Isobel Twynam Holmes graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with Bachelor of Science
in Chemistry and later did a Diploma in Advanced Studies in Education in
Counselling and Guidance with the University
of Ulster. At retirement she was Senior House Mistress,
taught Chemistry and co- ordinated Careers Education in the Royal School
Dungannon .Isobel was very involved in the Northern Ireland Schools Careers’
Association ((NISCA) and served it as Treasurer and Chairman.In1991 it awarded
her life membership in recognition of the service she had given it. During that
time she served the Northern Ireland Branch of Assistant Masters and Mistresses
Association ( later became Association of Teachers and Lecturers ) as honorary Secretary
,President and representative on its National Executive committee. After
retirement from teaching she worked for ATL as Northern Ireland Field Officer.
Since retirement she has served on the Boards of Governors of several schools
and on the Governing Body of East Tyrone Further and Higher Education College.
In 1995 Isobel was awarded a MBE for
services to visually impaired people.This service was and continues to be
through work for Talking Newspapers both
at local and provincial level.
Isobel enjoyed representing Dungannon
Standing Conference of Women’s Organizations on Women’s Forum from 1972 to
1998. During that time she served the Forum as Chairman from 1977 to 1980 and
later as Treasurer. In 1999 Women’s
Forum made her its first honorary member. She was co-editor of the booklet
Women in Harmony Achieving Change, which is the story of the formation and
development of Women’s Forum Northern Ireland.
Isobel’s interest in women’s and service
organizations arose from her membership of Soroptimist International to which
she has belonged for over 40 years. During this time she has served in many
offices at club and regional level. At regional level these have included
President, Treasurer ( on two occasions ) Extension and Membership Officer, and
representative on Federation Executive and Programme Action Committees. She was
also Education Adviser for the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland .In May
2011 she was made an honorary member of the Northern Ireland Region.
her work at Soroptimist club level Isobel was involved in setting up Dungannon
Standing Conference of Women’s Organizations
and Dungannon Talking Newspaper. She is involved in many aspects of the life of
the Church of Ireland both at parish and diocesan
level and until 2005 was a member of its General Synod. In 1995 she was
approached about setting up a branch of United Nations Development Fund for
Women ( UNIFEM) . This materialized
and she was Secretary for six years and later became the Northern Ireland
representative on the UNIFEM UK Board. .In
2001, her local Borough Council awarded her a certificate in recognition of
outstanding contribution in the field of community and voluntary work in the
Borough .In 2008 she was the recipient of Maundy money
from the Queen. This is given for service to the community and to the Church.
Other work with which Isobel is involved at
local level is Home Accident Prevention, Home-Start, Willowbank Resource
Centre, and a Child Contact Centre.