A BADMINTON STALWART AND TRUE CHARACTER. WHO PASSED AWAY, 26 MONTHS FROM REALISING A REMARKABLE AMBITION
CORNWALL BADMINTON’S PAT HOLLANDS, MBE, from Reawla, Near Hayle, sadly passed away, in hospital, on August 26, 2010, aged 97 years.
Mrs. Hollands’ funeral service, was held at Penmount Crematorium, Nr. Truro, Cornwall, on September 3rd and attended by Family, Friends, including Cornwall Badminton officials, players and colleagues.
David Hunt, a friend and Master at Truro School, where she was a senior badminton coach in the past, read a moving eulogy, to “Mrs. Cornwall Badminton”.
Cornwall Badminton has lost a stalwart – one of the Country’s foremost county players, administrators and coaches, over a number of decades, who was devoted to her beloved game, as well as to a number of other sports, in past years.
Pat was also a true character – forthright and down-to-earth, and, at times controversial, but one of the most dedicated county administrators – and lovers of badminton – England has ever known.
Indeed, Cornish and English Badminton, will surely never witness the likes of her, including her unique energy, organizing ability and general pro-activeness again.
Pat’s “Goal” set in 2002:
Pat’s age of passing away – 97 years, is most significant, owing to it being only 26 months away from her ambition, to stand up and hit a few shuttlecocks on her beloved badminton court, when she reached her 100th landmark birthday.
She set this “Goal”, in 2002, when she reached 90 years, as a nonagenarian and played a game on court, at her Tecans Club, based at Pool School and Community College, Pool, Nr. Redruth.
What a great shame – nonetheless she can now challenge St. Peter to a game, in her Century Year.
Pat was also a top-flight performer, in a number of other Sports, including: Diving, Gymnastics and Netball and held the position of Cornwall County Netball Chairman, some time ago.
Indeed, she informed the writer that she dived from the upper-platform, at Plymouth Hoe.
She had been retired , for over thirty years, from Cornwall Technical College, on the Trevenson Campus, Pool, Near Redruth, where she was Head of Sport and PE for Girl Students, in a College with around: 8,000 on the “Books” – c. 3,000 full-timers and c. 5,000 part-timers, in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
On retiring, she Co-founded the Tecans Badminton Club (originated from: Cornwall Tech & Others), with Dutchy, her husband and was the Club Secretary, Coach and playing member, up until her death.
Love Affair with Dutchy, her husband and Badminton:
Pat lost her beloved Husband, Dutchy, in 2004 – another player/administrator, like herself. She missed his love and devotion, terribly, as well as his support and advice, in association, with her many sporting administrative and coaching duties.
Over the years, the couple were also enthusiastic, whilst tending their beautiful garden at their village home, which comprised; a lawned area, flower borders and a vegetable plot.
As well as being Truro School’s senior badminton coach, along with Ken McDonald, her assistant, she was the Honorary Secretary and Coach/Trainer, to the Cornwall Schools’ Badminton Association, ably assisted by Dutchy, Ken and other enthusiasts, for numerous years.
Pat had been a keen playing member for the Cornwall Badminton First Team (The “Chiefs”), and when the “All-England”, Open Badminton Championships were contested at London’s Wembley Arena (scheduled to be the 2012 Badminton Centre) and was known as the world’s premier event, she took part in the Ladies’ Singles qualifying competition, which was another honour.
Pat, the “Mother” of three prestigious Annual Badminton Tournaments within Cornwall:
· Mother and Co-founder of the Duchy of Cornwall “Open” Badminton Championships, based at Carn Brea Leisure Centre, Pool, Nr. Redruth, with the inaugural year being 1982.
· The Cornwall Schools’ Junior Invitation Badminton Tournament, where children travelled from all parts of England, including Darren Hall, from Essex, who secured several age-group titles, before going on to become number one in England and Europe.
· The West Cornwall Badminton League Championships, which started out in 1985 and developed into the Main Draw, as well as an Handicapped section, for Juniors, mainly.
Pat was the Duchy Open’s Tournament Secretary, from 1982 – 1987, the formative years and this year celebrates its 28th Tournament and is now a “Satellite” Ranking Tournament in its eleventh Year.
Furthermore, in the “Schools’ Open”, in Kernow, Mr. Eric Brown, from the England Schools Badminton Association – now incorporated with Badminton England – came down, to help out and provide support, from time-to-time, kindly.
“American” Tourneys prove to be “salad days” for many players:
Pat’s “Amercian”, Handicapped Badminton Tournaments were loved by One & All, in the West Cornwall Badminton League (WCBL), of which she was a tournament secretary, which boasted in excess of forty clubs in the 1970’s.
The writer, John, can vouch, fondly, for this exciting period, with admirable camaraderie, much in evidence – in the 1970’s and 1980’s, principally – which proved to be his and many others – “salad day” years.
Special Honors bestowed in 1998 and 2004:
In 1998, Pat was delighted to be bestowed with BADMINTON England’s Highest Honor, in respect of; Outstanding Services to Badminton in England, which was presented at the Annual County Dinner/Dance, at Newquay.
Six years on and this was followed by a prestigious MBE, Awarded for Services to Badminton in Cornwall, in the New Year’s Honors List in January 2004.
Mrs. Hollands was unable to travel to the Palace with the Queen, and Lady Mary Holborow, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, carried out the Investiture at Truro School, which was most appropriate.
Finally, Tony Poole and Lyndon Allen, the Chairman and Honorary Secretary for the Cornwall County Badminton Association, along with Badminton England, from their Milton Keynes Headquarters, together with the local badminton community, wish to convey their deepest sympathy and love to Pat’s Family, including her Sons, Martin and Peter Hollands and Daughter Anne.
Badminton Press &