Death of Kiwanis founder in Stevenage

NEARLY half a lifetime of serving the community has come to an end with the death of the longest serving Kiwanian in the UK. Joe Holland was a founder member of the Stevenage Kiwanis Club – the first in the country – when it was set up in June 1974. And h

NEARLY half a lifetime of serving the community has come to an end with the death of the longest serving Kiwanian in the UK.

Joe Holland was a founder member of the Stevenage Kiwanis Club - the first in the country - when it was set up in June 1974.

And his enthusiasm for the club never waned.

Over the years he held the positions of secretary, treasurer, fundraising chairman and community services chairman, and he was extremely proud to have been president six times. Once, he was Lt Governor of all the UK Kiwanis clubs.


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There were many landmarks during his years in Kiwanis but the ones he treasured most were his involvement in starting clubs in Luton, Stamford and Welwyn, and projects relating to the setting up of Riding for the Disabled for children from Lonsdale School, talking newspapers for the blind locally, and the club's backing for the Mulberry Bush Unit at Lister Hospital, something that he also supported personally by making rocking horses for the children.

"The list of Joe's contributions to the well-being of Stevenage residents, especially the children, is endless," said his fellow Kiwanian George Wearn.

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"The Kiwanis organisation has lost one of its greatest ambassadors, Stevenage Kiwanis Club has lost a most treasured colleague and friend, the residents of Stevenage have lost a benevolent and well-loved man and the world has lost a true gentleman."

Mr Holland, of Sefton Road, Stevenage died on Wednesday last week just a few days after his 81st birthday.

He leaves behind his wife Phyll, daughters Jan and Sally, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mr Holland started working in Stevenage at C&C Appliances, The Oval, with his brother-in-law in 1964.

Later he opened his own business, Joburn Services, at The Glebe, retiring in 1991.

As well as his Kiwanis involvement, he was also chairman of Friends of Martins House at The Oval.

The funeral service will be held at St Nicholas Church in Rectory Lane, Stevenage at 1.45pm on Tuesday, August 11. Flowers should go to funeral directors Austin's.

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