Betty's Life

Betty Fletcher c. 1985 at the opening of a crate of new artefacts at the Antiquities Museum.

Source: RD Milns Antiquities Museum Photographic Collection, 2017.

Elizabeth (Betty) Wilson Galloway Robertson was born in Struan, Perthshire, Scotland on the 28th of November 1909. Her family later moved to Australia, where Betty attended Somerville House in Brisbane until 1923. In 1924, after achieving a high level of academic excellence at Somerville, Betty was awarded one of twenty Open Scholarships to The University of Queensland, where she began her long association with the University.

On completing her undergraduate degree at UQ (with Honours in both Classics and Philosophy), Betty returned to Somerville House and taught Latin, Greek and Ancient History until her marriage to Owen Fletcher in 1935. Betty then shared her skills with the wider community. She was elected to the position of secretary of the State Council of the Christian Movement, and became a member of the National Council of Women, The University of Queensland Alumni Association, and the Executive of the Women’s Graduate Association.
In 1963, Betty and Owen travelled through Asia, the Middle East and Europe for six months, visiting Thailand, Israel, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom before revisiting Betty’s hometown in Perthshire, Scotland.

After Owen retired in 1968, both he and Betty played an important role in the foundation of Grace College at UQ. In recognition, The Grace College Fletcher Wing was named after them.  They continued to support the college, becoming donors to the college library and co-sponsoring Vivant Professores, a publication by the Fryer Library that contains select biographies of professors and personalities from the first decades of The University of Queensland.

Owen Fletcher c. 1942, from his WW2 RAAF service record. Owen served with No. 3 Wireless Unit, RAAF Station, Coomalie, Northern Territory, which intercepted Japanese radio messages.

Source: National Archives of Australia: A9300, FLETCHER O M