Fifty Women for SCCSS - An initiative of: Sunshine Coast Community Services Society

Jan Holt

Retired teacher and Administrator

Jan grew up in the town of Luton, thirty miles to the north of London, and studied English and German Literature at the University of Kent. Following a one year post graduate teaching certificate, Jan taught for three years at Uppingham School in Rutland before embarking on complete career change. She joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1980, serving as an officer on a short service commission until the birth of her first son.

Jan and her family emigrated to Canada in the fall of 1987 and she and her husband, Peter, have traversed the country since then: one year in Saint John, New Brunswick, five years in Montreal, three years in Ottawa and finally, saving the best to last, arriving in British Columbia in July 1997. Jan lived with her husband and three sons in White Rock for 17 years teaching English language and literature in public schools in the Surrey district. She moved to a newly formed private school, Southridge School, in 2003, becoming Head of the English Department in 2005 and subsequently Academic Director and Vice Principal before retiring in 2018. As her family grew up, Jan looked to give back to the local community and found a challenging and rewarding opportunity to serve as a board member of UNITI, an organization which provides quality services and supports to people with disabilities. Jan served on this board for five years during which time we achieved the successful completion of a major affordable housing project.

Looking for a retirement community close to the ocean and within striking distance of Vancouver, Jan found the perfect final harbour of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. She has lived on the coast full time since her retirement in 2018 and almost immediately became a board member of the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, an organization that has served this community for almost 50 years. It was a privilege to serve on the board of this dynamic, people centered organization for four years. Jan embraces their vision of a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and compassionate society. She believes strongly that housing people adequately is fundamental to addressing the specific needs of individuals and integral to promoting greater societal equality and well being. It is therefore no surprise to find that Jan is an ardent supporter of the Building Together project which will provide essential new delivery space for Community Services programs and thirty-four units of housing for vulnerable women and their children.

Jan loves the beautiful environment of the Sunshine Coast and friendly, welcoming community. Literature remains a lifelong passion and she enjoys membership of two book clubs and leads a poetry group. She is perhaps happiest walking beside the ocean listening to music, a podcast, a book or playing golf on one of our truly lovely courses.

“‘Maya Angelou: The ache for home is in all of us. The safe place we can go as we are and not be questioned.’ This project will provide homes for women and their children who urgently need the security that quality housing and on site support services can provide. It is a ‘ready to go’ project that benefits, not only the women housed, but the community as a whole.”
Jan Holt
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