Posted on 25 June, 2015Comments (0)

Tribute to Mary Holmes

Tribute to Mary Holmes

It is with deep regret that we bid our farewell to Mary in her retirement to a new home in Petersfield. Mary came to Bentworth eighteen years ago in April 1987 as the new manager of The Sun Inn following the departure of Richard and Jan Beaumont. Having previously owned Public Houses in Bentley and Lower Froyle she was already a very experienced Publican. Mary immediately became part of the Village and “The Sun” is widely regarded by many as a Village institution.

She has been fully involved in local activities throughout her time here. The Vagabonds Cricket Club have long considered “The Sun” as a spiritual home. Mary has provided superb teas for the home games, in addition to excellent annual dinners much to the envy of other teams. In April this year, Mary, long since seen as twelfth wo(man), and regarded as a very special lady, was made a Life Member of the Club,.

The effort she has put into making her pub both look and feel attractive as well as offering a warm welcome to all her customers, has ensured “The Sun’s” reputation for hospitality. Whether it be teas for the Annual Village Fêtes, bars for the Golden Jubilee in 2002, and a bar and hot dogs for the more recent 2012 Diamond Jubilee, Mary contributed generously and efficiently. I can vividly recall Mary getting a long list of items to be undertaken for the five day programme of the celebrations, and by 9 o’clock the following day the Jubilee chairman received a call saying “all items have been actioned.” Mary frequently staged events and auctions for Charities, thereby raising hundreds of pounds.

Mary has always insisted on maintaining high standards. Many times cars have been left overnight in her car park as a result of her calling a taxi to ensure the safety of her customers. There are many unsung instances which demonstrate the depth of Mary’s heart and human kindness.

Mary’s high standards have ensured a high standard of staff. Many have returned from university or training courses to come back to “The Sun”, which provided welcome employment for a great many young people from our neighbourhood. She has also welcomed many lovely young people from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Many here will remember that it was she who indignantly phoned the post office to ensure Peter Charles’ victory in the Olympics was commemorated by our golden postbox in the centre of this Village and not in Alton as they had decided.

Sadly we shall no longer enjoy Mary’s own golden presence and personality in our Village and will be the poorer for that but we sincerely wish her the truly golden retirement which she so richly deserves. As a publican Mary is a “one off” whose like we will not see again.

Roy Kendrick

[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]

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