The Thomas F. Rohan Award recipient shall be a long standing member of this Association who has made significant contributions to the overall success of the Parade and/or our Association. In 1957, the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke established an award to honor the first Grand Marshal Thomas F. Rohan
Barbara LaFlamme joined the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee sixteen years ago. Since then she has graced us with her presence on numerous committees throughout the years. Although this is her first award, she has proven herself worthy of it in many ways.
Barbara’s resume consists of serving on the Golf Tournament, Colleen Pageant, Coronation Ball, Love-in, Pub Crawl, Road Race, Bishop’s Mass and the 60th Anniversary committees. However, it doesn’t end there. She has also chaired the Oldest Hibernian and co-chaired the Citizenship (now called Awards Night) committees.
She took her role as a member to a higher level by becoming a member of the Board of Directors. Barbara is currently our Sergeant at Arms.
Barbara’s husband was the late Lester LaFlamme. They have five children: Jay Wohlers, Lisa Basak, Fred Wohlers, Kelli Wohlers and Kristen LaFlamme. In addition, there are eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is the sister of Daniel and Alan Fletcher and the daughter of the late Margaret O’Leary Fletcher.
You might recognize her friendly face and huge smile if you were a patron of Luchini’s or are currently a customer of the Lincoln Street Stop and Shop floral department. Barbara is also a Communicant of Our Lady of the Cross Parish, where she was a CCD teacher. A life-long resident of Holyoke, Barbara was educated in Holyoke Public Schools.
Barbara’s lineage runs deep and strong: her family roots hail from Belfast and County Kerry. Her cousin, Edward Sheehy was the Parade Marshal in 1978, and her grandmother, Mary O’Leary, was the recipient of the Oldest Hibernian Award.
Barbara enjoys traveling and has been to Ireland twice in the past five years to trace her family’s roots. She was able to visit with her relatives while there and see where her grandfather grew up in County Kerry. Now her travels will include marching through the streets of Holyoke on Parade Day.
Barbara’s dedication to our Committee has earned her this prestigious award. Upon hearing her named called, she said “I love this Committee.” And it IS as simple as that.
Congratulations to Barbara LaFlamme, the little lady with a lot of love!