Community service awards – 2nd October 2017

Members of the Club were pleased to honour the dedicated service given to the community by two of the 1st Flint Cubs – Joanna Hughes and Monica Gravill.  Over the past 3 years they have worked tirelessly in first of all keeping the group going despite setbacks with accommodation, lack of  resources and manpower and secondly in securing assistance in the refurbishment of the Windsor Drive Scout Hut (see earlier post). it is significant that they are only the 5th and 6th persons to receive this award during my Rotary membership (50 years) and they are truly deserving of this recognition – without their dedication we believe the scouting movement would no longer exist in Flint. The Rotary Club are pleased to have been of some minor assistance in their project of renovation.

Monica Gravill, President Neil Roberts and Joanna Hughes


Rotakids – Ysgol y Llan, Whitford – 29th September 2017

Adding To The Rotary Family

Rotakids is a Rotary club for 7 to 11 year olds. On Friday 29th September,  children, parents, and Rotarians celebrated this new addition to the Rotary family at Ysgol y Llan, Whitford.

Head Teacher Bryan Griffiths said,” We are already a community minded school with a Christian ethos. Our children regularly help others at home and abroad. It made sense to ally our school with the Rotary Club of Flint and Holywell.”

Youth opportunities chairman Steve Blakesley organised the special occasion, inviting David Hanson MP and District representative Professor David Brigden  to launch the new club. The children were given T shirts, wristbands and a brass bell to call meetings to order. Already, the children have raised over £250 towards MacMillan Cancer Care with a cake sale. “We also have plans to sing for the elderly in local care homes and to send Christmas Shoe Boxes to children living in poorer counties,” said Jessica Morrell the Rotakids lead teacher.

The first Rotakids President, Isla Peake introduced her team and promised to serve the community to the best of her ability. If there are other schools who would like to become Rotakids schools, contact Steve on 01352 7803112.


Rotary President Neil  Roberts presenting Rotakids Charter to President Isla

Rotary District Rotakids chairman David Brigden presenting Isla with her membership certificate


Honorary Rotarian David Hanson MP with the Rotakids Council members

Memorial to Sergeant Roberts – 8th September 2017

Holywell Hero of The Crimean War is not Forgotten

A gathering of distinguished local dignitaries, members of The Royal Welch Comrades Association and Holywell Citizens, including The Rector of Holywell, the Mayor and local MP met at The Memorial Gardens, Panton Place, Holywell to honour one of its forgotten heroes, Sergeant Thomas Edwin Roberts, who fell in battle storming The Great Redan, at Sevastopol, in what was one of the last battles of the Crimean War in 1856.

Sergeant Thomas’s was bought up in Holywell where his father ran The Bell Inn. He joined the Army and rose rapidly through the ranks becoming a sergeant in The Royal Welch Fusiliers (The 23rdFoot). He was unfortunately at the age of 29, killed in action trying to save the life of an injured Company Officer in a forward position during this fiercely fought battle. His bravery subsequently was recognized by his surviving colleagues who subscribed to fund a substantial stone memorial from their meager wages to their fallen comrade In those times the recently instituted Victoria Cross was only awarded to surviving soldiers and as such, no official award was ever made to Sgt Roberts.

Over the years, the forgotten memorial at St James Churchyard Holywell became more and more dilapidated, however in 2005, local resident rediscovered the memorial and decided to raise funds to restore it and relocate it to a more prominent location within the Town of Holywell to ensure that future generations would not forget the supreme sacrifice made by one of its own sons.

Local resident Tim Jones, and later, Major Robert Lake of The Royal Welch Fusiliers came to the local Flint & Holywell Rotary Club to speak about Sgt Roberts and the project to restore the memorial. Following on from this, the Club agreed to support the venture and provided funds to erect an information plaque, close to the newly restored and repositioned memorial. It was particularly poignant to have the memorial rededicated by a direct descendent of Sgt Luke O’Connor who was a friend and comrade of Sgt Roberts and who himself was injured in the battle but who survived and was later awarded the Victoria Cross.

The President of The Flint & Holywell Rotary Club, Neil Roberts attended the ceremony and stated that his Club was particularly moved by the story of Sgt Robert’s heroism and had no hesitation in providing the financial support required. At this time when we are remembering those gallant soldiers who fell 100 years ago in the Battle of Passchendaele, we should never forget those who had fallen in the service of their Country in previous times.


Further Information from:

David W Pearse

Rotary Club Officer 01352 758922




Presentation to N W Cancer Research – Sept 18th 2017

Witches Knickers, a selection of 23 comic poems, written by Rotarian Steve Blakesley – stimulated to publish a book of some of his poems and to donate profits from the sale to North West Cancer Research following a diagnosis of lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph glands, in his daughter Pascha, at the age of 29. She is now free of cancer and is following a very active career path. Through support of his Rotary colleagues the book has so far raised a profit of £2000 which was donated to NWCR at a recent Rotary meeting


Rotarian Steve Blakesley


Steve Blakesley, Joan Davies (Chair Holywell NWCR) Lord Mostyn (Patron NWCR) Alastair Richards (Chair NWCR)

and Jim Reid (Vice President RC of Flint & Holywell)

By Your Side Walk

15th June 2017 – Rotary members supported Mike Peters on the ‘By your side’ walk from Flint Castle through Deeside and on to Broughton Park – the first 14 miles of a 140 mile trek which will finish with a walk to the top of Snowdon and a Snowdon Rocks Concert

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Rotarians Martin Barker and Lawrance Hughes :

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Rotarian Martin Barker with Jules and Mike Peters :

Installation of President Neil Roberts

  • July 3rd 2017 marked a new Rotary Year with President Alan Brook handing over the baton to incoming President Neil Roberts.  Unfortunately phone photographs do not make good copies 

The Club were also delighted to offer Honorary Membership to Edwin Hughes – a long time supporter of the aims of Rotary and in particular the Rotary Club of Flint and Holywell.

Vice Presidents Dave Roberts and Jim Reid were presented with chains of office. Treasurer for 2017-18 Gordon Cook and Secretary Barry Harrison

Defibrillators in the Community – Halkyn News

HALKYN COMMUNITY COUNCIL – working in partnership with the Welsh Ambulance Service and Flint and Holywell Rotary Club


In response to recent suggestions, your council has given consideration to the provision of a defibrillator, sited at the Halkyn Parish Hall. However, a recent meeting with the local Rotary Club, who are actively promoting and funding defibrillator provision in local communities, and the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) have led to a significantly better proposal.

The defibrillator is a vital piece of life saving equipment for people experiencing cardiac arrest. It provides electrical stimulus to the heart muscles, in an attempt to restart the heart. There is proven evidence that says that with chest compressions, if the defibrillator is applied within 6 minutes, then the patient has an 85% chance of recovery (with further hospital treatment). Whilst a defibrillator situated at the Parish Hall in Halkyn might be advantageous, if it is in a locked box, then any usefulness is hugely diminished, notwithstanding it will be ineffective for those living in Pentre Halkyn, Rhosesmor and Rhes-y Cae!

Your council believe that by far the best option is to promote a scheme of trained first responders, who will be trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service in emergency response techniques and will have the defibrillator with them. As well as being trained in dealing with cardiac arrests and using the defibrillator, they will also be trained on how to deal with heart attacks, choking in both adults and children, and serious bleeding emergencies. Responders will be in direct contact with ambulance control and tasked by them.

In the year up to December 2016, the Welsh Ambulance Service was called out to 803 incidents in the Halkyn Mountain area and analysis shows that first responders could have helped in 90% of these calls. Efficient as they are, Welsh Ambulance Service will not always get to this locality in 6 minutes!




An open event led by the Welsh Ambulance Service is planned for Saturday 24th June in Halkyn Parish Hall at 11.00am. The Welsh Ambulance Service will give a talk on the role of the first responder, demonstrate the equipment they use and explain how you can volunteer and be trained to become a first responder. The other very important issue is to look at the possibilities of having first responder teams not just for Halkyn, but Pentre Halkyn, Rhosesmor and Rhes-y-Cae. We really need to see just what response is forthcoming before the possibilities can be considered.   The event will last for some 90 minutes, with plenty of time for questions, and to speak with the Ambulance people.


Everyone is very welcome – there is absolutely no commitment. Becoming a volunteer first responder will be your decision, and this event is just to help you with information, and to demonstrate that applying chest compressions and a defibrillator is not as complex as you may think.

If at the outset you have no desire to be a first responder, please still come as there will be some administrative support (and possible fund raising) that the team will need, and for which you could be well suited.

There is also another great incentive – if we can get a responder team trained, Flint and Holywell Rotary Club will consider funding all or part of the cost of the defibrillator (around £780.00). That means monies identified by the Council can be used to provide the other essential equipment for the team.

Two of your local Councillors – Mrs Delyth Jones-Taylor (contact Tel: 01352 – 781630) and Mrs Wendy Sigsworth (contact Tel: 01352 – 780394) are coordinating this project.

If you are interested and would like to volunteer to become one of the First Responder Team in Halkyn Mountain but cannot attend the event, then please contact either councillor, and we will keep your interest and contact you later.  If you would like any further information, please leave a message on Flint and Holywell website  – we will answer all enquiries.

P.S.  if you are reading this and interested, but don’t live in the Halkyn Mountain area, please still come to the event.  Later in the year, Rotary will be approaching the Community Councils in Brynford and Ysceifiog, so by having an interest now, you will be ahead of the game!  There are also first responder schemes in Bagillt, Holywell and Caerwys, always looking for new members.