Randy Holwell of Cartwright has found a unique way to pay tribute to his mother’s memory while honouring all moms in his community.
Holwell came up with the idea of buying a Mother’s Day rose for some mothers about six years ago. At that time, he gave the flowers to some relatives and friends.
“It escalated from there,” he said when recently contacted by phone.
Holwell bought 14 dozen roses (168 roses) this year. The Northern Store in Cartwright bought them in at his request.
On Mother’s Day he gave a rose to every mother in Cartwright. Some also found their way to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Quite a feat because Holwell doesn’t own a vehicle. Early into his project, he would walk around the community delivering his roses. Relatives also helped with transportation, he said.
Last year a neighbour let him borrow a wagon to make his special deliveries.
“This year I had my own wheels. My boss loaned me his four-wheeler. That was awesome. I didn’t have to bother nobody. I could just go and do my own thing,” he said.
Holwell said he’s worked all his life, whenever there was work available.
“I never ever quit a job. I never ever got fired. The man I’m working for now is the best boss I ever had. He’s so patient with me, too,” Holwell said.
When his unemployment ran out earlier this year, Holwell worried about whether or not he’d have money to buy the roses in May.
He was delighted to get called back to a job at Gateway Convenience, he said, as it meant his problem would be solved.
“I think the Lord works in mysterious ways... I figured He made a way for me to get some (money),” he said.
Cartwright Mayor Dwight Lethbridge, who employs Holwell at his store, said mothers really look forward to Holwell’s annual visit.
“Moms appreciate it so much because they all know he is a man with tight finances. But, this is just something he has to do, no matter the cost and difficulty of getting 14-15 dozen roses fresh and delivered in Cartwright,” Lethbridge said when contacted via social media.
Lethbridge said Holwell has an “admiration for mothers” and that “the gesture really comes straight from the heart.”
“It means a lot to our town... every town needs a Randy,” Lethbridge said.
Judy Morris summed up on Facebook the feelings many moms in Cartwright likely felt on Mother’s Day.
“Thank you Randy for making so many moms feel special,” she said.
Holwell never looks for thanks. The expressions on the mothers’ faces when they answer his knock on their door is thanks enough, he said.
“It’s really overwhelming.”
Holwell hopes to expand his project next year into another community.
He is never stuck with any roses that might be left over. He has a special place for them, he said.
“I usually goes down and puts them on Mom’s (Pearl Holwell) grave.”