Over 45 Women Singles and Doubles with D Ord (Manawatu). In 2006 representing Manawau She won the North Island Over 65 Doubles with Merle Sneddon (MN) and Over 70 Mixed Doubles with Bill Otene (WT). In 2009 Betty won the NZ Masters Games Over 70 Women Doubles with Betty Meads.
Thanks to the Dominion Post, TTNZ Annual Reports, Table Tennis Wellington Annual Reports, Table Tennis Wanganui website and the TTNZ photo archives for information that is in this article.
– Malcolm Wong