We were sorry to hear that Betty (Elizabeth Mary) Hook died on 1 July, at the age of 89.
Betty was a highly regarded and much loved early childhood intervention teacher in the pioneering Macquarie University Down Syndrome Program in the 1970s, and in its community implementation from the early 1980s, principally at the Early Education Clinic at North Sydney
In addition to her then rare qualifications in early childhood intervention, families of children with Down syndrome (and later other disabilities) appreciated Betty's warmth and interest in their whole family. She greeted everyone by name (even if she'd had to check it up as you walked in the gate), and reassured every parent that their child was the most beautiful she had ever seen, that she had been hoping to be appointed as their one-on-one teacher, and that they were doing a superb job of parenting.
Betty was a great supporter of the plan to establish the Down Syndrome Association of NSW through which parents and families would support each other, from its very earliest days. As the mother of eight children and grandmother of many more, she valued what such an organisation would be able to offer.
She maintained her interest the organisation and its members, even after her retirement, and was delighted to be invited to have the debutantes formally presented to her at our 20th Anniversary Debutante Ball in 2000 - she had taught most of them as babies and preschoolers, and remembered them all.
The Board and members of Down Syndrome NSW are very thankful for the work and life of Betty Hook, over so many years, supporting so many people with Down syndrome and their families, and we extend our deepest sympathy to her family in her loss.
Betty's funeral will be held at Northbridge this Friday, 8 July - the funeral notice is here.