David Hollier…

David was born in Smethwick on the 30 June 1934 and it was during his early years there he started what was to become his lifetime involvement with the Scout Movement by joining the local Wolf Cubs in 1942.

David went on to gain a place at King Edward’s Grammar School. Little did he realise in those early years that he would spend a life time giving “Service to Others”

The family moved near to Nuneaton in Warwickshire when David was in his early teens and whilst he was living there he started writing and became a volunteer junior journalist, writing regular small articles for the local paper including a column for scouts under the non de plume of Pine Marten. At the end of the 40s the Bank moved David’s father south and the family settled in Middlesex. David was transferred to Harrow County Grammar School, where he continued with his interest in Scouting, Swimming, Writing and added Photography to his list of skills and interests.

After leaving school David spent a year as a probationary teacher before going on to St. Pauls Teacher Training College at Cheltenham to qualify as a Teacher. His first teaching post was at Byron Court School in Wembley. During his time here, David became involved with the Middlesex County Schools Swimming Association. We are told by a friend of David’s from those days, that David was viewed with suspicion at first because he wanted to change the old ways and make things happen, and happen they did!! The old guard soon realised that David was a “Good Ideas” man and involved other people especially young people. He became the Treasurer of the Middlesex Schools Swimming Association and represented Middlesex and Hertfordshire on the National Council for English Schools Swimming Association. David’s second teaching appointment was at Longfield School in Harrow and then went on to be appointed as head of a Junior School in Windsor. He always joked that Queen Victoria’s statue positioned at the foot of the Castle in Windsor was pointing at “his school.” After several years in Windsor, David was appointed the Head of the new school Nascot Wood in Watford. This started his long association with Hertfordshire.

Within Scouting, David served in numerous roles since he was appointed as an Assistant Cub Scout Master with the 4th Kenton in 1952. He went on to be a Senior Scout Master, member of the County Scout Leader Training Team, District Commissioner for Northwood-Eastcote Scout District for 11 years, Assistant County Commissioner for Venture Scouts, Assistant County Commissioner (Public Relations). David was a member of the National Venture Scout Board from 1966 to 1973 and was responsible for the implementation/formation of the new section throughout the U K. in the early days. David led the Greater London North West County Contingent to the International Jamboree to Japan in 1971 and attended the Jubilee Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield in 1957. Many County Events and expeditions were designed and produced by David and with this extensive knowledge was able to persuade many personalities to attend these events. He was awarded the “Silver Acorn” by the Chief Scout in 1977 for specially distinguished service.

David was always a keen traveller and devoted much of his time taking young people on expeditions to Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Canada. Romania and Corsica to name just a few. These and similar visits in this country and overseas have opened up the opportunity of challenge and adventure to hundreds of young people who will be for ever grateful to David for giving them that first glimpse of a new experience which they can develop throughout the rest of their lives. For many years he was also a volunteer member of The Young Explorers Trust, particularly promoting Iceland. It is pleasing that The David Hollier Award was set up in his memory, making grants to one or two expeditions each year.

He was an excellent photographer, he spent many hours taking pictures which he used for display pictures or slides to illustrate his well known talks and lectures. Several of his photographs have been used on posters to advertise national organisations such as Scouts, D of E, and the Young Explorers Trust. Perhaps his most circulated photograph is the one, taken at Chalfont Heights which was used on the front of the Bank of Scotland’s “Scouts” Master Card during the 1980’s.

After leaving Nascot Wood School David made a career move and he transferred to the Hertfordshire County Youth and Community Service specialising in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. His skills were well used in his new role as Deputy County Award Officer, he was a regular writer for the National Award Journal and raised the profile of the Award throughout Hertfordshire. He retired from Hertfordshire in 1993, but continued supporting the Award in the London Borough of Barnet on a voluntary basis for a further three years finally retiring in 1996.

David was a loyal member of the Church of England all his life and worked hard for the church in Northwood, Elsworth and latterly at Great St. Mary, Cambridge.

David had many talents, he was a man of principles who at times had firm ideas and once his mind was made up, it was difficult to change him. He wanted things done correctly and often showed his disappointment if it did not happen. On the other hand he never said NO when asked to attend an event or help someone, impossible was not in David’s vocabulary, “We have to make it happen” was his slogan and on many occasions he was heard to say he would rather be “a disappointed optimist than a satisfied pessimist”. David was a great conversationalist, always saw the funny side of life, and could laugh at himself just as well as having a joke with and about others.