Death of Bonnybridge SNP stalwart Betty Kurp

One of the longest serving members of the Scottish National Party has died, aged 88.

By Herald reporter
Thursday, 14th May 2020, 12:30 pm

Betty Kurp, born Elizabeth Ferguson, was best known as Betty Paterson after her first marriage to Stuart. When they both went their separate ways and a considerable time had elapsed Betty married Bonnybridge photographer and long time Scottish Nationalist Stan Kurp.

They spent many years working to achieve their political aim of independence for Scotland and after Stan passed away Betty continued working for her local SNP Branch.

Betty qualified as teacher and began her career in local primary schools, working in Camelon and Langlees, but was best known as a teacher in Bainsford Primary School.

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Betty Kurp, seated, shortly before she moved south in 2018

Betty was also a keen church goer and was a member of St. Helen’s Church in Bonnybridge. She enjoyed Soup Sunday, a monthly event after Sunday Service run by the church.

However, Betty’s general health was in decline and so she moved south to be closer to her sons, Fergus and George and to receive the support she required.

When Betty joined the Scottish National Party in 1955 she was a woman well ahead of the political game. One of the few female campaigners but determined to do her share of the work.

Michael Matheson MSP said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of Betty’s passing having known her for many years. She was dedicated to the SNP and the cause of Scottish independence campaigning in many local and national campaigns in the Falkirk area.

“Although she had moved to be closer to her family in recent years, she was a much loved and respected member of the local party and she will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Betty’s family at what will be a difficult time for them.”

John McNally MP for Falkirk said, “In the years I have been involved in local politics Betty Kurp has always been there or there about. Whether it was fundraising, leafleting or going round the doors talking to people Betty was always first to volunteer. Her enthusiasm and commitment to the cause of independence was like a beacon.”

Betty stood as a candidate for the council in the Bainsford area.

She was a former election agent, branch convenor and Falkirk East convenor and was lately branch treasurer for Bonnybridge SNP and Falkirk West Constituency.

Councillor David Alexander said: “The party owes a debt of gratitude to Betty for all her work for the cause and would like to extend our condolences to her family.”