Notes on all meetings in 2005Go... Back (2004)... Last Six Meetings (most recent first)... Forward (2006)
Lunchtime Meeting on 5th January 2005
Club President Bill Low was on hand to greet 36 members for the Rotary Club of Cupar's first meeting of 2005. Past President Graham Bowen was on fellowship and welcome visitors were Honorary Member Charlie Todd and Oliver Will, President, Rotary Club of Howe of Fife. The day had previously been designated as one on which a frugal lunch would be served, allowing part of the normal lunch contribution to be sent towards a good cause. There was no speaker arranged and this permitted Secretary Grant McLeish to update those present on steps being taken by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland to alleviate the suffering and distress caused by the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It was noted that an immediate response had been possible in despatching Rotary Shelter Boxes and Aqua Boxes from storage, and Saturday 8th January had been designated a day on which public collections would be made by Rotary throughout Great Britain and Ireland. A Club discussion took place on the additional resources which could be made available through Rotary channels and funding was agreed from Club and personal sources.
Lunchtime Meeting on 12th January 2005
|Rotarian Elaine Colliar|
President Elect Donald Cameron was in the chair for the Rotary Club of Cupar's weekly lunchtime meeting on Wednesday 12th January attended by 35 members. Fellowship responsibility was in the hands of Past President Gavin J. Reekie. An announcement was made concerning the outcome of the joint street collection with the Howe of Fife Rotary Club on behalf of Rotary's Tsunami appeal. Almost £2000 was raised on the day and the citizens of Cupar who were so generous in their support are due a big thank you. The meeting also learned that up to 8th January, 250 shelter boxes were being despatched from Rotary under United Nations control to Banda Aceh for distribution by Rotarians. A further 1000 will follow in a matter of weeks. After lunch, the speaker was Club member, Elaine Colliar who chose to enlighten the Club about her work.
She is a five times world champion in Mind mapping, a former Mind Sports Olympiad Champion and continues to host seminars in mind mapping, memory and mental literacy. Trained by the Buzan Centre, she introduces these techniques both to the corporate sector and to the educationally disenfranchised. Having returned to the Cupar area from London and reassessing her life/work balance she got involved in setting up "InvestNshare", a company that offers a new approach to learning trading strategies in the Stock Market. Through an investment club structure, the company sets about jargon-busting about investment and provides training. The number of clubs in Fife and Tayside has now grown to 27. She has also co-written two books, "A Mind to Business" and "The Student's Guide to Success". The Club's appreciation of Elaine's talk was expressed in Gavin Reekie's vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 19th January 2005
|Rotarian Ian Copland|
The Rotary Club of Cupar held their annual Burns Lunch. President Bill Low welcomed a company of 34 Members and 4 guests. Past President Sandy Mitchell delivered the Selkirk Grace, Ian Cuthill piped in the haggis and Honorary member, Charlie Todd addressed the haggis with his usual style. In proposing the Immortal Memory, Past President Ian Copland pointed out that Burns's life mirrored the turbulent times he lived in. Burn's international appeal rested not just on his Scottishness and the beauty and simple truth of his language, but really on his common humanity, his humanitarian concern for the oppressed and poor. It is the quality which has always elicited a deep response in the Rotary movement. Robert Burns was the favourite poet of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International. Harris visited Ayr and Burn's birthplace in 1928. Ian also recalled the inspiration that Burns provided to Tom Sutherland, the Beirut hostage who endured 6 years of confinement by remembering and reciting favourite poems from his youth. Sandy Mitchell gave the vote of thanks, suitably in verse. Under Club Business, Secretary Grant McLeish announced that to date, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland had donated £5 million to the Tsunami appeal, of which more than £1 million of aid was delivered to survivors within 14 days of the disaster through the good offices of Rotary colleagues in the affected areas. This aid included 3168 Aquaboxes, 1159 Shelterboxes and 75 Emergency Boxes providing shelter and clean water for 20,000 people. The company concluded proceedings by singing " Auld Lang Syne "
Lunchtime Meeting on 26th January 2005
|Rotarian Cliff Strong|
Thirty two Members of the Rotary Club of Cupar assembled for their weekly meeting on Wednesday, 26th January with club President Bill Low in the chair. Rotarian Bob Buglass was in charge of fellowship and the speaker after lunch was Club member Cliff Strong, recently returned from a winter break in Madeira. The visit to Madeira was Cliff's first visit to this popular holiday destination and he informed his audience about his impressions of the Island.
Given the size of Madeira, some 36 x 20 miles, it crams a lot of interest for the visitor into such a small space. The rugged coastline, amazing landscapes, high volcanic peaks, enchanting gardens and historic capital of Funchal combine to provide interest for those who do not want to spend all their time on the beach. The base for the holiday was close to the small village of Ponta Delgado in the North of the island. This location would at one time have been quite remote from other parts of Madeira, but recent investment in transport infrastructure including roads and tunnels has reduced travel times, allowed new housing developments and encouraged commuting within the island.
In its day, Maderia had famous sugar plantations with intriguing use of terraces and irrigation. Also of interest, of course was the Madeira Wine industry, which depended greatly on British taste for Madeira wine to develop and grow. Cliff also remarked on how friendly the citizens were towards visitors and thoroughly recommended Madeira to those who had not experienced it.
The Club's formal thanks were given by Bob Buglass.
Lunchtime Meeting on 2nd Feb 2005
Club Business was the theme of the weekly Rotary Club meeting when Club President, Bill Low welcomed 35 Members and visitor Sandy Green from the Howe of Fife Rotary Club on Wednesday, 2nd February. Fellowship was in the hands of Rotarian George Illingworth. Club Treasurer Bruce McHardy updated the Club on the contributions generated for the Tsunami Appeal and other Club Funds. President Elect Donald Cameron introduced reports from Club Service Committees and intimated that dates for two fund-raising events had been fixed, the Club Golf day on 5th May and a Sponsored cycle day on Sunday, 15th May. The Community Service report dealt with the Club centenary project at Kilmaron School and progress with the environmental project at Tarvit Pond. The Youth and Vocational Committee report confirmed that the annual Primary School Quiz would be on 17th March and it was likely that the Zone final for Fife Schools would also be hosted by the Club on 16th April. Arrangements were being progressed for a visit to the Byre Theatre. The International Committee report dealt with what had been achieved with collections of books and tools for developing countries and plans for a fund-raising lecture on the evening of Good Friday. The Club also approved the appointment of Rotarian Vince Fusaro as Junior Vice President from July 2005.
Lunchtime Meeting on 9th Feb 2005
|Capt. George Barrie spoke about the whaling industry|
Thirty Six Rotary Club Members were welcomed by Club President Bill Low, with Rotarian Jim Robertson on Fellowship duty. The speaker, George Barrie was introduced by Rotarian Dereck Thomson.
George, who had spent 45 years as a seaman, first went to sea during the Second World War but it was about his time in the whaling industry that he chose to give his talk, illustrated by a series of slides taken during a whaling expedition. He provided background on the conditions endured in the Southern Ocean, the technical aspects of the vessels used, the logistics of resupplying the fleet and the catching and processing of the catch. He emphasised that the illustrations he was using were taken during an exceptionally good season with good open weather that resulted in a record catch. In a good season, 200-230 whales might be caught, resulting in 173,000 barrels of whale oil. The main factory ship had a group of 12 or 13 catching vessels scouting for and catching whales, with spotters spending time in the 'Crow's Nest' up the mast in difficult rolling seas. Helicopters were also used in the fleet, as illustrated by the landing pads incorporated on some vessels. The type of harpoon gun, the skill of the leading catchers targeting the whales were important, as were the strength of lines needed to secure the catch. All catches were marked with the number of the boat which had caught the whale. The shortage of cooking oil after World War Two created a huge demand for the output from the whaling industry, with four different grades being acquired from various parts of the whale. Of course, other by products were also important at times, including the use of whalebone in ladies' corsets. The Club's appreciation for George's talk was given in the vote of thanks by Jim Robertson.
Lunchtime Meeting on 16th Feb 2005
|Rotary Scholar Lindsay Moore described her home-town, Stoneville, North Carolina|
Club President Bill Low welcomed 34 members and visiting Rotarian George Donaldson, from St Andrews Kilrymont Rotary Club to the Club meeting on 16th February. The guest speaker, introduced by Rotarian Graham Findlay was Lindsay Moore, Rotary Foundation Scholar, who is studying art history at St Andrews University.
Lindsay is sponsored by her local Rotary Club in North Carolina through the Rotary International Foundation. She explained that her home town was Stoneville, North Carolina and showed slides of area to illustrate the historic nature of the community and the natural beauty of her State. The area around the town of Stoneville was settled in the early 1800s and the present community developed around the general store owned by Thomas and Pinkney Stone, hence the origin of the town's name. The citizens of the area are proud of their history and her own family are keen on historical preservation. Many of the old plantation houses are preserved and buildings associated with the tobacco industry are also a feature. These days, furniture and textiles are important products and population growth has been rapid due to industrial advances in the surrounding area which includes Madison. Stoneville had the misfortune to be in the path of a tornado in March 1998, causing severe damage to the central area, affecting both private and public buildings, but community spirit overcame the difficulties and a rapid rebuilding programme made good the damage. Lindsay's love of history and art was most probably influenced by her childhood visits to cultural centres with her parents and her attendance at a liberal arts college in North Carolina. The distinctive aspects and natural features of her home state of North Carolina were attractively presented and appreciated by those present. Past President Ian Copland gave the Club's formal vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 23rd Feb 2005
Lunchtime Meeting on 2nd March 2005
Thirty Members were present for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 2nd March to be welcomed by Club President Bill Low. Fellowship was in the hands of Susan Duff and the speaker, Winifred Harley was introduced by Past President Scott Blyth. Mrs Harley, a trustee and secretary of the Fife Folk Museum at Ceres spoke of how a piece of local history research which she had conducted came to be published. As a former librarian with the National Museums of Scotland, she had been delighted to have the practical task of reorganising the small library within the museum. She came across a small notebook compiled by Eric Ferris, onetime Head Gardener at Dalgairn Estate which provided much detail about the garden and a diary of a year in the life of the garden. The idea developed that this could be transcribed to produce a book with a short history of the estate. Henry Stark of Teasses was the first landowner to build a property and develop the estate and the opportunity to examine original documents associated with land provided an insight into how matters progressed from 1787. Assistance from a Family Historian added flesh to the story of the people involved. The original house and estate was actually named Bandirran after the area that Stark came from, he built the house in 1790 and died in 1796. His widow sold the house to a John Dalyell of Lingo and it later was acquired by the Playfair Hannay family. Georgian additions to the house by Dalyell included a grand external flight of steps to the main entrance, a sweeping drive and major tree planting. Regrettably, the drive was lost at the time the Dalgairn Adult Training centre was built. The name Dalgairn was given to the house at the time it was bought by William Scott, a gentleman farmer from Perthshire who bought the estate in 1850. The research for the book had brought together a range of information about the estate and the families who lived there. On publication, a celebration garden party at the house had been extremely helpful in raising funds for the Fife Folk Museum. The Club's formal vote of thanks were given by Rotarian Susan Duff.
Lunchtime Meeting on 9th March 2005
Special General Meeting: Club Council's recommendation to change to an evening meeting approved. Further ballot to be taken to determine which day of the week to meet on.
Lunchtime Meeting on 16th March 2005
|Rotary Jim Laing discussed the range of low visual aids available to those with poor sight|
Four Rotarian visitors from Anstruther who were on a "Scatter Week" joined Club President Bill Low and 29 Members of the Rotary Club of Cupar for the weekly lunchtime meeting on Wednesday 16th March. The speaker was Club Member Jim Laing, Optometrist, who provided a very helpful account of the variety and types of low vision aids available to those with sight impairment. Jim explained that the range of devices had been developed to address specific needs, and with the support of Insight (Fife Society for the Blind) and Fife Primary Health Care Trust there was a high level of expertise in matching equipment to suit individuals. Vision loss is often age related and for those who can hold them, hand magnifiers, including those with illumination, are often sufficient. The range of magnifiers also includes small portable units, suitable for price-spotting in shops, stand magnifiers, line readers( particularly suitable for directories), and sheet magnifiers which can be placed or held over documents or pages of print. Those present also had the opportunity to examine spectacle-mounted lenses which gave 20x magnification, monocular telescope lenses and middle distance spectacles suitable for viewing television. Rotarian Dereck Thomson gave the Club's formal vote of thanks to Jim for his instructive and helpful talk.
Lunchtime Meeting on 23rd March 2005
The Rotary Club of Cupar took as its theme, International Day, with overseas visitors, two Chinese students from Elmwood College and a speaker on an overseas theme, also from Elmwood College.
Club President Bill Low welcomed 36 Members and the visitors, while Past President Brian Bayne introduced the speaker, Andrew Todd. Andrew has for a number of years been visiting the Republic of Botswana, situated in Southern Africa between South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The country is democratically ruled, boasts a growing economy and stable political environment. It also has some of Africa's last great wildernesses including the Kalahari desert and Okavango Swamps. Botswana is the largest exporter of gemstone diamonds in the world as well as a large beef exporter to Europe. Botswana became an independent republic in 1966 with Sir Seretse Khama as the first President. This success story in Africa has also been used by author Alexander McCall Smith as the setting for his series of books on the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Tourism is extremely important to the economy with high quality game lodges. It was as a consultant in vocational education on behalf of the Scottish Qualifications Authority that Andrew visited Botswana. As Elmwood College had expertise in the fields of Agriculture and Forestry they were well placed to offer advice to the government of Botswana. Agriculture in Botswana is problematical because so many of the population are engaged in it.
It has been recognised that there is a need to improve husbandry and the educational infrastructure. Cattle ranching and Ostrich farming are two elements of the local agricultural industry in this very flat country in which the population is largely rural. A further problem which sadly is not unique to Botswana is the prevalence of HIV Aids as it is estimated that 50% of the population may be infected. Andrew stressed that the fictional accounts of the country are very accurate inasmuch as the prevailing atmosphere is very relaxed. He recounted that on his last visit there had been an informal encounter with the Presidential Party which just happened to be in the part of the country he was visiting. Rotarian Béla Simandi gave the formal vote of thanks to Andrew for a fascinating insight into a country which provides some hope for the African continent.
Lunchtime Meeting on 30th March 2005
|Rotary Eric Young spoke on the development of clocks|
At the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 30th March, President Bill Low introduced Club Member Eric Young as the speaker after lunch.
Eric's subject was the history of clockmaking and how it progressed through the centuries and to ensure that the meeting did not run over the allotted time, had brought along an example of a nineteenth century long case clock by John Wilkie of Cupar. Eric dealt with the origins of time keeping, from the biological clock, the use of the moon to calculate the passage of time, the calculations using a shadow stick when the sun reached its highest point with Stonehenge being a prime example from prehistoric times of how ancient man kept track of time.
Cleopatra's Needle, now sited on the Thames Embankment is another example of the use of the sun as a timekeeper from Ancient Egypt. The use of the sundial reached such a high degree of perfection that it took at least four centuries for the mechanical clock to displace it as primary timekeeper. The Romans also developed water clocks, hence the derivation of the word horologium later embraced by mechanical clock makers. Another form of timekeeping was the candle clock said to have been invented by King Alfred. His candle burned a a rate of 20 minutes an inch requiring six candles to be used every day and following this idea Easter candles with bands marking the hours have persisted to the present time. The sandglass is a relatively recent invention, dating from around the fourteenth century. Good quality sandglasses were not filled with sand but finely powdered egg shells which ran more accurately and were commonly used at sea. The Clergy also used to stand these on the pulpit in church to time the length of their sermons. Clock mechanisims were starting to be manufactured, basically striking a bell situated in churches to announce the times of services. The earliest clockmaker recorded in Cupar was James Alisone who was contracted to make clock for Magdalene Chapel in Edinburgh and maintain a clock at St Mary's in Dundee. In the 1700s, the authoritative reference books list five clockmakers working in Cupar, by which time domestic clocks were becoming well established, although it was only the wealthy who could afford them. Between 1575 and 1900, 300 clockmakers were listed as working in Fife compared to a handful today. In the later Eighteenth Century, the pocket watch became popular and eventually mass production brought prices within the reach of more people. The coming of the railways in the Nineteenth Century brought us the station clock and the necessity to synchronize time, as the time in one part of the country could be different from another before then. Examples of early pocket watches were passed around for inspection, followed by wristwatches which became popular in the early Twentieth Century. Various developments in technology saw the introduction of electronic watches, short lived timepieces such as the Bulova Accutron, quartz crystal watches and now radio controlled watches. The Young family's involvement in clockmaking commenced in 1947 when Tom Young took up an apprenticeship with his uncle Robert Kemlo in Ladybank and later completed his time with Alex Constable in Kirkcaldy. Following National Service, he commenced business in the Bonnygate in 1956, retaining the same shop front from that time, but expanding to the rear of the property to accommodate the workshop. Eric Young continues in the business as a restorer of timepieces which are family heirlooms. Rotarian David Nimmo expressed the Club's thanks to Eric for a fascinating account of the history of timekeeping which had stimulated many questions from those listening.
Lunchtime Meeting on 6th April 2005
|Tom Gilmartin spoke of his hobby - racing Global Light cars|
Following lunch Rotarian Tom Gilmartin gave club members an insight into his hobby of racing Global Light cars. As only one make of car is involved the winning of races is down to car set up and driver ability and the competitions are always closely contested. Although the local Knockhill circuit is popular with the English and Irish drivers the majority of the circuits are in England and a considerable amount of travelling is involved for Tom to compete. His team consists of himself driving, a mechanic and a technician. Pre-season the car is completely stripped, weighed and measured and many adjustments can be carried out. Wheel alignment, for instance, can be adjusted to reflect the quality of the particular circuit. The principal differences between the racing car and a family car are the quality of the steel used in manufacturing the vehicle and the large number of adjustments which can be made on the racing car. On the day the stiffest car in the race is likely to win. On a typical racing weekend one day is spent testing the car before it is scrutineered and registered. The qualifying session on a Saturday morning comprises three laps plus a fast lap. Tom passed around a number of technical tools used in the setting up of the car including an infra red laser thermometer for checking tyre temperature and a durometer for checking tyre condition. Rotarian Bill Nicol gave the vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 13th April 2005
|Rotarian Pat McInally spoke of his liking for Spain, and especially the chain of state-run hotels called Paradores|
President Elect Donald Cameron took the chair for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 13th April when 32 Members were in attendance. Following lunch, the speaker was Club Member Father Pat McInally, who chose to reveal his long standing appreciation of Spain and in particular, the Paradores. This all started back in 1966, when as an 18 year old, he travelled by boat and overland by train to join the Royal Scots College in Spain to train for the priesthood. There were no opportunities to return home for the first three years of his training, but summer breaks in Spain allowed him to travel the country and gain an appreciation of the land and its culture. It was also at this time when he came to learn about the Paradores. The basic philosophy of the Paradores was and continues to be, that of the State providing hotel accommodation in areas where it would not be profitable for private initiative to do so. The original concept was the idea of the Royal Tourist Commissioner in the 1920s who had the idea of establishing a chain of State Paradores, a project which was personally approved by King Alfonso XIII.
As tourism and travel grew in popularity, establishments were opened up at distances corresponding to a day's travel in the cars of the day. The Paradores take advantage as much as possible of ancient monuments, old hospice palaces, castles and convents or monasteries for the installation of Paradores. Thus the traveller can be pleasantly surprised by experiencing surroundings which take him or her through the history of Spain. Guests experience high standards of service in spectacular locations and are exposed to the best in regional cooking throughout Spain. There are now 90 of these establishments throughout mainland Spain and Spanish territories in North Africa and the Canary Islands. The Parador de Santiago de Compostela which is located in one of the most visited regional capitals of the world because of its importance to pilgrims is claimed to be probably the oldest hotel in the world. It originated as a Royal Hospital in 1499 to give shelter to the numerous pilgrims making their way to Santiago. Many of the popular Paradores are booked by travellers and tourists well in advance, but the chain can make bookings for the next stop on a tour. Other spectacular Paradores can be visited at locations throughout the mainland of Spain, including Cordoba, Valladolid and Ronda which has a view from the famous clifftop. Rotarian Bill Pagan gave the Club's formal vote of thanks to Father Pat's enthusiastic presentation.
Lunchtime Meeting on 20th April 2005
President Bill Low welcomed members to the meeting and, as the designated speaker was unable to attend, he, President-Elect Donald Cameron and Secretary Grant McLeish gave a resumé of their experiences and opinions arising from attending the recent RIBI Conference. A good time appeared to have been had by all with not too much in the way of administrative time wasting.
Lunchtime Meeting on 27th April 2005
Lunchtime Meeting on 4th May 2005
|Professor Ray Newton who on progress in the care of diabetics|
President Bill Low welcomed twenty seven members to the meeting. Graham Pirie introduced the speaker, Professor Ray Newton who, before retiral was head of the Dundee Diabetes Centre. Professor Newton explained the dramatic effect of the discovery of insulin in the 1920s as a treatment for diabetes but stressed that insulin was only a treatment and not a cure. Although it increased survival rates there were problems down the line. Even as late as 1978 survival rates were poor. Type 1 diabetes affects people at a young age and means regular self administered insulin injections. The latter part of the 20th century has seen a great improvement in the equipment for administering insulin such as the disposable syringe, pen injections and the insulin pump. The training of specialist nurses in the 1980s and 1990s to advise patients led to better management of their problems, especially in the control of blood pressure which is extremely important. The quality of blood testing equipment has also improved dramatically.
Professor Newton said that he felt that young people with diabetes are the real experts in the field as they are required to monitor their condition and inject on a daily basis, a regime which can be extremely wearing. A large number of people are contracting Type 2 diabetes in late life and this form causes nerve damage in parts of the body with a consequent loss of the feeling of pain which can be extremely dangerous. Smoking, obesity and lack of exercise are contributory factors to the onset of Type 2 diabetes and Professor Newton stressed the necessity for a change of lifestyle. The centre carries out mobile screening and optometry and national screening is being put into place. Professor Newton sees the future improvement of diabetes treatment lying in stem cell injection.
Rotarian Jim Honeyman gave a vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 11th May 2005
|Ann Baird spoke of her early experiences as an opera singer|
Twenty eight members attended the meeting. Rotarian Bela Simandi introduced the speaker, his wife Ann Baird, a noted opera singer. Ann related some of her early experiences in the operatic profession. She considers herself a very lucky person who was given many opportunities which she grabbed with both hands. Ann remembers how special and exciting the experience was when she first walked through the stage door to take her place in the Sadlers Wells chorus. Within the first fortnight she was given a small part which caused jealousy among the other members of the chorus. She talked about costumes and wigs which are extremely important in transforming the performer into the personality being played. She related a number of anecdotes illustrated with photographs of herself in costume. It was hard work, but also lots of fun as she fought her way up to become a principal understudy in Cinderella and on the way she also learned the basics of dance. Among others, Ann sang with Ian Wallace and Bill McCue, two extremely talented performers, and appeared more frequently in comedies than the more serious operas. Summing up, Ann stressed how fortunate she feels to have had the opportunity to pursue a career in music and emphasised that it is important for performers to put all their nervous energy into a performance out of respect for the composer who provided the material being worked with. Ann's love of her profession certainly shone through in her talk and she thoroughly deserved the applause following Dereck Thomson's vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 18th May 2005
|Cath Chorley discussed Dunfermline Carnegie Rotary Club's establishment of an Interact Club|
Club President Bill Low welcomed visiting speaker Cath Chorley and Rick Bond from the Howe of Fife Rotary Club along with members to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 18th May. Past President Brian Bayne introduced Chorley who had the distinction of being the inaugural President of the Dunfermline Carnegie Rotary Club. Her purpose in visiting the Rotarians in Cupar was to provide information on how her Club had established an Interact Club under the auspices of Rotary based at Queen Anne High School. Interact is a service club for young people aged from 14 to 18 years of age which promotes active citizenship by involving the members in community and international projects. To be viable, an Interact Club needs 12 to 20 active members signed up to meeting every two weeks to give continuity and achieve project objectives. Ideally such a club would be based at a High School, would run itself by appointing office bearers and might involve school staff. Rotary's involvement would be to liaise with the school, assist with establishing the concept and to have a presence to observe and advise at each meeting. Cath answered a number of questions on the experience of the Club at Queen Anne High and a formal vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Ken McLaren.
Lunchtime Meeting on 25th May 2005
|Rotarian Andrew Morrison spoke of his visit to Vermont|
Club President Bill Low was in the chair to welcome 28 members and 2 Rotarian visitors from Horwich in Lancashire to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 25th May. Also present was Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Lindsay Moore who is currently completing her studies at St Andrews University. Club member Andrew Morrison was the speaker following lunch, providing those present with an account of his visit to the State of Vermont in the United States. The Green Mountain State as Vermont styles itself provides ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, including bike trails. Andrew had explored one in particular in the Missisquoi Valley, which follows a former railroad line, passing through rich farmland and attractive vistas. The length of the trail is 26.4 miles and at one end starts from St Albans following a route from west to east. St Albans is known as a railroad city and is located adjacent to Lake Champlain, largest mountain lake in the United States. In the extremes of temperatures that the area experiences in winter, Andrew explained that it is possible to drive on the frozen lake and enjoy fishing through a hole in the ice. The bike that Andrew used to travel the trail was a hand made bike lent to him, useful for dealing with the long gradients, but also required care in observing the speed limits on parts of the trail. Care had to be taken as the trail ran parallel to a main route and crossed back and forth across main roads from time to time. The wildlife on this trail is abundant, including muskrat, beaver, bullfrog, Canada Geese and to help the traveller along the route, there are free guides which can be picked up at signing in points on the trail. The original rail line closed in 1984 due to a derailment and one of the slides shown featured a bridge which had decked to provide those following the trail with the experience of following the original rail route. The impression from the slides shown was of an attractive, peaceful and prosperous corner of the United States, well worth a visit by those seeking an alternative to the well worn tourist destinations. Vince Fusaro proposed the Club's formal vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 1st June 2005
|Rotarian Ian Waugh discussed his experience of National Service|
President Bill Low welcomed thirty three members to the meeting. The speaker was club member, Rotarian Ian Waugh who entertained the members with a talk of his days as a National Serviceman. His medical showed that he had flat feet but he was accepted anyway and was asked to choose the service in which he wanted to serve. His first choice was the Royal Marines but the quota for this was small he had no chance and he had no more success with the Royal Navy and the RAF. This left the Army and, being tall, he suggested the Guards. However, having mentioned in his interview a notion to study medicine, he was posted to the Royal Army Medical Corps. After nine weeks of square bashing he was sent on a sixteen week course to become an Army radiographer. At this point he suggested a posting to the Far East and in true Army style he was sent to Glasgow where in due course he advanced to the rank of sergeant and was put in charge of a mobile Army x-ray unit. For the remainder of his service he toured the various Army bases in Scotland with the unit and he found that he was not overworked. Ian carried out a reorganisation of the tours which enabled him and his squad to spend a good number of weekends at home without compromising the work of the unit. It was obvious from his talk that his National Service was an enjoyable period in his life, touring Scotland at a leisurely pace. Brian Bayne gave a vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 8th June 2005
|Liz McGinnis discussed her involvement with the National Kidney Research Fund|
Liz McGinnis, Appeals Officer from the National Kidney Research Fund was the guest speaker.
Twenty Nine members were present to hear Past President Graham Pirie introduce her, explaining that she had travelled specially from Carlisle to speak to the Club. She explained that her involvement with charitable organisations dealing with kidney disease had started following the death of a friend's child 11 years ago.
The National Kidney research fund is dedicated to improving the understanding of kidney disease, its causes, treatment and management. The organisation is involved in funding research, patient support, operating a National Kidney Helpline and undertaking a campaigning role, seeking solutions to the shortage of donated organs. Over 180,000 people in the UK suffer from kidney problems. Each year about 36,000 patients require dialysis and one of the main objectives is to improve their treatment so that conditions which can arise following transplant or dialysis are minimised. Much of the work that Liz does involves meeting patients, their families and working with volunteers. Her anecdotes concerning the lighter side of her work were appreciated by the audience. Liz reminded those present about the importance of of carrying donor cards. Over 5000 people in the UK are waiting for an organ transplant that will either save or dramatically improve their lives. There is no maximum age for some donations so healthcare professionals would decide each case on its merits.
A major fund-raising event on behalf of the National Kidney Research Fund will take place over the weekend of Friday 7th to Sunday 9th October, 2005 when supporters are being asked to register for a sponsored ascent of Ben Nevis when walkers will be taken up the mountain in groups.
Club President Bill Low gave the Club's formal vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting on 15th June 2005
This was a special meeting, Club Assembly when plans for the Rotary Year 2005-2006 were presented by the President Elect, Donald Cameron and his team.
Guest for the evening was Assistant Governor of the Fife Zone of Rotary District 1010, David Rankin of the Howe of Fife Rotary Club.
The first significant change for the club will be a change to evening meeting times for weekly meetings, commencing 6th July. Vice President Dereck Thomson presented the Club Service Committee reports with the assistance of Scott Blyth (Classification and membership) and Ian Copland (Communications).
On the Club Social Calendar, notice was given of the dates for the President's Reception, September 1st, and Dinner Dance, February 17th. Fund raising activities planned include the annual coffee morning on 13th August, a Fashion Show in November, Golf Day on 27th April, a sponsored walk in Spring and possibly a Fiddlers' Rally.
The Community Service Committee under the stewardship of Fr. Pat McInally will arrange a Stroke Awareness Day at Cupar Highland Games, provide entertainment and outings for residents of residential homes and undertake a road safety project with primary schools.
George Bett, Chairman of the Vocational and Youth Activities Committee stressed continuity in his Committee's programme which will include funding local participants in the Rotary Youth Leadership Programme, organising the Primary School Quiz and an Inter School Debate.
Andrew Morrison, International Service Chairman advised that Mercy Ships is the main Rotary International Project for the coming year. The Club will continue to collect text books and tools for overseas projects and look at the feasibility of a project involving guest workers from Eastern Europe in our area.
Bruce McHardy, Chairman of the Foundation Committee which raises funds from within the Membership for Rotary's own charity outlined his plans, including the investigation of accessing funds from Rotary International to aid local projects.
President-Elect Donald Cameron outlined how he planned to improve the flow of information from external Rotary sources into the Club and another project that would improve public awareness of Rotary and what it does.
Club President Bill Low invited David Rankin to address the meeting and comment on the proposals which he described as well planned and meeting the criteria expected by the Rotary Movement.
Lunchtime Meeting on 22nd June 2005
|Ron Campbell||Adrienne Campbell|
Club President Bill Low welcomed 26 members to the meeting. The club council had considered proposals for the disbursement of funds to local groups from the club's charity account totalling £6,500, and the proposals were agreed by the meeting.
The speakers, introduced by Rotarian Ken McLaren, were Adrienne and Ron Campbell from Markinch.
Prior to the meeting commencing, Rotarians had been invited to wear a variety of bracelets and devices strapped to their wrists. All became much clearer when Adrienne explained the benefits of the eco flow system, based upon the beneficial properties of magnets on health.
The Campbells, a former teacher and a technical author respectively, now act as independent distributors for a range of products designed to alleviate pain and other symptoms arising from arthritic conditions and many other ailments. By incorporating magnet therapy in equipment such as rugs, tendon wraps and collars, conditions in horses, dogs and cats have been improved and as Adrienne put it, animals do not lie!
In addition to the medical and veterinary products, the scientific principles have been put to work in the home and in transport. Thermoflow and motoflow use central reverse polarity to magnetically condition fuel, domestic heating boilers and domestic water systems.
President Bill Low expressed the club's thanks for an enlightening and informative presentation.
Lunchtime Meeting on 29th June 2005
Rotarian Graham Findlay was introduced as the speaker by President Bill Low, the final meeting of the current year.
Graham's topic was the Dundee Cowboys, a revealing account of the growth of Scotland's business relationship with the United States in the 19th century.
Dundee investors who had made their fortunes in the jute trade transferred much of their wealth into the uncharted territory of the Texas Panhandle when no American would consider it. The investment team was led initially by Robert Halley, a Dundonian who had won a bursary to Dundee High School as an 11-year-old and excelled at maths.
This required travel in difficult circumstances, grit and an eye for the main chance to persuade the investors to take the plunge. One of these ventures was the Matador Land and Cattle Company in Texas which comprised one and a half million acres and carried 41,438 head of cattle. The price paid for this acquisition was 1.2 million dollars, at a time when the exchange rate was much more favourable.
Astute business allowed the jute manufacturers to make a fortune in the American Civil War as they supplied both sides with their products! It was also noted that the best cattle prices were obtained in Chicago, a long way from Texas and this led to investment in railroad companies, generating further returns.
When refrigeration was developed for meat packing, the Dundee investors again seized the main chance at a time when beef imports to Britain increased 15 fold. The Matador Ranch prospered in spite of the events which the ranchers had to contend with, weather extremes, crime, land claims, water rights and disputes with the Native Indians. It survived the Depression and was eventually sold in 1951 for $19,600 million. Matador still operates as a cattle ranch and the town of Matador still demonstrates its Scottish connections through the numerous street names which bear names of Scottish origin.
Rotarian Harry Mellotte gave the club's formal vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting on 6th July 2005
Hand-over to and installation of new President Donald Cameron.
Evening Meeting on 13th July 2005
|Ruraidh McNaughton, from RNLI, presented highlights of 2004|
President Donald Cameron welcomed twenty three members, two guests and the guest speaker to the evening meeting. The speaker was Ruraidh McNaughton a member of the Scottish Council of the RNLI who showed part if the Institution's latest publicity film covering the highlights of 2004. The first of a new class of inshore boats. the Atlantic 85, was named and launched by Sophie Raynesworth. At 230HP the Atlantic 85 is the Institution's fastest seagoing craft.
Another new boat, the Tamar class has come into service with a speed of 25 knots and an endurance of 10 hours and the design of the D Class boat has been updated. However the highlight of 2004 was the opening by the Queen of the new Lifeboat College at Poole. This is a state of the art facility for crew training and has a lifeboat simulator. During the last year there have been 7000 lifeboat launches and Ruraidh was able to tell the meeting that, in the previous forty eight hours there had been 12 launches in Scotland. Being a voluntary organisation, fund raising is crucial to the Institution and last year a total of £37,000,000 was raised. This was put into perspective with the cost of a new Tamar boat being £2000,000. Three staff members alone had raised £10,000 by competing in the Polar Challenge race.
Rotarian Scott Blyth gave a vote of thanks for what was an extremely interesting and informative talk.
Evening Meeting on 20th July 2005
|Past President Ron Smith - "A Ramble Through France"|
President Elect Dereck Thomson was in the chair for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar to welcome 31 Members. Club member, Past President Ron Smith was the speaker, taking as his theme, 'A Ramble Through France'. Ron recollected that while at school, the academic side of learning about France and the French language did not appeal, he did recollect one exotic classmate who spent their summer holidays in France. Shortly after passing his driving test, continental motoring beckoned, leading to a different view of France and the French people. On these early continental breaks, the vagaries and unique aspects of French plumbing became a source of amusement. Despite these differences from home comforts, Ron grew to enjoy his trips to France as it offered variety, space to explore, a good road network which benefited residents and visitors alike. His appreciation for the architecture, scenery, good food simply cooked, wine and the people accumulated over the years to such an extent that he eventually considered acquiring a permanent base. The main criteria were that it should be in central France and no more than one day's drive from the coast. The search for a property revealed the marked differences in how the French regulate matters concerning planning and drainage. The fact that some half a million British people now own property in France show that it can be easier to secure a deal when purchasing in France. Negotiations can be done on the spot and agreed with the Notaries Fees at % of the agreed price to seal the transaction. He found that tradesmen in France give estimates efficiently, keep to the start date agreed but completion may be less predicatble. Also the quality of work is high and skills are encouraged through the apprenticeship scheme in France which starts 350,00 new tradesmen a year. The tax levied on building work is low to encourage people to use skilled tradesmen instead of the black economy. He found the people open and friendly once you are accepted, young people are polite and litter is not a problem in the area where he is based.
Rotarian Cliff Strong gave the formal vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting on 27th July 2005
|Barry Cuthbertson from Wiseman's Dairies|
President Elect Dereck Thomson chaired the meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 27th July, with two visitors, Mark McGregor and Barry Cuthbertson supplementing the attendance of 28 members. Past President Sandy Mitchell introduced Barry Cuthbertson, a member of the sales and marketing team for Wiseman's Dairies, as the speaker for the evening. His presentation gave an account of the success story behind the company. Robert Wiseman dairies was founded by the late Robert Wiseman senior in 1947 when milk deliveries were still carried out by horse and cart and glass bottles were used as containers. His first milk round in East Kilbride catered for 120 customers. Sons Alan and Robert joined the business in the 1960s and 1970s and control was handed to them on their father's 60th birthday in 1976. They gradually built up the business through a series of acquisitions in the 1970s and 1980s, forseeing the growth potential in suplying milk to corner shops and supermarkets. since the beginning of the 1980s Wiseman's have taken over 54 companies. They challenged established suppliers in Scotland and in 1988 built a purpose built dairy near Motherwell designed to cope with supplying supermarkets. Having achieved success in Scotland, the directors saw an opportunity south of the border and established a production base in the North of England. In 1994 they decided to float on the London Stock Exchange. The Manchester Dairy opened in 1995 and was operating to capacity within 4 years. A further site was identified at Droitwich south west of Birmingham and opened in 2001 after an investment of £35 million. With a capacity of 500 million litres annually, this is believed to be the largest fresh milk dairy in the world. The company now has five large dairies and thirteen depots (including Cupar) throughout Great Britain, with England accounting for 66% of sales. Over two thirds of sales are to multiple retailers. The company turnover is £500 million a year, handles a billion litres of milk, and employs 3,300 people. The distinctive branding using black and white cow markings on vehicles and packaging have become familiar throughout the country. The company continues to develop products, including the new low fat milk drink "The One" which has a 1% fat level. Through advertising campaigns such as "The White Stuff", corporate sponsorship of events such as The Great Scottish Run in September and high profile charity giving, the company name is ubiquitous.
Past President Graham Bowen in giving the Club's vote of thanks recalled that as a boy he was employed to do milk deliveries twice a day. How things have changed!
Evening Meeting on 3rd August 2005
|President-Elect Dereck Thomson - Pestalozzi Village|
Club President Donald Cameron welcomed 32 Members and two visiting Rotarians, Ann Baird from the St Andrews Club and Laurie MacTavish from Carmel, California to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar. During the course of the year, President Donald is providing time within meetings to expand the club's knowledge and understanding of the many projects which the Club supports. On this occasion, President-Elect Dereck Thomson gave a presentation on the Pestalozzi International Village. Club members have contributed directly to this good cause by making a monthly donation into a rather unusual collection receptacle, a green hippo, and the accumulated proceeds are forwarded on an annual basis. Support for the project was initiated in the Club by the late Harry Williams a former President and International Chairman of the Club. Dereck explained that the Pestalozzi International village is located at Sedlescombe in East Sussex, educating young people from low income families in developing countries. Its work is based on the principles of the Swiss philosopher and teacher Johann Pestalozzi who believed in educating the whole person, "The head, heart and hands". He and his wife took poor children first into their own home and eventually set up a small school in a castle. A Pestalozzi village was set up in East Sussex in 1957, helping children whose lives had been devastated by conflict and later including a general intake from developing countries. Now students come to the Village aged 16 and over, taking a two year International Baccalaureate which includes community service.
The Pestalozzi students work closely with local schools and community groups to help build bridges of international understanding and cooperation. These combined academic, practical and community activities help prepare the young people to play an important role in their home communities in later life. Countries currently represented in the Village are India, Nepal, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Tibetan communities in India and Nepal.
Evening Meeting on 10th August 2005
|Past President Ian Copland - "Books Abroad"|
Club President Donald Cameron welcomed one visiting Rotarian and Club members to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar when Past President Ian Copland provided a briefing about another ongoing Club Project, "Books Abroad".
Rotary International has recognised the importance of reducing illiteracy over many years and successive International Presidents of the movement, including the current incumbent, Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammer of Sweden have incorporated literacy projects in their list of preferred Club activities. As a Club, the Rotary Club of Cupar has undertaken to support a Scottish Charity, "Books Abroad" which is based at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire. Originally founded in 1982 by Keith Brunskill, a teacher at Banff Academy, the organisation has grown through voluntary effort to the extent that it now occupies a medium sized warehouse and offices and employs three part time staff. It relies principally on donations of books from schools and libraries, e. g. where sets of textbooks become surplus to needs when the curriculum changes. The Rotary Club of Cupar has created awareness of "Books Abroad" among potential donors in North Fife, collected any books offered and arranged for transport to the main depot in Rhynie. Carefully selected consignments are despatched overseas to educational establishments around the world.
In Africa, over 650 schools have benefited, while the numbers in Asia, Pacific Basin, Central America and Caribbean and Eastern Europe account for another 363. The latest estimates indicate that 188.8 tonnes ( approximately 944,850 books ) have been handled by "Books Abroad". Among the influential patrons of the organisation are Dr Brian Lang of the University of St Andrews and James Naughtie, BBC News and current affairs Presenter. While not an exhaustive list, locally, books have been donated by Castlehill Primary School, Ceres Primary School, Craigrothie, Bell Baxter High School, Elmwood College and St Leonard's School.
Further International activity by Rotary International was reported by Club International Service Chairman, Andrew Morrison. A comprehensive report on the Rotary International Great Britain and Ireland Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund was circulated to members. Up to July, £820,457.87 has been received. Early donations in the immediate aftermath of the disaster were committed to sending Emergency shelter and water facilities. Six major projects are being funded by the monies collected to date, a Sri Lanka Village Project, a Thailand Village Project, a schools project in Sri Lanka, an Indonesian Fishing project, a further fishing project in Sri lanka and a Rotary Village in India.
Being mindful of the fact that the funds were donated by the British public, projects were identified that gave value for money and were managed responsibly by responsible partners. It is a condition of all projects that regular reports are made on progress. As a final matter of business on the evening, the Club made a collection among Members supplemented by a sum from the Charity Account and agreed to send £245 to the West Africa Crisis Appeal.
Evening Meeting on 17th August 2005
|Rotarian Graham Findlay - developments in dental technology|
Thirty five Members and two guests were in attendance for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar with Club President Donald Cameron in the Chair. Speaker for the evening was Club Member Graham Findlay Findlay who chose to avoid enlightening listeners about his hobbies of collecting vintage toy buses and early postage stamps from the USA.
Instead he brought his work with him and provided an account of the developments which have taken place in the world of dental technology. As a professional working in a dental laboratory, Graham has a practical interest in the quality of the end product produced for clients and has for many years participated in representing his fellow professionals. While the production methods in creating dental prosthetics remains unchanged from what was done 100 years ago, the materials and equipment have changed out of all recognition. The advantages for the patient are that accuracy is achieved to a greater degree, the choice of materials has advanced significantly, the working methods to obtain the correct length of teeth are far more dependable than was the case thirty years ago. Graham illustrated his presentation by showing samples of the stages that creating a denture goes through from impression to the finished product. Rotarian Ian Donaldson proposed the Club's vote of thanks.
Club members received a report on the outcome of the Coffee Morning held the previous Saturday and it was anticipated that the final proceeds would be of the order of £1500.
Evening Meeting on 24th August 2005
|Past District Governor Iain McDonald - Foundation|
At the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar, President Donald Cameron welcomed 39 Members and 2 guests. Iain Macdonald from Forres, Rotary District Foundation Chairman had come to address the Club on Foundation, which is Rotary International's Charity. Rotarian George Illingworth was on fellowship duty. Rotary Foundation is the largest charity in the world.Its projects are selected by Rotarians, and it is financed and administered by Rotarians. Its massive resources have helped to virtually eliminate polio from the world, and Foundation has joined the battle to provide clean water, where possible, and fight Aids. Rotarians were humbled by the public response to our Tsunami Appeal and Foundation have ensured the huge amounts collected have quickly been put to good practical use in the countries affected.
In response to Members of Rotary, Foundation is also granting more money, more quickly for deserving causes locally in the form of District Designated Funds and District Simplified Grants. The Rotary Credit Card contributes to Foundation and, in the Scotland North area of Rotary, the Fellowship Malt Whisky and the Rotary Rose both support Foundation. Mr Macdonald concluded by congratulating the Rotary Club of Cupar on its history of firm support for Foundation over 70 years. Rotarian Bruce McHardy, chairman of the Cupar Club's Foundation Committee congratulated Iain Macdonald on his presentation and commitment in travelling from Forres specifically to speak to the Club. Bruce concluded by detailing how this session the Rotary Club of Cupar intended increasing its contribution to Foundation.
Evening Meeting on 31st August 2005
|Rotarian Euan Barbour - a trip with air cadets to the Normandy Beaches|
Donald Cameron, Club President welcomed one guest, Bill McSeveney, and 31 members to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar. Rotarian George Bett was responsible for fellowship. Club member, Euan Barbour was the speaker for the evening and related his experiences in taking a party of 25 air cadets during the summer to the battlefield sites at the Normandy beaches between Sword and Utah beaches, the allied cemeteries where the fallen were laid to rest and most specifically, the highlight of the visit which was the Pegasus Bridge. Pegasus Bridge was the objective of the 6th (Airborne) Division's attack on the night of 5th/6th June 1944. Three gliders were dropped within yards of the target with great accuracy and bravery, as the Horsa Gliders were designed for only one trip. Inside were men from the Oxs and Bucks Light Infantry under the command of the daring Major John Howard. In what was described as some of the best flying of the war, the gliders were placed in close proximity to the Pegasus Bridge and an advance party stormed the defences. Such was the element of surprise that the objective was secured in a very short skirmish. The Gondree Cafe which remains in business to this day was liberated and used as a first aid post and has become a focal point for visitors.
Euan's party of cadets explored the site of the glider landings, saw the plaques which commemorate the liberation of the area and gained a much clearer understanding of the situation which had faced the troops who would have been only a matter of a few years older than they were. Of particular interest was a model of the Horsa Gliders displayed at the meeting which had been created by a member of the ATC, inspired by his visit to Normandy. George Bett gave the Club's formal vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting on 14th September 2005
Twenty Six Members attended, with Rotarian Alastair Clark responsible for fellowship.
In the absence of a speaker, Club President Donald Cameron had time to bring Members up to date on aspects of Rotary Business. The previous week he had attended the Rotary District Council meeting in Inverness along with President-Elect Dereck Thomson and reported on a number of developments. Club International Service Chairman Andrew Morrison provided background on the steps which were being taken by Rotarians in the United States to assist those adversely affected in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The need to provide shelter and clean drinking water has depleted the supply of shelter boxes and aqua-boxes held to deal with such emergencies and Clubs thinking of providing assistance were being encouraged to make contributions towards these specific good causes. Activity in the new Rotary Camera Club was reported by Past President Sandy Mitchell. At the inaugural meeting there was discussion on projects for the future, tips from more experienced members and judgement took place on the worst prints submitted by those present as examples of how not to use a camera! The "winner" of this competition's name has been withheld!
There was also a reminder that the Club would be fund-raising at a special fashion show to be held at the Corn exchange on 27th October.
Evening Meeting on 21st September 2005
|Rotarian Hilda Scott - the family business|
An attendance of 30 saw the welcome to the Club of a new Member, Bill McSeveney. Bill, who will have Education as his Club Classification, was introduced by Past President Scott Blyth and formally inducted by President Donald Cameron.
The speaker after the meal was Club Member Hilda Scott. Her subject was a look at the history and development of Scott's Ladieswear from 1907 to the present day.
The shop was established on the 22nd March 1907 by James Arthur Scott who had been born into a textile family from Dunshalt. After completing his education he spent time in Glasgow training in the drapery business and later took up a position in Fairfield's Stores in Cupar before venturing out on his own at 74 Bonnygate. This makes Scotts the longest running retail business in the town which is still in the same family.
In the early days, a drapery business covered all needs from the cradle to the grave, including shrouds! In addition to shop assistants, the company employed a tailor, milliner and message boy. The tailor and milliner were situated at 90 Bonnygate where they would create the latest fashions of the day.
The shop accounts from its opening day of business are still in existence. These provide a fascinating picture of how the business had fared over almost 100 years. Around 1930, James's son David Scott began his career in the shop alongside his father. An incident during the second world war caused serious damage to the shop. Polish soldiers were billeted in the Masonic Hall above the shop and in January 1941 a fire broke out causing extensive damage to the shop and its stock. Hilda remarked that the fire sale which followed was still recalled by one customer who remembered her mother acquiring bed linen.
Sadly, the founder of the business, James became ill at work in December 1952 and died at the age of 82. David Scott on assuming control of the business made some changes, disposing of the premises at 90 Bonnygate to Young's the jewellers and carrying out internal modernisation within the shop. It was in the late 1950s that Jim Scott left school to take up a position in Draffens in Dundee where he learnt the trade of gentleman's outfitter.
1967 saw a major change in the Bonnygate when the County Council purchased two adjacent shops and demolished them to make an entry to the Bonnygate Car Park.
Following the untimely death of David in 1967, his wife May became involved in the shop and together with Jim they ran it until failing health prevented her from carrying on and she died in 1993.
Hilda's involvement began in 1991 when a phone call from May telling her that one of the assistants was retiring and agreeing to go in and help out until a suitable replacement was found. That was nearly 15 years ago!
During the time she spent in the shop, Hilda listened to the customers, realising what the shop once was and what it could be again. By concentrating on a niche market, providing day wear for the 40-plus age group, Hilda felt that there was an opportunity to revitalise the business. This became a reality in 1995 when plans to close the shop were turned around after an injection of finance and stock, avoiding the temptation to become trendy and holding on to the shop's traditions.
One tradition that had to give way was the supply of menswear. The shop still offers an approval service, sending out stock on this basis every week. Another tradition that is sustained is the handwriting of all shop accounts and cash book in fountain pen.
The forthcoming fashion show which the shop is arranging to assist Rotary good causes on 27th October will be a new challenge but it is a measure of the business that it is still moving on after nearly 100 years.
The Club's formal vote of thanks was proposed by Past President Donald Heggie.
Evening Meeting on 28th September 2005
Club President Donald Cameron conducted a Club Business Meeting, with Past President Bruce Rollo responsible for fellowship.
Reports of Club Service Committees activities were led by President-Elect Dereck Thomson.
The Ways and Means Committee had achieved the target set for fund-raising at the Coffee Morning and were now planning to raise further income with a fashion show which would be presented at the Corn Exchange on 27th October in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. Additional fund-raising activities included the distribution of a Christmas Word Quiz, the Annual Golf Day at Elmwood and a sponsored walk along the Fife Coastal Path.
Fr Pat McInally reported on his recent visit to Uganda and the links which had been established with local rotarians and water engineers to take forward the Club's Water Aid project.
Rotarian George Bett announced planned activities in the field of Vocational and Youth Activity. The annual Primary School Quiz has been scheduled for 23rd March and in co-operation with Bell Baxter High School, the Club will arrange an Inter School debate in 2006. The Club also have plans to encourage the formation of an Interact Club in co-operation with the Howe of Fife Rotary Club. The International Service Chairman Andrew Morrison obtained Club approval to support the Mercy Ships Charity and planned to have a representative from that organisation at the Club on the Club's International Day. A local project to provide a social event for overseas workers in the area was also contemplated by his committee.
Bruce McHardy, Chairman of the Foundation Committee set out his Committee's plans to raise income for Rotary Foundation and also indicated that he was investigating the options for obtaining grants from Rotary International as a contribution towards Club Projects.
Evening Meeting on 5th October 2005
|Anne Marie Holdsworth - RYLA participant||Fergus McCool - RYLA participant||Nick Mulligan - Rotary District Youth Leadership Officer|
The Rotary Club of Cupar played host to no fewer than six visiting Rotarians and two guests, when President-Elect Dereck Thomson took the chair.
The visitors were Rotarian Fr. Gerald from Uganda, the President of the Rotary Club of Horwich with Rotarians Jack Harrison and Lesley Povey from that Club, Past President Douglas Sinclair of Portlethen and District Rotary Club accompanied by Nick Mulligan who acts as Rotary District Youth Leadership Officer.
The theme of the evening was leadership as the two guests, Anne Marie Holdsworth and Fergus McCool, senior pupils at Bell Baxter High School were present to report back on their attendance at the Rotary Youth Leadership Camp at Nethybridge in July.
In both cases, they had been apprehensive and excited about attending, as the programme was a testing week of adventure activities including gorge walking, walking up the Ben McDhui, rock climbing, abseiling and canoeing. This meant overcoming long held fears, testing their personal fitness and meeting tasks and targets. Eventually they realised that joining in all these activities could also be fun and a great way of making friends.
The camp counsellors and visiting speakers from military, police and business backgrounds, all combined to give those attending a range of experience to stretch their mental and physical capabilities and also feel a sense of camaraderie in fulfilling the objectives set. Nick Mulligan, who puts the programme together for the two weeks each July, reminded the audience that this programme has been carried out successfully for 23 years, putting about 120 young people aged 16-18 through a gruelling series of tests and yet none have rebelled or been sent home for indiscipline in all that time.
Nick presented certificates to Anne Marie and Fergus to mark their achievements and it was with particular pleasure that Fergus was also presented with the Shield for the Endeavour Award, the individual who had tried hardest in his group.
Rotarian Jim Robertson proposed the vote of thanks to all concerned on behalf of the Club.
Evening Meeting on 12th October 2005
|Past President Gavin Reekie - Birdlife|
President-Elect Dereck Thomson welcomed 28 members to the weekly meeting, when he reminded them about two forthcoming events that they would be assisting with, the fund raising Fashion Show by Scott's of Cupar at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 27th October and the Tools Collection Day on Saturday 29th October on behalf of Tools for Self Reliance.
Past President Gavin Reekie Speaker Photo: Gavin Reekie was the speaker for the evening and his topic was his interest in birdlife, as a novice bird watcher.
Gavin took the view that anyone can become a bird watcher through identifying common birds on walks or in the garden. It is a simple, satisfying healthy hobby which brings the privelege of looking at the world of birds and observing their behaviour. This can progress to noting where different species perch, their type of flight and identifying them through bird calls.
The novice can start with observing bird visitors to the garden, in his own case he noted 28 species in the garden over a year. Taking a regular walk in the same area also builds up a picture of birds which use the habitat.
Locally in Fife, there are wonderful opportunities to observe migrant and visiting species at locations such as Birnie and Gaddon Lochs, Kilconquhar Loch, Kinshaldy Beach, Morton Lochs near Tayport, Largo Bay, the Eden Estuary at Guardbridge and the Outhead at West Sands, St Andrews and Vane Farm Nature Reserve. Some of these locations have bird hides from which observation can be made in a degree of comfort and the Fife Bird Club are an active group that may suit some to join and learn more about birdwatching.
Gavin then went on to describe the equipment that was desirable for his hobby, the type of binoculars and the suitability of telescopes for observing on bird reserves.
Advances in photography have made it possible to combine digital cameras with powerful telescopes to take close up views of birds with great clarity without disturbing them.
One of the great joys of birdwatching was noting the differences between birds that inhabit the same habitat.
To close his session, Gain tested the knowledge of those present by playing recordings of bird calls and asking them to identify the birds from their calls. This was achieved with a remarkable degree of success.
Rotarian Euan Barbour gave the Club's formal vote of thanks to Gavin for the insight he had given to his pastime and the obvious preparation he had put into his presentation.
Evening Meeting on 19th October 2005
|Tony Wilson - Fife Countryside Ranger Service|
President Elect Dereck Thomson had the pleasure of welcoming a large attendance. Among those attending were Honorary Club Member, the Rev Dr James Porteous, Fr. Gerald from Uganda and six visiting Rotarians from Dunfermline who were later to meet a team from Cupar in a Rotary competition.
Past President Bruce Rollo was present to introduce the speaker for the evening, Tony Wilson of the Fife Countryside Ranger Service. Tony Wilson acknowledged the co-operation and assistance that the Rotary Club of Cupar had given by acting as a fund-raising agent and providing practical help to make improvements at Tarvit Pond in Cupar. The Club hoped to have an ongoing involvement in further phases, the next stage being the upgrade of footpaths.
Tony Wilson as a Fife Countryside Ranger works across a broad area of North Fife that comprises the majority of the inland East Neuk and Howe of Fife, including Birnie Loch, Gaddon Reserve, Craighall Den and a number of smaller sites of interest.
He also spoke of his links with other nations through his involvement with the International Ranger Federation. This forum was established to exchange ideas, maintain professional standards and now has sixty countries affiliated.
Every three years the group have an International Congress and the next one will be taking place in Stirling in 2006. The week long conference will be about raising skill levels and setting up training networks. The event would also aim at raising awareness of the link between people and the natural heritage, including green tourism.
Tony remarked that it was a struggle to get delegates from developing nations and the group were trying to raise external funds to meet the costs of some of these delegates. One idea was to match Rotary Clubs with delegates from Africa to ease the cost burden.
Following Tony's presentation there was a lively question and answer session, demonstrating the keen interest the audience had in their local environment.
Rotarian David Nimmo gave the Club's formal vote of thanks.
Rotarian Harry Mellotte reported that his group of volunteers had retrieved and counted cash from the Rotary Wishing Well at the Scottish Deer Centre to the value of £319.00.
Evening Meeting on 26th October 2005
|Norman Elkins - "Watch the Weather"|
30 members and two visitors were welcomed by President Donald Cameron.
Honorary Member, the Rev. Dr.James Porteous was present, also Hilda McKinnon and Bruce Clark from the Rotary Club of St.Andrews, Kilrymont.
Past President Gavin J. Reekie introduced Norman Elkins who gave an illustrated talk entitled "Watching the weather".
Norman retired in 2001 after 42 years as an aviation meteorologist with the Met.Office. His final post before retirement was as senior forecaster at RAF Leuchars, mainly forecasting for Tornado aircraft, but also for military units throughout Scotland.
He has combined his professional expertise and hobby of birdwatching, to write a book entitled 'Weather and Bird Behaviour'. In print for 22 years, the latest edition was published in March 2004.
Norman showed, with the use of slides, various cloud formations that could be expected at different levels in our atmosphere. He pointed out that although there are now many sophisticated instruments to measure aspects of the weather, there is not an instrument to actually 'look at the clouds'. This aspect still relies on the experience of a seasoned observer.
Satellites have revolutionized the whole of forecasting, using several Geostationary types round the Equator, and Polar Orbiting types round the Poles. These visual image photos are put alongside infra-red pictures, to give a global view of developing weather patterns. Wave clouds, which are formed when the weather system hits a mountain range, and tropical storms can be clearly identified with the new technology.
Norman showed the effect of pollution and greenhouse gases on the earth's temperature, with a forecast rise of 6-8 degrees, over the next 50 years. This would mean melting of the Polar icecap and a sea level rise of 0.7 metres. He was not optimistic about reversing this trend. As a forecaster, Norman pointed out that it was still important, despite all the high-tech. equipment, to have experienced people with local knowledge, to interpret the expected weather in a specific area.
Norman ably fielded questions, before Gavin gave the formal vote of thanks.
A reminder was given by Andrew Morrison of the 'Tools for Self Reliance' collection and the President wished Hilda Scott and Graham Findlay every success with the forthcoming Fashion Show.
Evening Meeting on 2nd November 2005
|Gillian Craig - the history of the conductor in music|
Thirty two Members were in attendance, with Club President Donald Cameron in the Chair.
Rotarian Béla Simandi introduced a colleague from the University of St Andrews Music centre as the guest speaker. Gillian Craig is well known in Fife as a choral and orchestral conductor, also as a respected soloist on the clarinet.
She provided an intriguing account of what it feels like to be a conductor, communicating with musicians through facial expressions, physical expression and the use of the baton.
Gillian spoke of the origins of conducting from the ancient Greeks who clapped or tapped along to their music, the singing at services in monasteries conducted by hand, the direction of musicians from the keyboard in the time of Bach and Handel. Other methods evolved including banging a pole on the floor, but by the 1800s the interpretative solo conductor was making an appearance using different styles of baton.
She believed that humility and humour were prerequisites for being a conductor and every concert should be treated as a learning experience. With experience comes the facility for carrying the music score in your head and the ability to train silently, without musicians present.
Gillian alluded to some of the humour quoted from the great conductors and their longevity attributed to the exercise of conducting.
Rotarian Bob Buglass proposed the Club's vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting on 9th November 2005
|Rotarian Susan Duff - "From Nice Girl to Biker"|
A large company heard Rotarian Susan Duff Speaker Photo: Susan Duff give her first talk as a Club Member.
Her chosen subject was "From Nice Girl to Biker", explaining that having spent 20 years as a pillion passenger behind her husband David, she resolved on her 40th birthday to learn to ride a motor bike and have her own bike.
Susan went on to describe the Three Steps to Freedom, the three steps of the motorbike test. Compulsory basic training took up one day in Perth, incorporating slow speed control, gears, braking, signalling and manoeuvres with a strong emphasis on safety. Her theory test took place at the Dundee Test Centre along with a large crowd of teenagers, involving 35 multiple choice questions on the Highway Code and 15 film questions designed to check the rider's perception and anticipation.
The Test proper took place in Cupar. After some practical questions on bike maintenance the searching practical test examined signalling, road positioning, a compulsory emergency stop and a competent U-turn.
Susan passed and armed with her brand new licence she then attended a Harley Davidson Motor Cycle School in Wales. This she has followed through by ordering a Milwaukee, the low slung Harley Davidson specifically designed for female bikers.
Susan's witty, self deprecating talk sparked off a lively question and answer session.
In his vote of thanks, Past President Ron Smith confessed to being a mere car man, preferring the solidity of vehicle body work around him, but his admiration of Susan's achievement was shared by all present with an extended round of applause.
Evening Meeting on 16th November 2005
|District Governor Erik Simpson|
Erik Simpson, District Governor of Rotary District 1010, was accompanied by his wife Patsy.
It is the District Governor's task to visit each of the over eighty Clubs in his District at least once during his term of office to bring the themes of the Rotary International President and that of the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland to the membership.
Erik's home Club is Monifieth and District and he continues to conduct business as a computer software trainer while holding office as District Governor. Drawing upon the Rotary motto, Service above Self, the leadership of Rotary have chosen to maintain continuity of existing projects rather than embark upon new initiatives.
As the Rotary movement enters its second century of existence, Clubs should be looking to link forces with like-minded organisations to achieve their aims and also work together with neighbouring Clubs. A good example of the latter was the centenary project involving the Fife Rotary Clubs contributing to a the new inshore lifeboat at Anstruther. Clubs were being encouraged to support projects such as Mercy Ships, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Further growth in membership was a further aspiration within Rotary and there were plans to develop breakfast clubs in Inverness and Kirkcaldy in the pipeline.
Above all else, Rotary international was about building bridges of friendship and understanding, as Rotarians gladly gave of their time to help people they would never meet in places they would never visit through their organisation's contribution to programmes such as Polio Plus.
Rotarian Ken McLaren proposed the Club's vote of thanks for the comprehensive presentation which the District Governor had provided to the meeting.
Evening Meeting on 23rd November 2005
|Past President Ian Copland - Cupar 101 years ago|
President Donald Cameron welcomed 33 members and wished Rotarian Cliff Strong a happy 75th birthday.
The speaker was Past President Ian Copland, who gave a picture of Cupar 101 years ago, a period which many can relate to through their grandparents. This was the start of the Edwardian era with a fun-loving King on the throne. It was also a period of discontent in the world with the Russo/ Japanese war and Britain active in Tibet. The World fair took place in St Louis during which the first ice-cream cones were reputedly produced, and Cary Grant, Jimmy McGrory and Glen Miller were all born in 1904.
There was at this time also a great migration from Scotland to North America. There was a considerable social divide with working class housing small and cramped and sanitation facilities being shared. Rents could at that time be 3/6 per week. Ian then gave a snapshot of Cupar in 1904. The two main streets, Bonnygate and Crossgate were very much as they are now and were lit by gas. The main industry was linen manufacturing with brewing and tanning also being important. The town had three newspapers, the principal one being the Herald, Bell Baxter School was in existence and the town was the HQ of the Fifeshire Yeomanry.
The 1901 census shows the total Rateable Value of Cupar as £31,987 and a population of 6000. Reports in the Herald at the time show that not a lot changes as there were complaints of youths loafing around at the Cross. The Cupar Burns Club supper cost 3/- and morning dress was worn for the occasion. Items in the Herald show that as well as the amateur Opera, visiting entertainers, such as a Ladies' Orchestra, vocalists and a magic lantern show came to the town and Harry Lauder appeared in the Union Street hall. The St James's feeing market took place each August. Improvements to the telephone service were taking place in 1904 and new government regulations brought in the Red Flag Act and a 20mph speed limit.
George Sharp thanked Ian on behalf of the company for a fascinating insight into Cupar a century ago.
Evening Meeting on 30th November 2005
Club President Donald Cameron welcomed 30 Members to a Special General Meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday 30th November. The Club Business included the election of Office Bearers for the Rotary Year 2005-2006, to commence at 1st July 2006. The meeting approved the appointment of Dereck Thomson as incoming Club President, Vince Fusaro as President-Elect, Bill Low as Treasurer, Ian Copland as Club Secretary and Susan Duff as Assistant Secretary. The meeting also gave its support to two major charitable donations made possible by the success of the recent fashion show staged by the Club. At a future meeting, presentations of £1000 each will be made to McMillan Cancer Relief and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Evening Meeting on 7th December 2005
|Peter Crockett and Pat Mitchell - Bell Baxter Musical Exchange with a US School|
Guest speakers at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 7th December were Pat Mitchell of the Music Department and Peter Crockett, Boys' Captain of Bell Baxter High School.
Club President Donald Cameron welcomed one visiting Rotarian from North Fife, Peter Foster. Past President Brian Bayne introduced the speakers who were present to relate their experience of a musical exchange with a school in the United States. The exchange came into being as a result of a contact from a former resident of Cupar, Helen Park who was resident in Baltimore and the first exchange occurred in 2000 when the pupils from Ridgley Middle School undertook a British tour, stayed with local families, gave a concert and experienced a ceilidh.
In 2002, 73 Bell Baxter pupils and 7 staff visited Baltimore and New York on a ten day trip. This was well documented in a video compilation about which Pat Mitchell provided a commentary and explanation. The young musicians worked hard in rehearsal, despite the high temperatures of the summer. Peter commented that the trip had probably changed all the pupils by gaining a new maturity through being out of the country without their parents, improving their musical abilities, learning new skills, experiencing American culture and forming new friendships among fellow pupils and the host families. Ridgley Middle School returned to Scotland in 2004 and now Bell Baxter High School are planning their return visit in 2006.
An outline of the fund-raising activities which pupils and parents have been engaged in to fund the trip was given, and a plea was made for ideas for gifts to take to the hosts which reflect our area's character.
Past President Gavin Reekie gave the Club's formal vote of thanks. At the conclusion of the meeting, Club President presented a cheque for £1000 to Pat Mitchell in her capacity as a representative of MacMillan Cancer Relief.
Evening Meeting on 14th December 2005
With Club President Donald Cameron in the Chair, the gathering of Rotarians for their Christmas meal on Wednesday 14th December had a distinctly international flavour.
Local Top Table guests of the Club were the representatives of Inner Wheel, Heather Bowen, Ladies' Probus Betty Dunnett and Probus Chairman Mike Bridle. The eleven overseas guests were drawn from international students attending Elmwood College and represented Slovakia, Turkey, Shenzhen China, Tianjin China and Inner Mongolia. Club Secretary Grant McLeish was on Fellowship duty. Prior to the Christmas Meal's being served, Past President Sandy Mitchell arranged for a draw of the winning entries from the correct entries received in the Rotary Christmas Quiz. The lucky winners of vouchers were Mrs Wilson of Millfield, Cupar, and Myra Graham of Wester Balgothrie, Leslie. Following the meal the international visitors spoke briefly amd exchanged greetings and the company were charmed by a seasonal Chinese song, Snowman, performed by a group of the students.
Rotarian Fr Pat McInally concluded the proceedings with a short prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Evening Meeting on 21st December 2005
|Graham Addison - Hearing Dogs for Deaf People|
At their meeting on Wednesday 21st December, 26 members of the Rotary Club of Cupar were welcomed by Club President Donald Cameron to hear guest speaker Graham Addison representing the charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
This Charity is still quite a small organisation, launched in 1982 at Crufts Dog Show. It places dogs the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, having placed 1100 dogs to date. Nevertheless, it is the largest organization of its type in the world and indeed trains people from around the world in the techniques required to match dogs to individual needs. To put the issue of hearing loss in context, one in seven adults experience this disability at some stage in their life and some 650,000 have profound loss of hearing. It is the most common form of disability in the U.K. but it is also unseen.
Communication is not the only difficulty experienced, as individuals experience loss of self-confidence, feel socially isolated and insecure. The mission of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is to give back confidence and a sense of independence to those afflicted. The Charity currently manages to train 150 dogs a year, but has to find twice as many, to recruit suitable dogs to complete training. A large proportion is taken from animal rescue centres and no restrictions are placed on the breed or type of dog. Volunteer trainers take the dogs in hand and socialize them in a variety of situations. Those dogs found to be not quite suitable, or as Graham put it, "Dogs with alternative ambitions", are re-homed as family pets.
Training proceeds with those dogs to be matched with specific individuals and they are taught to recognize specific sounds such as alarm clocks, door bells, telephones, smoke alarms and the timer on a cooker. For each sound the dog will be taught a recognizable reaction. The people who will benefit from having a hearing dog spend a week in training, then a probationary period to settle in. When out and about the dogs wear a distinctive burgundy coloured coat which distinguishes them as hearing dogs. The Charity continues to campaign for access rights on the same basis as guide dogs for the visually impaired. As the training centres are in England, it is an aim of the Charity to establish a training centre in Scotland.
Rotarian Graham Findlay expressed the Club's thanks to Graham for a clear outline of the Charity's progress and plans for the future. At the conclusion of the meeting President Donald Cameron handed over a cheque for £1000 to assist the future work of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
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Thanks to Roger Siddle of the Carnforth Rotary Club for his revolving Rotary wheel.