Mary Holben dies after a lifetime of service to the community

Mary Holben who served West Putney ward for 16 years as a councillor and was Mayor in 1992 has died at the age of 85. Following her retirement from the council in 1998 Mary was made an Honorary Alderman of the borough.

Only last year she was back at the Town Hall again to receive a school governor's long service award. Mary had served as a governor for 40 years at Granard and Paddock schools.

In her 16 years on the council Mary sat on all the major committees including housing, social services and leisure and amenities.Her tireless fundraising for Servite Housing led to this charitable organisation naming its sheltered development in Thrale Road after her.

Mary's background in local voluntary work meant that when she became Mayor in 1992 she was able to put her own insights and experience to good use. Supported by her late husband Ron, she made a huge contribution to the life of the borough's many voluntary and community-based organisations.

Council leader Edward Lister said Mary's commitment had been an inspiration to many people:

"You could not meet a more caring - yet more determined - person. Long after Mary had formally stepped down from her councillor duties she could still be found taking up issues on behalf of people in Putney.

"As a ward councillor she was utterly devoted to her constituents and unshakeable in her desire to ensure people had a fair deal. Mary set a standard for public service that few can match but all would aspire to. I was delighted when she was made an Honorary Alderman of the Borough. There could have been no better tribute to someone who had spent a lifetime helping others."

The funeral service takes place at 1.30pm on Monday September 22 at St Margaret's Church in Putney Park Lane.

The family requests no flowers - donations can be made to St Margaret's Church or Paddock School (c/o Mears and Cotterill, 169 Merton Road SW18 5EF - tel 020 8874 7698).

16th September 2003

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