Ballymoney’s Evergreen Club has paid tribute to the late Mrs Mollie Holmes.
“Mrs Mary J (Mollie) Holmes OBE JP was a remarkable lady, who was warm hearted and friendly and who would have gone to any lengths to help people. She always had the well being of the residents of Ballymoney and District at heart.
“She was particularly interested in older people and their welfare. This led to her deciding, in her early forties, to start a weekly club to meet the social needs of older local residents in 1956.
“Mrs Holmes ran the club, as its President, for thirty-two years, in addition to her many other activities including Mayor of Ballymoney for a period of eight years. She always kept a Friday free to attend the club.However, her fledgling club, known as Ballymoney Evergreen Club was ‘homeless.’
“The first members, under Mrs Holmes guidance, set about raising the money necessary to build a hall for their meetings. In the space of nine years they had raised the money and built the Social Centre Hall, Edward Street, Ballymoney on ground kindly donated by her late husband Mr Harold Holmes.
“In the mid 1980’s Mrs Holmes gifted the Social Centre Hall to Ballymoney Borough Council so that it would remain as a community facility for use by all the residents of the Borough.
“The design of the Social Centre Hall demonstrates Mrs Holmes’s deep understanding of the needs of older people in that it is totally accessible by disabled and able bodies alike. The accessibility aspect of the hall was well ahead of its time (1965).
“Mrs Holmes’s interest in The Evergreen Club never waived. She was always delighted to hear about its activities and its growth in membership. She also waited and hoped for news of a renovation project for the Social Centre Hall being approved by Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
“The Evergreen Club members are deeply sorry that Mrs Holmes has passed away in this their 60th anniversary year, as they had hoped that she would have been able to join in some of the planned celebrations.
“Mrs Holmes was indeed a remarkable lady and a good friend to the residents of Ballymoney - one of a kind.
“The members of Ballymoney Evergreen Club wish to extend their deepest sympathy to her son James and the wider family circle.”