A FORMER journalist, broadcaster and reporter based in Prestatyn has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 New Year’s honours list.

Michael McEvoy, 87, has been appointed an OBE for his services to the community in North Wales.

He also served as a member, vice-chairman and chairman of trustees at the Dolanog residential care home, a registered charity in Rhyl, for more than 35 years and counting.

As a second generation Rotarian, following in his late father’s footsteps, he has served as a member and officer of the Rotary Club of Rhyl for 43 consecutive years.

It was through his work at the Rotary Club that led to him receiving the Paul Harris Award – the highest honour Rotary can bestow – from the President of Rotary International of Great Britain and Ireland.

Rhyl Journal: Michael McEvoy, circa 1967. Photo permission granted by Jonathan McEvoyMichael McEvoy, circa 1967. Photo permission granted by Jonathan McEvoy

Michael, who lives in Prestatyn with wife Barbara, said: “I am, of course, both pleased and honoured to be appointed an OBE – an unexpected upgrade to the MBE I received in the 2008 New Year honours.

“I have no hesitation in again dedicating this award to my family, especially my wife Barbara, son Jonathan and daughter Rebecca, without whose unwavering support and unflagging affection, I could never have experienced the fulfilling life I have had.

“To the many colleagues, friends and acquaintances with whom I have been associated across Wales over the decades, my thanks to you all.”

Michael, whose late sister, Audrey, worked at the Journal as the first female journalist in North Wales, began his journalism career at North Wales Press Agency in Prestatyn, where he first started as a 10-shillings-a-week junior trainee reporter.

He was later regularly seen and heard on BBC and HTV (now ITV Wales and West) television and radio in the late 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, including four appearances on ‘News at Ten’.

Michael is also the longest-serving chorister at St Thomas’s Church, Rhyl, having clocked more than 76 consecutive years so far, as well as spending nearly 30 years as a Sunday School teacher.

He was chairman of both Rhyl and West Flintshire Young Conservatives, and spent 23 years representing Rhyl South East ward on Rhuddlan Borough Council.

During that time, he became long-serving chairman of the planning committee, and first chairman of the new Rhyl Pavilion theatre.

Jonathan McEvoy, Michael’s son and Daily Mail sportswriter, added: “I grew up to the sound of my father’s typewriter clattering away as I tried to sleep, and remember, as a young boy, squeezing into phone boxes with him as he reversed the charges and phoned in his copy.

“But while I expect most people will know my father as a hard-working freelance journalist, and one of the pioneers of television who took the medium from its black-and-white infancy into the colour age, his life runs much wider and deeper.

“He held prominent roles in politics, sport and the arts across more than half a century of public service, almost entirely unpaid.

“As much as anything, he takes delight in having been a chorister at St Thomas’ Church in Rhyl for more than 70 years, making him the church’s most-enduring choir member ever.

“He remains active into his 80s and is helping to steer the charity-registered Dolanog residential home at Rhyl through COVID’s choppy waters as chairman of the trustees, a post he has held for more than 30 years.”

A lifelong sport lover, Michael played cricket for both Rhyl and Prestatyn and assisted the 'Scribes' team to numerous trophy successes in the Rhyl & District Evening Cricket League.

Michael was also a keen tennis player, he served on the North Wales LTA executive, and was a recipient of the DP Thomas award for outstanding service to tennis in North Wales.

But his most notable sporting success was as a multiple table tennis champion; a holder of countless titles at both junior and senior levels in the Rhyl League and across North Wales, he was the first Wales area junior winner of the inaugural Daily Mirror national competition.  

James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd and a family friend of the McEvoys, also congratulated Michael on his "very well-deserved" OBE.

Dr Davies said: "I have known Michael for a long time and his OBE is very well-deserved. 

"His commitment and devotion to so many worthy causes over the last several decades is quite remarkable – and it is still ongoing today."