Elizabeth Fraser MacDonald 1911 - 2000

Our mother was born in Rattray, second of five daughters of Donald MacDonald, a customs and excise officer, and his wife Margaret

Elizabeth, known as Betty, had a happy childhood holidaying in Glentore, her grandparents' croft in Inverness-shire, memories of which she would recount throughout her life.

At Blairgowrie High School she was captain of school and the hockey eleven. She left in 1929 as 'Dux' and gold medallist of her year with highers in English, French , Science and Mathematics.

She went on to Edinburgh University where she graduated Master of Arts in 1932 in six subjects with certificates of merit in five.

In 1933 she gained her Teacher's Certificate and, with glowing references applied for teaching posts. Her first and only posting was to Breadalbane Academy, Aberfeldy in February 1934 where she was appointed 'temporary additional teacher until the present term ends at Easter'. Fortunately her ongoing services were required and she continued there until she embarked on bringing up a family in 1942. Her teaching certificate qualified her to teach mathematics, chemistry, physics and educational handwork but she also taught biology, mugging up on the subject the night before. By all accounts she was a very popular teacher.

In February 1940, she married my father, Hamish Fisher, at St. John's Kirk in Perth. Together they socialized with friends from the local business, council and teaching community. The highlight of their entertainment was the 'Palace Prancers'; a group that got together regularly to have an evening of dancing at the Palace Hotel.

Throughout the years that followed, she was of considerable help and support in Hamish's business and political life. Betty was never engaged in the running of the laundry, although she did often help out at the height of the season when staff was short. More importantly she was always available for the discussion of problems or obstacles to be overcome. She supported Hamish in his years as Provost and took an active role in the wellbeing of the community, particularly the older people.

Workload in the laundry was seasonal with very busy summers so their annual two-week holiday was always taken in October when the work quietened down. Initially they would holiday in the UK and leave us with our aunt on the other side of Home Street but by the '60s they were travelling abroad regularly. They saw many countries, often in the company of other launderers, visiting places like Russia and China shortly after they opened their doors to tourists. On their travels they would usually visit other laundries. Father would return with ideas to improve and diversify his business and mother would return full of facts and photographs with which she would give illustrated talks to the Aberfeldy Old People's Club.

Her voluntary work, with what she called 'The Old Folks', continued until she was older than many of the members. Eventually failing hearing and memory would make her withdraw from the community.

Page last updated - 21/11/16