Rotarians salute you

Members of the Rotary Club were out today (29th June 2024) helping our good friends at the local Flint station of the RNLI recognising the 200th anniversary of their founding in 1824 through a celebratory music event.

The lifeboats are manned entirely by volunteers and funded by public donations and subscriptions.

Amazingly these incredibly brave people have saved a staggering 144,000 lives during those 200 years.

A fitting tribute

At a recent meeting of the Club it was agreed to honour the life of the late Rotarian Dr Gruff Jones with an annual award at Ysgol Trefynnon, Holywell.
Dr Gruff was a dedicated GP at Pendre Surgery in Holywell and a long serving member of the Rotary Club. He passed to higher service in March aged 82.
Long serving Rotarian Barry Harrison commented that “ Gruff was a popular and well-respected GP in Holywell and served his patients with his caring support and more importantly his ability in always taking time to listen and carefully respond to the needs of those in need of the NHS. As an additional role he served the profession for many years as Secretary of the N Wales Medical Committee and during my 10year tenure as Chair the Local Health Board was constructive in support of improving services for the local community. A colleague and friend sorely missed”

For many years Rotary have sponsored an annual award to a student, chosen by the school. Who has made a significant contribution to community life both in school and in the wider community. It is now fitting to now dedicate this award to a true gentleman who, in his professional career, has given to so many.

The award will be presented at the school on July 8th

Dr Gruff Jones

D Day remembered – June 2024

D Day remembered

At their meeting on Monday, Rotary paid its own tribute to the lives lost on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. In particular we remembered 2 special individuals who have never really received due recognition for their contribution and bravery.

Many will have watched the ceremony from the British Normandy Memorial standing above ‘Gold’ beach, and in particular the silhouettes of the 1475 soldiers who died on invasion day. The assumption for many is that they were all men – not so – 2 were women. They were there on D-Day but did not actually land with the invasion. Nevertheless their role was vital.

Nursing Sisters Dorothy Field and Mollie Evershed were on a hospital ship, ready to receive wounded soldiers. They worked continuously and tireless every day, sailing back and forth to Southampton.

Both nurses died on 07 August when the hospital ship struck a mine just off the French coast. With the ship rapidly sinking, and with complete disregard for their own safety, both nurses repeatedly went down to the lower deck wards and between them brought up 75 wounded men, several of which had had amputations, to the lifeboats. Sisters Dorothy and Mollie could have got into a lifeboat, but they went down one more time and did not resurface before the ship sank. Sadly 106 others also perished. Dorothy was just 31 and Mollie only 28. Mollie was engaged to be married.

The silhouettes at the memorial are 8 feet high. The designer said “ they are giants because of the enormity of their sacrifice”.

The only official recognition Dorothy and Mollie received was a ‘commendation for brave conduct’ on behalf of King George VI.

There are 22,442 names carved on the stones of the memorial, and these are all soldiers under British command who lost their lives in the 12 week Normandy campaign. Dorothy and Mollie are the only 2 female names on the memorial stones.

For Dorothy and Mollie, and for the other 22,440 names, Rotary will remember them.




Rotary Club President Andy Orhan

As a new year commences for the Rotary Club of Flint & Holywell, Andy Orhan, The Club’s President thanked his Members for

helping to make the last twelve months an exceptional year. In addition to many enjoyable social events, the Club had raised many

thousands of pounds, and this has enabled the Club to assist many needy causes.

Andy mentioned particularly those local companies who he referred to as “The Club’s Heroes”.

Year after year we approach local companies for financial support, and they NEVER let us down. Indeed without this support, he

stressed, The Club could not continue with most of our community support schemes. The Club had an exciting programme of

events planned for the next year, the first of which will be the provision of two bars to slake the thirsts of visitors attending the

forthcoming Caerwys Show.

Caerwys Show – gearing up for bar duties

Rotarians Gear up to to Slake The Public’s Thirst at this year’s Caerwys Show

June will soon be upon us and with it comes one of Flintshire’s most important and popular annual events, The Caerwys Show.

Spectacular displays are complimented by a wide range of competitions, where leading local farmers compete to win prizes for the numerous

“Best of Breed” trophies including the ever popular Heavy Horse Section. These form the centre piece of the show, whilst one of North Wales’

largest displays of vintage tractors will also be on display along with numerous craft stalls and a host other attractions.

As ever, The Rotary Club of Flint and Holywell will be out in force, quenching the thirsts of spectators and performers alike. Andy Orhan, this

year’s Rotary Club President and also one of the Show Organisers announced that after last years amazingly successful bar, it has been agreed

by the Show Organisers and The Rotary Club that this year there should be two bars on site. Andy stated that although the additional bar would

put a huge strain on the Club’s resources, he was confident that his members would rise to the challenge.

And to ensure the public are kept fully informed of all the events as they happen throughout the day, Rotary’s very own local Celebrity

Announcer Steve Blakesley will once again take the microphone as he has done for many years now. Steve brings to the Show his own extensive

knowledge of the events, the participants and programme timings, all delivered in his own unique humorous style.

Full details of the event can be seen by visiting The Caewys Show’s own Facebook page.


Amazed – Activities in the Parrish – 8th April 2024

Rotary were pleased to welcome guest Jon Andrews at our Monday Springfield meeting.  Jon is the Youth and Children’s Worker for the Holywell Ministry ( the Church in Wales churches at Holywell and Greenfield).   Jon told us about the extensive work currently happening to provide community support to so many people in need.  We were very impressed with ‘The Table’ initiative, which for two years since the end of the pandemic has been providing much needed practical support through a Monday lunch where people can meet with friends and support each other.  In practice however, there are some people for whom this lunch is only one of a few they will actually get that week, and Jon told us about a young mother who, in order to feed her baby, had gone without food for six days.  Grants and donations have enabled this Monday lunch to be free, but for a £2 contribution, people can access ‘The Pantry’ which enables them to select up to 12 items from the food bank stocks. This valuable resource allows people to have the essentials such as sugar, tea and coffee etc as well as some tinned food.  Again, all this has been funded through grants and donations, but Jon says that the stocks can only reflect what the income can allow, and shelves can be a bit sparse at times.     In addition to all this, St Peter’s does have a food bank, but as above stocks depend on funds available.  Local supermarkets have been very helpful in providing support.

Jon went on to tell us about numerous workshops he organises with young people.  His career as a sound and lighting engineer has been put to excellent use.  Jon also does extensive work with local schools in providing spiritual and pastoral support with young children, and the need for this is much greater than most will imagine.

Finally, we learnt of the exciting plans to transform St James’ Church into a community hub for Holywell – a venue where everyone can access support they need. This project – costing £450, 000, funded through grants and donations, will include a ‘Well Cafe’, a parish nurse, a community counselling service and space for community groups to operate.  There will also be a ‘Skill- Way’ -an innovative scheme to pass on skills to young people to help them enter the world of work.

All Rotarians present were just amazed at the amount and extent of the work currently being done by Jon and his parish colleagues, and in thanking him for coming, Rotarian Barry Harrison said that the Club would be exploring ways of giving some sustained support, both to the projects currently running, and the new ‘Well- Being’ centre.

Dragons Den – Holywell High School – March 2024

Rotary were pleased to respond to the school request to provide a Dragons Den to assess students work in their business studies. Students in small teams were asked to design an educational game, and produce a business plan looking at production costs, marketing and selling plans, and a profit prediction. They then presented their product on the basis of seeking investment


The Dragons were very impressed by all presentations, and severely hampered by the fact that at the end 5 teams had achieved maximum points.

Having a small prize for the winning team, and after much deliberation, a team called LAB RATS were judged winners.  This team designed and produced a board game designed to interest young people in science through questions on cards. Their research was impressive which included market research based on opinions from the children at Ysgol Maes y Felin.

Also impressive was a full design of their game materials and graphics showing  production costing and a profit and loss account.
The Dragons were also asked to identify any individual students who whilst not in the winning team really left an impression that they had shown considerable skills and effort in their presentations.  5 students were chosen.

The photo shows 4 members of LAB RATS, Kadie, Sophie, Charlotte and Molly with the Rotary Dragons, Mrs Dawn Islip, Malcolm Mellor, Sian Golding and Rob Board.  2 LAB RATS team members, Hollie and Kayleigh were in other lessons.

Rotary send their congratulations to all the teams.


Technology Tournament – October 2023


For many years now, The Rotary Club of Flint and Holywell have been organising and hosting A Technology Tournament for local High Schools. Teams of budding engineers compete against each other to design and construct a “machine or structure” capable of undertaking a specific task using basic materials provided.

The event organiser, Rotarian Steve Blakesley stated that the Tournament was set up to encourage students to work as a team and use their combined skills to design a machine that this year, could travel a set distance up an incline using nothing other than gravity. The material provided comprised simply lengths of wood, a set of pulleys, four wheels, string, a piece of cardboard and a 200g weight!

The event was held at Coleg Cambria and students from Flint, Holywell and Saltney competed against each other under the watchful eyes of Steve and fellow Rotarian, Rob Board and Rotarians from North Wirral and the Passport club. As usual, on hand to give “expert” guidance, were engineering apprentices from Airbus, who have supported this annual project for many years. North East Wales has always been a centre of excellence in the field of engineering, and this dates back even before the days of The Second World War, with such iconic planes as “The Wellington” and The Lancaster” rolling off the Broughton production lines. Currently, whilst the huge Airbus factory dominates the area, there are many more companies in this field who are constantly looking out for their engineers of the future. Steve, himself a former teacher, commented that this experience allows students to develop a number of transferable skills such as problem solving and team building. Such skills make students very employable

The winning project this year came from St David’s School, Saltney, and their entry was demonstrated to the Rotarians at a recent meeting. Members were very impressed not only with the quality and precision of the winning team’s entry, but also the fact that the students had to come up with their own fully working design completely from scratch.

We are grateful for the help of Coleg Cambria who provide this excellent venue for the tournament.


Project organiser Steve Blakesley with The Winning Project :


The Winning Team from St David’s School Saltney with their entry :


A selection of other entries :