District mourns respected, veteran educator

THREE generations in the Dartmoor area passed through the classroom of veteran educator Peg Holmes who died this week aged 88.

Mrs Holmes started teaching in south-west Victoria in 1950, first at Drik Drik State School then Dartmoor Primary School before leaving for a few years to start a family.

She returned to teaching in the early 1960s at Dartmoor and worked alternatively as a full-time then part-time teacher for the next four decades.

Dartmoor Primary School teacher Michael Greenham said Mrs Holmes was well regarded by the local community and knew nearly every resident in the surrounding district.

He said the long-serving teacher had a “firm but fair philosophy” when it came to classroom discipline.

“Peg would have taught two, and in some cases three generations of students during her time here at Dartmoor,” Mr Greenham said.

“She loved being in front of the blackboard or reading stories in the library. Teaching was more than a job for her.”

The school’s library is named in Mrs Holmes’ honour and she donated dozens upon dozens of books in her retirement years.

“She was a very generous lady, very well read and held high standards when it came to etiquette,” Mr Greenham said. 

“She couldn’t stand bad language and the soap and water would always loom for any student who used foul words.”

Born Margaret Pope in Warrnambool in 1925, Mrs Holmes is survived by children Yvonne, Peter, Loris and Graeme. 

Her husband Reg died some years ago. A funeral service for Mrs Holmes will be held in Mount Gambier today.

alex.sinnott@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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