Adrian Holmes (left) boxing for Australia during the 1948 London Olympics.
Adrian Holmes (left) boxing for Australia during the 1948 London Olympics. contributed rok050214holmes2

Tribute for an Olympic champ who hailed from Theodore

IN A fitting final round, one of Theodore's finest products Adrian Holmes will be remembered on Saturday in the town which launched his sparkling boxing career.

The Olympic boxer died, aged 87, on January 8 at Buderim Hospital on the Sunshine Coast.

"He had a lot of family and friends here that couldn't make it down for the funeral, so we thought we'd have something out here," his son Chris said.

"He's so well known and was such a large part of Theodore."

The final man picked on the Australian boxing team to contest the 1948 London Olympics, Holmes eventually became the last man standing.

Born and raised in the Queensland country town, Holmes rose to fame as boxer in the late 1940s.

He first laced a pair of gloves aged 20 in 1946 and inside his first two years he had claimed two Queensland titles and two Australian crowns.

Adrian Holmes, knocks an opponent to the mat in the London Olympics, 1948
Adrian Holmes, knocks an opponent to the mat in the London Olympics, 1948 contributed rok050214holmes1

 

Left out of the team to contest the London Olympics, Holmes received a helping hand from the residents of Theodore to get the then 22-year-old to London.

Dominant through the preliminary rounds, the light heavyweight boxer was favourite to claim the gold medal, but lost on points in the semi-finals.

He fractured his ankle and was forced to withdraw from the bronze medal bout.

It was the last time he ever boxed.

The talented entertainer put his hands to use of a different kind.

"He was just a great people person. He was great on the saxophone and the mouth organ right up until he died," Chris said.

"He always sang and he loved Louie Armstrong - he was a great entertainer," Chris' wife Sharyn added.

When his boxing career ended, Holmes, who was the second youngest of five boys, Allan, Gladstone, Ross and Clarrie, became a stock and station agent for Elders.

For years he sold livestock and properties around the Theodore region before he and his wife Dawn bought some land outside the town.

The pair raised three boys, Gladstone, Chris and Stuart.

Adrian Holmes (left) and wife Dawn at their grandson Damon Holmes' graduation at The Southport School at the Gold Coast.
Adrian Holmes (left) and wife Dawn at their grandson Damon Holmes' graduation at The Southport School at the Gold Coast. contributed rok050214holmes3

 

He set up a cattle property, Bungaree, where he worked on until the late-1990s before he moved to Kawana Waters on the Sunshine Coast. The pair celebrated its 60th wedding anniversary a week before Holmes died.Saturday's memorial service starts at 11am at the Theodore Sport and Recreation Centre before guests head to the Theodore Hotel for lunch.



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