Tribute to man who excelled at teaching teachers

John Holland.
John Holland.

A man who contributed much to education in our district has died, aged 76.

John Holland was formerly Dean of Education at St Martin’s College (now the University of Cumbria) and chairman of governors at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

Mr Holland was also chairman of Morecambe and Lonsdale, and Lancaster Conservative Associations, church warden of St John’s Church in Silverdale where he lived and was co-founder of the village scout group.

A lifelong Christian, Mr Holland was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire and attended primary school at Cleckheaton and then Heckmondwike Grammar School before securing a place at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in history with a postgraduate certificate in education.

He was appointed lecturer at St Martin’s College aged 27.

Mr Holland started by teaching history but moved to the education department, where he was successively lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer and eventually dean.

He was leader and manager of a large department judged by external assessors as providing outstanding quality in its programmes of teacher education.

Canon David Peacock, paying tribute to Mr Holland at his funeral at Christ Church in Carnforth, said he showed a high degree of competence in everything he undertook, including as an accomplished amateur actor.

He serviced his own cars, improved and decorated his own home and mastered new technologies. Canon Peacock and Mr Holland joined St Martin’s on the same day in 1967. Mr Holland leaves his wife Jean, whom he married in 1963, a son, daughter and two grandsons.

Donations in his memory were for Christ Church, Carnforth.