The Vineyard Hotel mourns the loss of a local legend
Having entertained guests at the Vineyard Hotel with her lyrical harp for almost 20 years, Beti Woolley passed away suddenly last week.
Originally from Wales, Beti moved to South Africa in the early 1950’s, before embarking on an illustrious musical journey in Cape Town. Career highlights included an invitation to play in front of Princess Elizabeth – as she was known in 1952 – and more recently, at Pick n Pay’s 40th birthday celebration. On being hoisted into the rafters and suspended from a cherry picker for the latter, Beti’s great sense of humour and adventure came to the fore. Commenting on the event, her only complaint was “how bloody cold it was up there!”
Beti was a great believer in the future of younger musicians and continued to tutor a number of students until her death. Her legacy lives on, not only in these musicians, but also among the team at the Vineyard Hotel, as they mourn her loss.
Alf, from the hotel’s travel desk, shares one of his many memories of Beti, “When I first met Beti, she asked me where I stayed, and how I travel to and from work. When I said I have a motorbike, she told me that her and her late husband would often travel down the coast on his bike, sometimes as far as Port Elizabeth. She joked and said that I should pick her up with my bike one day!”
Not only a gifted musician, Beti also developed a reputation as a prolific baker among the team – her famous peanut butter cookies were a hit and would quickly disappear from the cookie jar.