Tributes paid to former Beccles Carnival chairman who did so much for the town

Ivan Holmes, who has died at the age of 75. Ivan Holmes, who has died at the age of 75.

Thursday, July 31, 2014
9:16 AM

A former chairman of Beccles Carnival and leading community figure has died at the age of 75.

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Ivan Holmes joined Beccles and District Lions Club in 1979 and during his dedicated service helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity, as well as running some of the town’s most prolific events.

He died on July 15 after a fight with cancer, with his wife Mandy, family and close friends by his bedside.

Mr Holmes was past president of the Lions club and a recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest accolade a Lions member can have.

On joining the Lions 35 years ago, it was the start of a unique career within the organisation, which saw him become the stabilising body of the club.

An astute businessman, Mr Holmes became involved in numerous events in the town and surrounding villages, offering support and encouragement to raise funds to benefit local people.

For many years he was chairman of Beccles Carnival, bringing spectacular firework displays to the event and inviting back many previous Miss Beccles beauty queens for the 2000 gathering.

He was also a prime mover in the annual Fayre in the Square and enjoyed his involvement with the Beccles Business Association in organising the Christmas Lights switch on.

The Beccles Lions Christmas Santa Float was also a success both in the town and visiting local villages with Mr Holmes waving from the top of the chimney, whatever the weather. As a butcher by trade he provided much of the food for the Lions barbecues in and around Beccles, Earsham, Southwold, Henham and Lowestoft, as well as many other smaller parties.

Chris Eglington, president of Beccles Lions Club said: “Always thinking of what he could do for others not what they could do for him; he saw the potential in people that they sometimes didn’t see themselves. Over his 35 years of service I’m sure many would agree that if it hadn’t been for Ivan’s encouragement they wouldn’t have seen the rewards of individuals so touched by the help they have received from our organisation.

“Constantly looking for the opportunity to help others, he was so generous with his time, nothing was too much trouble for him, and always gave 100pc... It was an honour to have been associated with all the good work he has been involved with through his outstanding dedication and devotion to Beccles and District Lions Club, Lions International and the town and people of Beccles. I count myself fortunate, along with a myriad of others, to have known such a distinguished gentleman.”

Do you want to pay a tribute to Mr Holmes? Email louisa.lay@archant.co.uk

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