John Holdipp III (1956-2022): an unsung hero who gave his time to help seniors
A former common councillor for the City of Hamilton was also a musician, activist and “unsung hero” who gave of his time to help seniors.
John Holdipp III became one of nine Hamilton councillors in November 2013, under the “Team Hamilton” administration of former mayor Graeme Outerbridge.
Mr Holdipp was the sole nominee for the post after the resignation of Troy Symonds.
Dale Butler, a former Progressive Labour Party minister, said he had put his name forward for the job as a Hamilton resident impressed with Mr Holdipp’s service to others.
“John had a big heart where, almost daily, he had a job taking senior citizens from one appointment to the next without expecting pay,” Mr Butler said.
“He had studied business at Allen University in the US but had difficulty finding a permanent job in Bermuda.
“He did hustles and had a great community spirit.”
A sharp dresser with a penchant for hats, Mr Holdipp at one point toyed with opening his own hat store.
He served in City Hall until the municipal election of May 2015, when former mayor Charles Gosling retook the administration.
Uncompromising in his views, Mr Holdipp was an occasional dissenter within the corporation, a critic of government policies he felt were misplaced, and a vocal letter writer to The Royal Gazette.
Mr Butler said: “John held a number of demonstrations in Bermuda where sometimes he might be the only person who showed up.
“This was after many people had complained about issues and he decided to take leadership.”
An accomplished singer who toured and recorded with the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church choir, Mr Holdipp played a leading role in Mr Butler’s 2013-14 production of his stage spiritual We Are Climbin’ Jacob’s Ladder.
“John didn’t get any Queen’s Awards but he tried to live a decent life in the community,” Mr Butler said.
“He helped wherever he could — in particular with our seniors.”
· John Henry Holdipp III, an activist, musician and former councillor for the City of Hamilton, was born on May 19, 1956. He died in June 2022, aged 66.