North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has paid tribute to Ballymoney’s ‘First Freeman’ Mollie Holmes OBE on the occasion of her 100th Birthday celebrations.
Mrs Mollie Holmes is synonymous with Ballymoney, and all that is good about it. Her great personal character and friendly charm are unmatched. She started the Cancer Research band parade, was a Justice of the Peace, and is a supporter of countless worthy local causes – it’s little wonder the people hold her in such high regard.
Mollie was elected in May 1955 as the first female member of Ballymoney Urban District Council. She was elected and remained as an independent member. She continued to enjoy the confidence of the electorate until, in May 1985, after thirty years continuous service in local government, she stepped down from the office of Mayor.
Mervyn commented after a celebration dinner was held for Mollie: “Mollie is the embodiment of honourable public service. She devoted her life to the betterment of her community. Mollie invested her time and energies over many decades to various causes and showed a particular interest in education and young people, as well as various charitable and voluntary causes. Even in her centenary year she continues her involvement with the Robinson Hospital Committee, the Ballymoney Evergreen Club, the Road Safety Committee and the Royal British Legion.
“Mollie, you are undoubtedly one-of-a-kind. We all wish you a wonderful birthday!”
More pictures in this week’s Times.