Tribute meeting for the late, great Dr Betty Dowsett | Colchester, Sunday 28 October 2012

July 24, 2012


A tribute meeting for the late Dr Betty Dowsett, who died in June at the age of 91, is to be held in Colchester on Sunday, October 28.

It will take place in The Samaritans Hall, Walsingham Road, Colchester CO2 7BP, at 2pm – with the support of Dr Dowsett's daughter, Mrs Frances Johnson.

The meeting is being organised by Mrs Vivienne Mills, chairman of the Colchester ME Support Group, who knew Dr Dowsett for many years and made a point of keeping in touch during her last years in a Cambridge nursing home.

“I got on so well with Betty. I never knew either of my grandparents and, in a way, she became the grandmother I never had”, said Mrs Mills.

If you would like to attend the meeting, please put the date in your diary now. The hall has the word SAMARITANS spread across the top of the building although, if you are looking it up on the internet, type the words ‘Walsingham Road Community Hall' into Google.

There is a public car park within 10 minutes walking distance and an attempt is being made to secure use of a local school playground up the road.

Please email Vivienne at vivienne.mills@ntlworld.com if you are planning to attend or, indeed, if you want to speak at the event.

The ME Association reported news of Dr Dowsett's death on 21 June. This included early tributes from MEA medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd, consultant neurologist Professor Leslie Findley, Simon Lawrence (chairman of the 25% ME Group of severe sufferers) and Greg Crowhurst, whose own wife Linda has been severely ill for many years.

1 thought on “Tribute meeting for the late, great Dr Betty Dowsett | Colchester, Sunday 28 October 2012”

  1. Local (Essex) press release sent out by the ME Association today:

    TRIBUTE MEETING TO DOCTOR WHO CHAMPIONED M.E. FOR 60 YEARS

    Tributes to the memory of Dr Elizabeth Dowsett, a co-founder of the National M.E. Centre at Harold Wood, Romford, and a leading M.E. doctor and researcher for over 60 years, will be paid in Colchester in October.

    A tribute meeting will be held in the Samaritans Hall, Walsingham Road, on Sunday, 28 October, at 2pm. Dr Dowsett died aged 91 in Cambridge in June and – because the funeral was a private, family affair – former patients and colleagues have so far been unable to pay their respects collectively.

    Meeting organiser Mrs Vivienne Mills, chairman of Colchester ME Support Group, knew Dr Dowsett for many years and made a point of keeping in touch during her last years in a Cambridge nursing home. “I got on so well with Betty. I never knew either of my grandparents and, in a way, she became the grandmother I never had”, she said this week.

    Dr Dowsett, who lived in Shoeburyness, was a consultant microbiologist and physician who cut her teeth in the world of M.E. long before the illness had the belittling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome label stuck on it in the 1980’s. She saw over 3,000 M.E. patients in her career, including 400 children, collaborated with other M.E. research pioneers and found time to set up special clinics at three Essex hospitals. With Jane Colby – now executive director of the Ingatestone-based Young ME Sufferers Trust – she co-authored a major five-year survey of 366,000 schoolchildren which demonstrated that the illness was the UK’s commonest cause of long-term absence from school.

    An ME Association spokesman said: “Betty Dowsett was that rare breed of doctor who, in the face of much scepticism, championed a much misunderstood disease. Right into old age, she was prepared to drop everything in order to help an individual patient or deeply worried family or go lecture to a local group.”

    Dr Dowsett’s daughter, Mrs Frances Johnson, is expected to be at the tribute meeting, People wanting to attend, or speak at it, are being asked to contact Vivienne Mills on vivienne.mills@ntlworld com

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