Publishing book in honour of her mother

  • Felicity Holmes in her rose garden (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

    Felicity Holmes in her rose garden (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

  • Felicity Holmes with a copy of her late mother's book Molly Goes West (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

    Felicity Holmes with a copy of her late mother's book Molly Goes West (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

  • Felicity Holmes in her garden (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

    Felicity Holmes in her garden (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

  • Felicity Holmes with her late mother's book Molly Goes West (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

    Felicity Holmes with her late mother's book Molly Goes West (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)


Felicity Holmes felt guilty for eight years.

In 2009, she had promised her dying mother, Molly Smith, that she would complete her book.

It had been written and edited; photographs were attached. All she needed to do was publish it.

“I felt bad that I’d told my mother I’d do something, and I hadn’t done it in all these years,” said Mrs Holmes. “She’d published Discovering Bermuda with Brush and Bike in 2005. I promised her I’d publish the sequel.”

Somehow, it just didn’t happen. She got busy taking care of her father, Reginald Smith. Even after he died in 2014, the book just sat on the Holmes’s computer.

Then last year, she showed Discovering Bermuda to an Australian renting one of her holiday apartments.

“She said she was a publisher,” said Mrs Holmes. “I told her about mum’s dream of publishing the second book.

“She knew a couple who designed and printed books in Australia and said they would like to help on this project.”

Molly Goes West arrived in July and Mrs Holmes held a launch party at Masterworks over the weekend.

“I felt very excited and also relieved,” she said. “They were a long time coming from Australia. I think mom would be really delighted.”

Mrs Holmes grew up on Pitts Bay Road in Pembroke. She loved designing classrooms and pretending to be a teacher.

She eventually headed to London, England to study and while there, she met her future husband, Peter Holmes.

They were married on August 3, 1974 and moved here the following year.

Mrs Holmes taught for 20 years in public schools and part-time at Bermuda High School for Girls.

“I particularly enjoyed teaching natural history,” she said. “I did that more at BHS.”

She joined the corporate world after she left teaching and discovered her own talent as an artist in 2009.

“I took a floral arranging class with the Bermuda Garden Club shortly after my mother died,” said Mrs Holmes. “The late Jean Motyer gave the class. She was very good.”

Her arrangements have won trophies with the Bermuda Garden Club and the Bermuda Rose Society.

“Some people have suggested I try more modern arrangements,” she said. “But I am very traditional.”

She has plenty of material to work with as her garden has 200 varieties of roses.

“Peter has a lot of Bermuda mystery roses,” said Mrs Holmes. “I help him with them, but he says they are his roses.”

The Holmes have two children, Fiona and Emma, and four grandchildren.

“I’m very much a family person,” she said. “I love being with the children. I’m not a perfectionist but I do like to see things done well and fairly.”

Molly Goes West is available at the Bermuda Book Store, the Bookmart, Masterworks, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, AS Cooper & Sons Ltd, the Bermuda Craft Market and at the Bermuda National Trust in Hamilton and St George.

• Lifestyle profiles senior citizens in the community every Tuesday. To suggest an outstanding senior contact Jessie Moniz Hardy: 278-0150 or jmhardy@royalgazette.com. Have on hand the senior’s full name, contact details and the reason you are suggesting them

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Published Oct 3, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 3, 2017 at 6:40 am)

Publishing book in honour of her mother

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