Ballymoney is a market town with approximately 9000 inhabitants, situated near the
breathtaking Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland. It has the highest life expectancy
of any area in Northern Ireland.
Thursday 10 May saw a group of 100 people attend Ballymoney Rotary Club’s first Business
Breakfast held in St Patrick’s Parish Centre in the town. Following a sumptuous breakfast
the attendees were enthralled by a short talk delivered by Ken Belshaw, Founder and
Director of Grafton Recruitment. He regaled the audience with stories from his early
days in employment and the factors and indeed chance encounters leading up to the
establishment and growth of Grafton Recruitment. He concluded by sharing a few key
take-home messages useful to anyone dealing in an environment involving people.
During the presentation you could have heard a pin drop. The audience were left wanting
more but sadly the daily pressures of the work place had to be acknowledged.
The event was hugely successful in terms of interest from the local business community.
The fact that the event was generously sponsored by O’Neills Caravans meant that
all the proceeds and donations received would be used by Ballymoney Rotary Club to
support its numerous charities.
Business Breakfast - May 2018
Dragons were reported on the River Bann on Saturday 8th September 2018 or rather
dragon boats as Ballymoney Rotary Club held its second annual Dragon Boats event.
Television cameras were even there to record the reappearance of the dragons. BBC
NI were there to record the participation of the Moycraig Young Farmers team as part
of the BBC Home Ground rural affairs series.
Ballymoney Rotary Club Annual Dragon Boat Event
On what was a very successful day seventeen teams competed leading up to a successful
final between the Roseyard Rockets and the Finvoy Young Farmers with Finvoy securing
The Rotary Club flower display at Meetinghouse Street, Ballymoney is looking well
After the event Ballymoney Rotary Club were pleased to report that similar to last
year all the teams participating had raised over £5000 for a variety of charities.
Ballymoney Rotary Club is indebted to the many sponsors who ensured the success of
the Dragon Boat event. These include Knockanboy Vets, Riada Vets, Bayview Hotel,
John Steele Farm Supplies, Chestnutt Mills, DJM Robinson & Sons, O’Neill’s Caravan
Sales and Distributors, Old Market Vans, Manor Architects, John W Pinkerton & Sons
Solicitors, Greer Hamilton & Gailey Solicitors, Sam Moore, Indigo Jewellers, McAfee
Properties, Dervock Community Group, Ballymoney Kyoujin BJJ, La Petite Baguette,
Causeway Coast & Glens Council, Culbertson Music Coleraine, Bryson Lagan Sports
and BBC Home Ground – Below the Radar.
In addition to the above teams, also taking part in the event were Ballymoney Inner
Wheel, the Samaritans, Christians Against Poverty, The Bravehearts, Ballymoney Kyoujin
BJJ, Mossiders, Ballycastle Buccaneers, Kilraughts Young Farmers, Limavady Grammar,
Payescape, JKC, John Laverty Opticians, Forge PT and Ballymoney Rotary Club. There
was a wide variety of ages and backgrounds but everyone had one thing it common,
they all had fun raising money for good causes.
Photo: Preparing for the event
Rotary International funding of over US$1.2 billion means that Poliomyelitis may
soon become only the second disease ever to be totally eradicated following a worldwide
vaccination campaign, smallpox being the only other fully eradicated disease.
In UK and Europe we take for granted the childhood Polio vaccination drops given
to protect our children and general population. There are still many people in our
communities who suffer from continuing lifelong disabilities due to Polio illness
contracted mainly before the development of Polio vaccination in the late 1950’s.
In 1916 a single outbreak of Polio in New York City resulted in over 2,000 deaths.
Rotary International commenced funding a worldwide vaccination programme in 1979.
30 years ago there were still 350,000 cases of Polio reported in 125 countries worldwide.
PRESENTLY there have been only 20 CASES of Polio infection reported last year in
ONLY 3 COUNTRIES. This massive reduction has been due to the Global Polio Eradication
Campaign sponsored by Rotary Clubs worldwide and assisted by the World Health Organisation.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made a major contribution to funding by
promising to donate £2 for every £1 raised by our Clubs.
Ballymoney Rotary Club has made it one of their main targets this year to support
the END POLIO NOW campaign. We wish to thank all those members of the public who
have supported our fundraising projects so far this year.
BALLYMONEY ROTARY CLUB MARKS WORLD POLIO DAY 24TH OCTOBER 2018
Ballymoney Rotary Club recently held the local heat of this year’s annual Youth Leadership
Development Competition. This competition rewards young people with clear leadership
potential demonstrated by their extra-curricular activities and interview skills.
Following an interview process locally, winners go through to regional heats and
the final 24 successful students meet with local politicians and business leaders
and travel to Dublin for further meetings with leaders before travelling to the European
Parliament in Strasbourg to debate a variety of motions at Euroscola.
As always the standard was very high. The winner of this year’s local heat is Mark
Crawford from Dalriada School and the runner up Lucy Mitchell from Ballymoney High
School. Mark now goes through to the regional heat taking place in Coleraine later
Ballymoney Rotary Club Youth Leadership Development Competition
Ballymoney winner Mark Crawford with John Flynn, President Rotary Club of Ballymoney
John Flynn, President Ballymoney Rotary Club, Audrey Shields, President of Ballymoney
Inner Wheel, competition winner Mark Crawford, Nicola Johnston (Dalriada School),
Lucy Mitchell (runner up) and Richard Hargy, Ballymoney High School.
David McKeown of Ballymoney Rotary Club Presents a £500 Rotary Club cheque on behalf
of the club to Gareth Barton, one of the transatlantic rowers who completed the arduous
Talisker Atlantic Challenge.
In the Home to Portrush boat, 7 metres long and just under 2 metres wide, the four
man team was the only Northern Ireland team to enter and complete the world’s toughest
rowing race and completed it in a world record equalling time of 31 days, 8 hours
and 57 minutes.
Rotary club members were delighted to be able to boost the funds helping the rowers
raise in excess of £30,000 to assist the RNLI, Willie’s Orphan Fund and Row for Ross.
Ballymoney Rotary Club boosts funds for to Home to Portrush charities
Ballymoney Rotary Club held a successful charity breakfast in St. Patrick’s Parish
Centre on Thursday 7th March. Folllowing the event, Ballymoney Rotary and Inner
Wheel Clubs presented John Nicholl with a donation of £2,200. This donation is targeted
towards helping John and his family buy a specialised Braille computer costing over
£5,000 and required by John to aid communications with friends and family.
Ballymoney Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs recognise the outstanding achievements by
John who serves as an ambassador for N Ireland not only in archery but also as a
mentor to others who suffer from severely impaired hearing and visual disabilities.
The above photograph was taken with a group of local cyclists who have supported
John for several years and accompany John on a tandem bicycle ride every week around
the Causeway triangle.
John Nicholl suffers from a condition causing him total deafness and severe blindness.
In the past he communicated using sign language but due to progressive severe visual
impairment he communicates now only by touch sign language known only to a few people.
Charity Breakfast 2019
John is the first Ballymoney person to represent Northern Ireland as a Deaf / Blind
Archer at the British Championships 2 years ago where he finished as runner up and
last weekend won silver medal at the British Visually Impaired Championships in Shropshire
where he set a new British record. He is now recognised to be the only Deaf / Blind
Archer in Europe and possibly the world and will compete for Team GB in Blind Archery
Category at the World Para Archery Championships in Holland in June this year. John
competes with the support of a team including an interpreter and 2 coaches from Causeway
Archers. His family have undertaken extensive fundraising activities to help fund
John’s archery competitions including coffee mornings, table quizzes, and car boot
sales. He and his family would value any support for any of these ongoing fundraising
Enjoying the Charity Breakfast
Rotary President John Flynn congratulates Ernest Bustard from Flash Outside Catering
for a job well done
Left to right: Campbell Nicholl, Dr Robert Burns, Robin Taggart, John Nicholl, Dr
John Flynn (President Ballymoney Rotary Club),Sarah Browne (Inner Wheel Club), Audrey
Shields (President Inner Wheel Ballymoney), Peter Scott, Michael Fleming (Vice-President
Ballymoney Rotary Club), David McKeown (Cyclist and Rotarian)
Left to right: Peter Scott, Dr John Flynn (President Ballymoney Rotary Club), John
Nicholl and Robin Taggart
BALLYMONEY ROTARY CLUB – JUST ONE LIFE EVENT 27 MARCH 2019
Ballymoney Rotary Club sponsored their annual ‘Just One Life’ road safety event at
Dalriada School on Wednesday 27th March. The Club wishes to thank Dalriada School,
their Head Teacher and staff for hosting this event again this year. Over 300 pupils
aged 16 years from all 3 Ballymoney secondary schools attended: Ballymoney High School,
Our Lady of Lourdes School and Dalriada School. This group of pupils will soon have
the opportunity of being new car drivers in the near future.
The main part of the event centred on an outdoor demonstration by all 3 Emergency
Services and a Consultant Dr in Emergency Medicine who all demonstrated the rescue
and emergency care of a mock accident involving 2 vehicles. Pupils from each school
acted out the parts of a car driver driving dangerously and several accident victims,
one of whom sustained serious life changing injuries as they had been a rear seat
passenger not wearing a seat belt.
Ms Brenda Chivers, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, then addressed all
the pupils in the assembly hall and challenged the pupils to pay serious attention
to road safety during their driving careers.
A short drama was then performed by members of the Rotary Club and a PSNI Officer
which portrayed the legal proceedings and serious outcomes of a driver charged with
Also on display were 55 pairs of shoes representing the 55 victims of road traffic
accidents in 2018 who had died. The PSNI Traffic Branch Officer also pointed out
that 14 people had already been killed on our roads this year from start of January
2019 compared to 9 deaths during the same period last year.
Several questions posed by representatives from all 3 schools were answered by a
panel representing all 3 Emergency Services and the Consultant Dr in Emergency Medicine.
All in attendance including pupils and staff were obviously challenged by the joint
experiences of Emergency Staff dealing with past serious accident situations and
paid attention to the various advices given for ensuring safety for vehicle occupants
and pedestrians on our roads.
Ballymoney Rotary Club would like to thank all the pupils for attending and taking
part, the Staff of each school for their organisation, Mayor Brenda Chivers of Causeway
Coast and Glens Council, and all the representatives of the PSNI Traffic Branch,
NI Ambulance Service, NI Fire and Rescue Service and Emergency Doctor who gave their
valuable time and expert advice.
Congratulations to ‘Black Santa’ Liam Beckett who raised £12,500 during the week
of 18th to 22nd December 2018. Ballymoney Rotary Club members were pleased to support
him during his sit out and many personal messages were left for the Tree of Remembrance
by those coming to support Liam.
In his first official act, incoming President of Ballymoney Rotary Club Michael Fleming
presented the Jack Pinkerton Endeavour Award to Rosemary and Sean Cochrane, in recognition
of their outstanding contribution to the community. Over the last seven years the
annual country and western concert they organise has raised £115,000 for local charities.
The eight annual concert will be on Tuesday 17th September in Dunloy.