I was very honoured and delighted to be invited to be President of the Society and members might be interested in knowing a little more about me. I am a Midlander having been born in Nottinghamshire. In 1948 I married John Hungerford Holdich and early in my marriage I developed an interesting friendship with my father-in-law Brigadier General Harold Adrian Holdich. He was at the time Chairman of the North Riding of Yorkshire County Council and through him I developed a fascination for local affairs so that when John and I settled in Ashby de la Zouch I became involved and was elected to the Urban District Council of North West Leicestershire and Ashby Town Council. Having spent some 20 years on local councils I was elected Mayor in 1981, a position I thoroughly enjoyed.
I am interested in Amateur Dramatics and have been a member of our local Dramatic Society for over 35 years. I have fulfilled many roles on and off stage culminating last year in being elected Life President of the Society. One of my successes was the setting up of a small 110-seat theatre and then a few years ago I guided through a Lottery Grant and we now have a theatre almost up to professional standards.
I have been involved in raising money for Life Boats, The Children’s Society and, latterly, Macmillan Cancer Relief. I have also been Governor of several schools and am trustee of a Relief of Sickness Fund.
General Holdich also fired my enthusiasm for family history. John and I spent many happy hours on his behalf looking at church records, tombstones etc. and when my father-in-law died John and I took on the task of continuing this research. Many records, an extensive family tree, the granting of Holdich Arms, family pictures etc. were left in our safe keeping, which I continue to treasure and ensure that all things Holdich are kept safe and in good order. I will also make sure that they are kept together and passed on to John Hungerford Holdich, son of Tom Holdich who is our late President’s youngest son.
Unfortunately I was widowed in 1971 but continued to take a limited interest in family history archives. My daughter was only 17 when her father died and she had recently won a place at St. Hugh’s, Oxford, to read medicine so it was important for me to establish a worthwhile career. I secured a place at a London College to read Social Sciences, which also gave me a professional qualification in Social Work. I have had a very interesting career as a Senior Medical Social Worker.
In 1986 I was fortunate enough to marry again and Bert became interested in the Holdich archives, so much so that he insisted I retain the Holdich name and just add Monk on the end. He has always been keen to come to the Holdich gatherings and to meet so many of our family who have had very interesting lives. When Bert and I married we had just both retired; he wanted to play more golf and I wanted to travel. We have done both all over the world, so we are always pleased to meet family members from overseas.
I have had a very full life so far and hope my input into the Presidency will be rewarding to us all.