Terry Holt

1939 – 2015

Terry was born in 29th March 1939 in Barons Court Road, West Kensington a few months before the outbreak of WWII he lived with his Mother and older sisters, Cissie, Toni and Yvonne.
Growing up in the Wartime London meant they had to move many times due to being bombed out of homes. Eventually they settled in Edith Road, West Kensington, where his mum ran a lodging house for international students.
He later discovered he had another sister Freda who was born and lived in Belgium.
At the age of around 7 while at school he discovered a detonator which exploded. He was seriously injured and lost his right index finger, he spent many months in hospital recovering. During this time he was sent to recuperate in Cornwall from where his love of St. Ives and the surrounding area came.
He grew up with his friends Jim and Eddy in Fulham, getting up to all kinds of mischief as teenagers do.
On a return holiday to Cornwall with his mum he met the love of his life Gill, whilst in the arcade on the harbour front in St. Ives. Gill was also from West London on holiday and they agreed to meet again when back in London.
After a brief courtship Gill and Terry married on 6th June 1959 during his 1 year’s National service in the Army as a Baker.
They lived with Gill’s Parents in Southall eventually buying the house.
Terry and Gill had had their first child Christine in 1961 followed by Wendy and David. They have 7 Grandchildren and 10 plus Great Grandchildren.
They celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary in 2009
He studied at Latymer Foundation School in Hammersmith as a child where his love for Science, Art and Geography stemmed.
He had many jobs during his life. His first job was as a Commercial Clock Engineer followed by a short spell of National service. He then joined Rumbelows as an Appliance Engineer also doing evening work to pay the mortgage as a Bingo Caller, Wrestling announcer and MC. He joined Hoover Ltd. and eventually set up his own business in the late 1980s repairing Appliances and helping with exhibition and electrical work.
From age of 10 he practiced Judo and in the late 1960’s switched to Kendo, practicing at Nenriki Dojo in London. In 1968 he was one of the founding members of Mumeishi Kendo Club in Heston with Fuji Sensei. Mumeishi grew to become one of the most renowned International Kendo Clubs for which Holt Sensei came to lead in 1971. With Terry’s continued leadership Mumeishi grew with Clubs in London UK, Melbourne Australia, Tel Aviv Israel and Tehran Iran, becoming a truly International Club reaching out and bridging cultures. In 1973 they hosted the first Mumeishi 3’s International Championship which is now in its 42nd year with over 300 Competitors annually.
He represented Great Britain in the Individuals competition of the 2nd World Kendo Championship in Los Angles 1973 and competed in the European Kendo Championships 1974, winning gold with the GB team.
He helped organise the 3rd World Kendo Championship in UK and numerous European Kendo championships. He was Chairman of the British Kendo Association, between 1980-1981, and has coached the British Squad.
He encouraged children into the world of Kendo and his legacy lives on with his students rising through the ranks and representing their countries.
In July 1998 he received The Japan Festival Award for outstanding achievements in furthering good understanding of Japanese culture in the UK.
Terry was always interested in technology and gadgets, from using reel to reel tape recorders with the Tape Club in the 1970’s, embracing the computers and internet in the late 1990’s and on to Tablets/Smart phones and any other digital media in the new Millennium. He always found something to keep busy.
His other interests include science fiction, a fascination with Space, Formula1, Fishing and his beloved dogs Nina, Beau and Bella.
He’s always been a big kid at heart and the only person we know that has visited every Disneyland in the world.
He was never afraid to start a project, building his own pond in the garden, extending the house and converting the loft into an extra room for guests, of which there were many.
Terry spent his retirement with Gill, spending time with the family, tending his garden and his koi fish and helping out with family DIY tasks. He continued with his Kendo helping run many seminars teaching at home and internationally.
He embraced learning and new experiences. Through his Kendo connections he was given the opportunity to travel more during his retirement. He loved meeting people, learning about their culture, the country history and visiting places of interest whenever he could.
In recent years he wrote 2 books, A Beginners guide to Kendo and A Guide to Becoming a Referee.
His last few days awake were spent finalising Mumeishi 3’s Championship and he was still even practicing Suburi in his Bed.
Your greatest gift to us all is your generosity, kindness and openness. You leave behind an incredible legacy.