Arthur Holmes OAM.
Arthur Holmes OAM. John Gass

Community farewell Arthur Holmes

ARTHUR Holmes, one of Tweed Shire's most beloved and community-spirited residents, has passed away after a year-long battle with cancer.

Mr Holmes was diagnosed with cancer in August 2011 and spent the last year in and out of hospital.

For many years Mr Holmes was the man behind Murwillumbah's Festival of Performing Arts and took on the position of president of the festival in 1995.

His deep love for the festival and its performers was apparent to all who met him and was only a small part of his dedication to the Tweed community and its young residents in particular.

Earlier this year Mr Holmes received an Order of Australia Award for his service to the performing arts and to the community of Murwillumbah.

Mr Holmes's son John said his passing was a relief in the end and, when he saw his father last Monday, Mr Holmes told him he had "done everything" and was ready to "go".

John said his father had a really bad day last Wednesday and died the next day.

"My father is in a better place now," John said.

Mr Holmes and his wife Margaret moved to the Tweed in 1974 to run the Riverview Hotel and managed the hotel with Mrs Holmes's parents and brother until it was sold in 1977.

In 1977 he became the first man employed by the Department of Education in a preschool and remained at South Tweed Preschool for nearly 30 years before retiring in 2004.

In 1995 Mr Holmes took on the role of president of the Festival of Performing Arts, a position he held until last year when his illness forced him to step down.

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