Notes on all meetings in 2003Go... Back (2002)... Last Six Meetings (most recent first)... Forward (2004)
Lunchtime Meeting on 2nd April 2003
Rotarian Euan Barbour undertook speaking duties at short notice and provided the 35 Members present with an overview of banking today.
There have been significant changes in the world of banking, with the profitability of banks being called into question, new entrants into the market getting their fingers burned and the fallout from a stockmarket run on greed and fear. It was time for a degree of sense to be restored.
In Scotland the four major players have benefited by merging with other institutions. In the North East Fife area the banking view was that the area was relatively immune from the vagaries of the UK market, given rising house prices and the ripple effect of Edinburgh property prices on the local market.
Banks are looking to support good business plans, but the viability of any business to generate cash is paramount to survival.
Rotarian David Nimmo proposed the official vote of thanks to Euan for providing such an interesting topic at such short notice.
Lunchtime Meeting on 9th April 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed a visitor from Huntsville, Ontario in Canada and also the speaker, Major Swan of the Salvation Army.
Major Swan has been a member of the Salvation Army for more than thirty years and entered the full time ministry when he was in his early forties.
Founded in 1878 the Army is a relatively young part of the Christian church but is currently serving in 108 countries throughout the world. He is responsible to a congregation in Glenrothes but serves the whole community.
A full time youth worker is soon to be appointed in Glenrothes where some 70 young people attend clubs in the Salvation Army hall where a lunch club for senior citizens and a child nursery facility also operate.
Other major activities are hospital and prison visiting, a soup run in the early morning for the rough sleepers and tracing missing persons in which the organisation has a high success rate. In conjunction with the military, the Salvation Army, through Red Shield organisation, run canteens for the three armed services. The Army is also second to the government to providing welfare for the needy.
Recognising the invaluable work carried out by the organisation President Scott handed over a cheque to Major Swan, the proceeds of a frugal lunch held recently by the club.
Lunchtime Meeting on 16th April 2003
Honorary member David Rollo and 38 members were present at the induction of new member Clark Stewart, whose classification is 'Farming'. (See member profiles).
The speaker was club member John Hendry who spoke on his great passion of hill-walking. He gave an interesting and informative talk about the Cairngorms or the Red Mountains as they are known to the locals, an area situated in the Speyside and Badenoch district which he first visited as a pupil at Elgin Academy and to which he returns on a regular basis.
Dereck Thomson reported that the concert held recently to raise funds, and performed by members of the Club together with members of Inner Wheel, had been a great success. A total of £732 was raised for the Sightsavers and Water Aid charities.
Lunchtime Meeting on 30th April 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed 40 members and two guests, Peter McTiernan of Age Concern and Cyril Hayward of the Cupar Pipe Band.
The speaker was club member Alex Stewart, proprietor of Nappy Pin who gave an insight into the present state of the toy industry.
All major toy retailers are struggling at the present time even major companies such as Hamleys and Toys'R'Us. Prices are set nationwide by the two major catalogue retailers Argos and Index and the small retailers must simply follow.
So far as the toy industry is concerned the major downturn in consumer spending has been exacerbated by the fact that children are maturing earlier and from a relatively young age are using mobile phones and other electronic equipment with pocket money being used to service these. The small retailer must strive for efficiency to offset lower margins, have knowledgeable staff to give good customer service and have the ability to find niche markets and second guess the public in recognising the 'toy of the year'.
George Sharp gave a vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 7th May 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed 32 members and six guests including Ian McIver, President of St. Andrews Rotary Club and Carolyn Scott of the Cupar Junior Opera.
The President presented Carolyn Scott with a cheque for £600 towards the staging of this year's show. Carolyn thanked the club for the donation which will help to defray the total of £11,500 which it currently takes to stage a production. She said that the hard work which the children put into the show makes it very rewarding to work with them and some do go on to professional acting. This year's production is "Oliver" with a cast of some 20 boys and 30 girls.
The speaker was club member Rotarian Jim Laing, an ophthalmic optician, who gave an amusing and interesting insight into the difficulties of testing the eyes of very young children. He illustrated his talk with the various pieces of equipment and charts essential to carrying out tests.
Alistair Clark gave a vote of thanks.
Leslie McAndrew reported that the Castlehill School team had narrowly won the Zone 6 final of the District 1010 Primary Schools quiz and will contest the District final in Stirling in June.
Lunchtime Meeting on 21st May 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed 39 members and one guest to the meeting. The guest was the speaker, Station Officer Alan Snowden of the Fife Fire Service who is the Community Fire Safety Officer based at Thornton.
He gave an interesting insight into the educational work being carried out by the Service. Nursery and primary school children are targeted as prevention is better than cure. However, parents also need educated and this becomes obvious when problem youngsters who like to set things on fire are referred to the Fire Service for help. Very often the home visit in these cases shows that matches and lighters are readily available to the children. Primary 6 children are encouraged to become “Fire Detectives” and identify problems within their own homes. It is found that in 80% of all house fires the properties have either no smoke alarm or the one fitted is non-functioning. Fire safety is promoted in other types of property such as cinemas, stores and community centres and they are encouraged to prepare Fire Action Plans. Alan pointed out that the Fire Service will, free of charge, carry out a Fire Safety Assessment of any property and smoke detectors will be fitted free of charge where needed. Rev. Cliff Strong gave a vote of thanks for what was an excellent talk in spite of the breakdown of Alan's projection equipment.
The President congratulated Sandy Mitchell who had won the Club's own "President's Head" golf trophy which had been competed for recently at Ladybank Golf Course - final in Stirling in June.
Lunchtime Meeting on 28th May 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed 34 members and one guest, Chris Darlington of the Scottish Ambulance Service. Rotarian Bruce Rollo was responsible for fellowship.
Following lunch, Scott presented Chris with a number of tympanic ear thermometers for use by the para-medics on the Cupar based ambulances. This was a gesture of thanks to the local Ambulance Service for organising Heartstart classes during the winter for members of the club and their friends and relatives. Chris explained that the benefit of this equipment is that it provides temperature readings almost instantaneously and this is particularly useful when dealing with very young children.
The speaker was the Club's own Dereck Thomson. In his own whimsical way he talked about the diaries of Samuel Pepys which, given their explicit content, were probably not intended to be read by any other than Pepys himself. However they are valuable historically and give a vivid description of both the Great Fire of London and the Great Plague.
Lunchtime Meeting on 4th June 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed the members and their guests and was especially pleased to see Past District Governor Gavin R. Reekie present.
The speaker, Gordon Small from Dundee Rotary Club, and managing editor of magazines at D. C. Thomson in Dundee was introduced by Ronnie Law. Gordon gave an interesting view of the newspaper and magazine industry with many amusing stories from the premises which produced the Dandy and the Beano. It was surprising to learn that the D.C. Thomson group is still very much a family run operation with old fashioned values surviving in the today's harsh financial climate.
Rotarian Leslie McAndrew gave a vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 11th June 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed 36 members and two guests. He thanked Béla Simandi, retiring secretary, for his sterling work over the last few years. Scott presented a cheque for the sum of £1000 to Norma Adams, representing CHAS, the childrens' hospice association. Norma thanked the Rotary Club of Cupar for their continuing support.
Rotarian Brian Bayne introduced Andrew Morrison as a new member of the Club. Andrew is an Assistant Principal at Cupar's Elmwood College and has been engaged in further education since 1971. A graduate of Strathclyde University where he gained his teaching qualification, he has a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Education degree from the same university. President Scott Blyth welcomed Andrew to the Club.
Andrew Arbuckle, Local Regional Councillor and Farming Editor of the Dundee Courier gave an interesting, talk illustrated with a slide show, of his recent journey on the trans Siberian Express.
Rev. Matthew Ross gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the members.
Evening Meeting on 18th June 2003
Lunchtime Meeting on 25th June 2003
President Scott Blyth welcomed 34 members to lunch.
At the last minute he had found out that the arranged speaker was unable to fulfil the engagement but Honorary Member Charlie Todd stepped into the breach. He entertained his fellow members with recitations of verse which were both amusing and thought-provoking.
Rotarian Alan Nicol thanked Charlie on behalf of the Club. Bill Nicoll, Chairman of the Community Service committee reported that he had received letters of thanks from both the Kilmaron School and the Leven centre whose children had been entertained recently at Craigtoun Park for the "Kid's Day Out". The day had been extremely successful and the "Goody Bags" warmly received.
Lunchtime Meeting on 2nd July 2003
Thirty seven members and one honorary member attended last week's meeting and lunch at the Howe of Fife clubrooms.
President Scott Blyth announced that he had received letters of thanks from both CHAS and Pestalozzi for the contributions recently made to them.
As outgoing President, Scott's last duty was to install Ian Copland as president for the year 2003/2004. Scott thanked all members for their contributions which helped to make his year easier. Special thanks went to the Secretary, Treasurer and committee chairmen. He felt on reflection that it had been a successful year and that the Club had made a difference in many respects in the course of it. He also thanked the Dinner Committee for making the 70th anniversary celebrations such a splendid evening. It was time to move on under a new President and on handing over the Presidential chain of office he wished Ian an equally successful year at the helm.
Ian thanked Scott for his good wishes. He said that he felt humble and privileged to accept the Presidency of the Rotary Club of Cupar. This years by-word is "Lend a Hand" and he thought that this summed up perfectly what Rotary is all about. He looked forward to the next year with a sense of adventure and was willing to listen to all members and their ideas for furthering the work of the Club. He thanked Scott for his sterling work and hoped that he could emulate him as he had been everywhere in support of the Club and had missed only one meeting in the entire year. The profile of the Club had been greatly enhanced in the eyes of both the public and other Rotary clubs.
Ian then welcomed Bill Low, President-Elect and Donald Cameron as Vice-President.
He also announced that Grant McLeish had taken over the post of Secretary from Béla Simandi.
Ian congratulated Past President, Gavin J. Reekie on being chosen as Chieftain of this year's Cupar Highland Games.
Lunchtime Meeting on 9th July 2003
New president Ian Copland welcomed 36 members to the meeting.
The speaker was club member Rotarian James McLean Cameron who went back in time and reminisced about his early days as a civil engineer. When he left school he was looking for a profession which would allow him to work outdoors and also allow him to travel. Having a leaning towards construction he went to the Royal Tech. in Glasgow and graduated as an engineer in 1945. After initial experience in open cast mining he achieved his ambition to travel when he joined the army, did sapper training and in 1947 went to India a country which he greatly enjoyed working in. After spells in Egypt and Kenya he returned to the UK and rejoined Wimpy. He was soon in South Wales working on a major steelworks project and thereafter worked in Kirkcubrightshire, Harris, Barra and Inverness before joining Perthshire as a water engineer.
On behalf of the members Brian Bayne thanked Jim for an interesting and entertaining talk.
Ian Copland thanked all members who had helped at the recent Cupar Highland games which had been one of the most successful in recent years. A letter had been received from Northeden thanking the Club for the success of the recent trip organised for the residents by Father Pat McInally.
Lunchtime Meeting on 16th July 2003
President Ian Copland welcomed two guests, Cheryl Harvey and Wendy McCarthy, from Fife Primary Care Trust's Ladybank Clinic. The ladies had helped the club in the recent 'Blood Pressure Awareness Day' held in Tesco car park. Also Noel Robertson from Australia was welcomed as a guest of John Peattie. In the absence of a speaker, the President used his quiz-master skills to challenge the members to 20 questions on the subject of Scotland. The questions were both topical and historical and caused many a furrowed brow. At the close of the meeting President Ian expressed his delight in informing the club of the recent birth of a daughter to honorary member Caroline Baird.
Lunchtime Meeting on 23rd July 2003
Thirty nine members, three visitors and one honorary member attended last week's meeting and lunch at the Howe of Fife clubrooms and were welcomed by President Ian Copland.
The speaker was introduced, in the absence of Rot. H. Mellotte, by Rot. K. McLaren. He was Major Ron Macgregor of Highland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, who had addressed the Club about two years ago on the subject of Employer Support for the Reserve Forces to great effect. Since then there has been a dramatic change in the utilisation of these forces and it was about this and the knock-on effects for employers that Major Macgregor was to speak.
By way of introduction, he outlined the extent of his territory and his background of 25 years as an officer in the T.A. while working as a Human resources Manager with B.T. then as a lecturer at Dundee College. In the immediate area, there are numerous reserve forces establishments and there are also Cadet Units in almost every small town as well as associated with the various Reserve Units. These forces have been drastically reduced over the last few years; in the case of the T.A., from 85,000 to 40,000 and their expertise has been called upon increasingly as they are integrated more fully with regular forces, subject to the same training and transferring their civilian skills to the forces and conversely, their forces skills into civilian life and work, e.g. management training, driving of all kinds of vehicles and plant, computer applications, personal development and numerous trade skills.
In the regulations passed in January 2003, mobilising the Reserve Forces, 8,000 reservists were called up for as long as 12 months in any 36. This obviously would have quite an effect on any business but on small businesses, it could be catastrophic. It is possible therefore for an employer to appeal against an employee being called up and where this has happened, more often than not the appeal has been successful and the call up deferred or cancelled.
Generally, employers have been very supportive and two outstanding examples were quoted; T.A. members who were Grangemouth Refinery staff were directed to Iraqi oil installations to shut them down safely until after the fighting finished, at which time they were able to restart them. These were duties of which regular forces would have had no suitable experience.
Medical staff from the N.H.S. were able to add their expertise in field hospitals, arresting bleeding by techniques not generally in use but used to great effect in civil situations and transferred to the battlefield successfully. It was clearly demonstrated that the phrase "the more they train, the more you gain" was entirely applicable to the Reserve Forces and their employers.
A hearty vote of thanks was accorded on the call of Immediate Past Pres. Scott Blyth.
Lunchtime Meeting on 30th July 2003
President Ian Copland welcomed 35 members and guest speaker Charles Dorrance.
Rotarian Sandy Mitchell formally introduced Charles who spent many years in the steel industry and now holds the post of Environment Strategy Officer for Fife Council. His talk was headed "REDUCE/RE-USE/RE-CYCLE" and looked at the progress being made both locally and nationally to meet EU directives for waste management.
Currently in Fife only 5% of waste material is re-cycled (although this has risen from a figure of 2.5%), and the remainder put to landfill sites. Strategies are being devised through the Fife Area Waste Plan to increase the re-cycling of aluminium cans, glass and paper and the composting or incineration of garden and kitchen waste. The EU target is for only 35% of waste going to landfill sites by the year 2020.
Graham Bowen gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the members.
The President reminded members of the Club's Coffee Morning in the Corn Exchange on Saturday 9th August.
Lunchtime Meeting on 6th Aug 2003
Fellowship - No speaker.
Lunchtime Meeting on 13th Aug 2003
|Marjorie Archibald - "David Wilkie of Cults"|
President Ian Copland welcomed members, honorary member David Rollo and guest speaker Marjorie Archibald to the weekly lunch. Past President Bruce Rollo formally introduced Marjorie who gave an interesting talk about David Wilkie of Cults a well known 19th century artist.
Many engravings were made of his work and the Pitlessie community hold a number which are some 200 years old. These are in need of restoration and with the aid of a heritage grant and other funding, the work which may take two to three years to complete, is being carried out by Dundee University.
As a millennium project for the village, a mural of one of Wilkie's works was painted on a wall of the village hall, the painting being carried out by one hundred of the villagers.
Vice President Donald Cameron gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the Club.
President Ian thanked the members for their support before and during the recent coffee morning. This had been extremely successful with a sum in excess of £1100 being raised.
Bill Nicoll reported that he had at last been successful in getting a CAP grant of £610 from Rotary International in respect of the Age Concern mini-bus.
Lunchtime Meeting on 20th Aug 2003
|Keith Raffan - Liberal MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife|
The guest speaker, Keith Raffan was introduced by Rotarian David Nimmo. Keith, educated at Robert Gordon's College, Glenalmond, and Cambridge, is the regional Liberal MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.
Despite the criticism of the Assembly he felt that the major benefit has been much greater financial accountability than had been achieved by the Scottish grand Committee at Westminster and feels sorry that the successes are overshadowed by the continuing debate about the new Parliament building.
Keith's main topic was the problem of combating drug abuse in Scotland where there are some 35,000 injecting heroin addicts. Money and goods to the total of £510,000,000 are stolen each year to finance drug abuse. Stopping the supply is difficult if not impossible. This year there has been a large heroin harvest in Afghanistan where the Warlords and Taleban have returned and with the number of cross channel pleasure craft operating and the small number of Customs officials operating it is impossible to prevent it coming into the country. The emphasis therefore has to be on cutting demand by means of preventative education and treatment.
The matter is being dealt with as a cross party issue and Action Committees are being formed, bringing together the various agencies working in the field. Already "clued up" teams invited into schools are being effective. There is a large number of drug users in the country's prison population and they are being targeted for treatment and given support to give up the habit. Following his talk Keith answered a number of questions from the floor.
Alistair Clark thanked Keith for an interesting and informative talk on a worrying topic.
Lunchtime Meeting on 27th Aug 2003
|Aubin Roger - "Chips with Everything"|
President Ian Copland welcomed 32 members and one guest, President Sandy Green of the Howe of Fife Rotary Club.
On behalf of the Club, Ian congratulated Rotarian Alan Nicol on his appointment as Sheriff Clerk in Perth.
The speaker was Aubin Roger whose topic was titled "Chips with Everything".
This was not as might have been expected an insight into his abilities as a cook but a look at the past, present and future of the micro-chip as it has affected our lives.
The integrated circuit was invented in 1959, followed by micro-processors in the seventies and new computer languages were developed. As chips were miniaturised and computers steadily became smaller, conversely their capacity to store information was increased. The development was, and still is largely driven by the demands of the players of computer games.
Micro chips now appear in telephones enabling the sending of pictures, in fridges where they can tell when fresh items should be purchased and in various components of the motor car. Aubin has a feeling of unease about the future so far as the motor car is concerned in that it may be that micro chips in our vehicles will be used to monitor all aspects of our driving and he would see this as an invasion of privacy
Ian Donaldson gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the Club.
Lunchtime Meeting on 3rd September 2003
|Bill Pagan - "A Just War on Terrorism?"|
The speaker was club member Bill Pagan who gave a fascinating and thought-provoking talk entitled 'A Just War on Terrorism'.
As a background he gave a resume on the types of weaponry terrorism has at its disposal. These included biological weapons.
A brief history showed that the ancient Greeks used smallpox (a communicable disease) as far back as 430BC. Britain itself used it in 1763 at Fort Pitt against the Americans. More recently, anthrax letter bombs (non-communicable) were used in the USA. There is enough smallpox stored in the Soviet Union to wipe out the entire world poulation.
Most of the vaccine is stored in the USA.
Bill explained that the three elements that historically have fuelled and formented trouble in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean were military, legal and religious. The areas affected by these actions have spread at different times over large areas of Europe and Africa.
Terrorism now means that we no longer know who the enemy is, unprotected civilian targets are as likely to be attacked as protected "legitimate" military targets. Terrorists are fanatics, have to be funded by drugs and organised crime, all laundered money.
The reasons used to justify terrorism are historical like the Crusades, the Moors being driven from Spain, the Balfour Treaty of 1917, which lead to the partition of Palestine in 1947. Bill described Mount Sinai as having a Synagogue, a Mosque and a Chapel all close together. These represent the three great religions with so much in common and yet so far apart. The UN charter allows for aggression against another state if it's a 'Just War', in self-defence or preventive action.
He then related costs and man power of a 'Just War' to the UK and how these have changed through the Cold War, the Falklands War, Gulf War 1 and Gulf War 2.
He then compared the costs of health and social security (£160bn) budgets to our defence budget (24bn).
The reliance on our reserve forces has become so important that our defence would be compromised without them. Their roles are now not just as a supplement to our forces abroad, but also would be used in a civil contingency at home.
He concluded by leaving members with the question Gulf War 2, 'A Just War?'
Dereck Thomson thanked Bill on behalf of the members.
Lunchtime Meeting on 10th September 2003
|Joanne Kay - Water Aid|
President Ian Copland welcomed the members and guest speaker Joanne Kay, together with visiting Rotarian Father Gerard from Uganda.
Jim Ford from Prestwick was visiting his home town also Bob Buchanan, Archie Campbell, David Muncie, Bill Stewart, Ken Kelly and Ian Taylor from Kirkcaldy.
Graham Pirie formally introduced guest speaker Joanne Kay.
A university graduate, Joanne is based in Glenrothes with Scottish Water and works in the field of waste water purification.
She gave an illustrated talk on her visits to Ethiopia and Uganda as a voluntary worker with Water Aid.
Relying on the support of the U.K. water industry, Water Aid was set up in 1981 and has helped over 600,000 people in fifteen countries.
In Ethiopia and Uganda women and children are responsible for collecting the daily water supply and this can involve long treks to wells and carrying back loads of some 20kg. Many of the water supplies are also used by wild animals leading to outbreaks of malaria, cholera etc. Every 15 seconds in Africa a child dies from such water borne diseases.
Uganda, a poor country with great political instability, has a population of 21.8 million with a life expectancy of only 40 years, and an infant mortality rate of 84 in every 1000. Water Aid assists local communities to provide a clean, safe potable drinking water supply. The communities are involved from the outset and women and children help with the development of the project. The water supplies are of a simple technical nature and can be maintained by trained members of the community.
Every year 400,000 people are helped in this way. Good hygiene practice is also encouraged and the children are instrumental in introducing these to the family.
If anyone present had doubts about the support given by Rotary to Water Aid these were surely dispelled. The project is an outstanding success and well worth the support given.
Graham Findlay thanked Joanne on behalf of those present
Lunchtime Meeting on 17th September 2003
|Gavin J. Reekie - A Family Boat-Building Enterprise|
President Ian Copland welcomed 35 members together with a visitor, David Mann from Anstruther, and Charlie Todd, one of the Club's honorary members.
The speaker was club member Gavin J. Reekie.
Gavin has an uncle whose surname is Barnard who, on a visit to his optometrist in 1985, was looking through a magazine in the waiting room when he saw a coloured print of a wooden ship on her stocks. He was intrigued by its caption "An Indiaman in Mr. Barnard's Yard, Deptford", and decided to investigate it further. His extensive researches led him in 1997 to publish a book titled "Building Britain's Wooden Walls". From the information contained in the book Gavin gave an entertaining and historically informative talk about a family boat building enterprise which started modestly in Ipswich in 1697 and survived through four generations before eventually closing on the river Thames in the early 19th century. In conclusion, Gavin thought that the moral of his talk was not to be put off reading some of the dated magazines in a waiting room as it could be the start of a twelve year adventure in history.
Bob Buglass thanked Gavin on behalf of those present.
On behalf of the members Ian Copland wished Alan Nicol every success on his appointment as Sheriff Clerk in Perth.
Lunchtime Meeting on 1st October 2003
|Gavin Grant - Fife Museum Service|
President Ian Copland welcomed 36 members and guest speaker Gavin Grant.
Gavin Grant is museum curator for Fife Council East Fife Division, operating from offices in St.Catherine Street, Cupar.
Gavin gave a whistle-stop tour of the Fife Museum Service illustrated by slides, with particular reference to the East Fife Area.
The main museum for this area is located in Kinburn Park, St. Andrews which was opened 10 years ago and has 45,000 visitors annually. The building also accommodates a busy café which is open all year. There are 20,000 items in the museum collection, which means that only a small selection can be on show at any one time.
An interesting display is that showing St. Andrews as a Pilgrimage Centre and the badges that pilgrims collected after a visit. There are 200 paintings in the Museum's East Fife collection including some of the local area by McIntosh Patrick. Another particularly fine painting is of Dr. Charles Grace by David Wilkie of Cults.
Some items are from abroad such as metal seals attached to bales of flax which originated in Russia. A current display is of treasure trove which is so called because there is no known owner. A pot, in good condition, from the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago, was found near St. Andrews. Temporary exhibitions are often put on to focus on a particular subject such as memorabilia from Polish servicemen based in Fife during the war The Museum also runs the restored windmill at St. Monance, which produced salt from the sea, and also the Laing Museum in Newburgh. There is a comprehensive collection of items recording the Lino industry in Newburgh which was a major industry in its time.
Gavin explained that although Cupar does not have its own Museum building there has been a CD produced with 50 items of interest to the Cupar area for use in local schools.
Vince Fusaro gave the club's formal thanks for a very interesting talk.
The President reported on an enjoyable visit by 5 clubs members to neighbouring Howe of Fife club. Father Pat updated everyone on the successful coffee morning for Age Concern with assistance from several Rotarians.
Lunchtime Meeting on 8th October 2003
|Abbey Crombie - RAF Mountain Rescue Team|
At the start of the meeting President Ian Copland reported on the death on Monday 6th October of Past-President Roy Winter, who had been a stalwart of the club for the past 33 years.
The speaker for the day was Sergeant Abbey Crombie who was introduced by Bill Nicoll
Abbey is Deputy Team Leader of the RAF Mountain Rescue Team based at Leuchars which has the motto "WHENSOEVER".
The main role of the UK Rescue Teams is to rescue casualties from Military or Civilian aircraft which have crashed and they have a history which stretches back 60 years.
Secondary roles include looking for service personnel involved in adventurous training, assisting civilian police and civilian mountain rescue teams and also providing military aid to the civilian population.
The team is also involved in Charity work which in the past has included climbing all the Munros in the UK.
Although the team works closely with helicopters, in bad weather conditions it is only the Rescue Team on the ground which can operate.
The work can take the team anywhere in the world and there is a structured training programme leading to a Joint Service Qualification. Training includes First Aid, a fortnight working in hospitals and also with the Ambulance Service. A key part of the training is night work, with pyrotechnics and stretcher work to recover casualties from the mountains. The mountains have no respect for rank and each person has to earn their place in the team on ability.
The club's formal thanks was given by Tommy Gilmartin.
President Ian reported on a recent visit to Rachel House Children's Hospice at Kinross with 4 other members to see at first hand the dedicated work carried out by CHAS.
Lunchtime Meeting on 15th October 2003
|Bruce Rollo - A Holiday in Gabon|
President Ian Copland welcomed one visitor, one guest and Honorary Member Dave Rollo.
Past president Bruce Rollo gave a slide illustrated talk about his recent trip with his daughter to the former French colony of Gabon in West Africa.
Situated on the equator, Gabon is 80% tropical rainforest. Village life is very basic in Gabon, but the diet is good consisting mainly of fish and vegetables. The main source of revenue is timber production.
They flew with Air Gabon, an adventure in itself, and then travelled by train to a lodge situated in the rainforest next to a game park.
Among other animals they saw buffalo and forest elephants which are particularly dangerous. Searching for the gorillas involved seven hours walking every day in very high temperatures, the country being situated on the equator, but they were only seen at a distance.
Graham Bowen gave a vote of thanks.
The visitor to the club was Richard Riggs, representing the Quaich Society of St. Andrews University. He presented a cheque for the sum of £1,000 towards the Water Aid project with which the Club is heavily involved.
Lunchtime Meeting on 22nd October 2003
|Andrew Morrison - Assistant Principal of Elmwood College|
The speaker was Rotarian Andrew Morrison who recently joined the club.
Andrew gave his fellow members an insight into his responsibilities as Assistant Principal at Elmwood College. With an engineering background having worked as both head of engineering and sales manager for Citroen in the UK, he is now, among other things responsible for Property & Estates and Human Resources at the College.
He is also involved in a number of external bodies including the Professional Development Forum of the Scottish Executive and is an Associate Assessor for HM Inspectors of Education.
Brian Bayne gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the company.
President Ian Copland announced that the speakers for 29th October were likely to be the Club's two candidates who attended this years Rotary Youth Leadership Awards scheme.
Lunchtime Meeting on 29th October 2003
|Brian Bayne - A Holiday Cottage in Glen Fender|
President Ian Copland welcomed 34 members to lunch.
The speaker, standing in at the last minute, was past president Brian Bayne.
Brian has access to a holiday cottage in Glen Fender near Blair Athol which has no power, only candle light. He assured members that staying in it is an interesting experience, giving a flavour of the way of living in this crofting area in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Quoting from parish records and other writings of the time, Brian painted a vivid picture of the society of that time.
Jim Honeyman gave a vote of thanks.
Father Pat McInally reported another successful outing with the Community bus for the residents of Northeden who enjoyed afternoon tea at Elmwood. One of the residents who attended is 100 years old.
Lunchtime Meeting on 5th November 2003
|Béla Simandi - A Musical Career, presented with Music|
President Ian Copland the speaker, club member and former secretary, Béla Simandi.
Béla spent his early years in Budapest coming to this country in 1957 following the uprising in Hungary.
He started piano lessons at the age of ten and studied at the Royal College of Music in London. A professional career as a pianist and teacher at the Glasgow Academy of Music followed.
On retiral he and his wife Anne, a former principal singer with Scottish Opera, moved to Fife and still give recitals. Béla also bravely prepares the Club's carol singers each year.
Music is Béla's life and his extremely interesting talk was his own version of Desert Island Discs. He traced his life and career, marking the highlights with relevant musical extracts from Wagner, his first introduction to opera, through Verdi, Schubert and Gershwin to Mozart's Marriage of Figaro which would be his choice if he was allowed only one recording.
Jim Laing gave a vote of thanks.
Lunchtime Meeting on 19th November 2003
|Sarah Hutcheon and Andrew McCrone - RYLA Participants' Reports|
President Ian Copland welcomed 34 members, 2 honorary members and three visitors.
He announced the sudden death of past president and long standing member John Peattie who before retiral ran the well known family gents' outfitters business of Galloways.
John, who joined Rotary in 1964, was highly respected in the town and his friendship, cheerful demeanour and ready wit will be greatly missed.
The speakers were the two Bell Baxter pupils who attended the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp at Nethybridge, Sarah Hutcheon from Collessie and Andrew McCrone from Cupar.
Andrew, the youngest at the camp, had approached it with some trepidation and had been nervous about meeting the other participants. However he had quickly settled in and during a week of pursuits such as abseiling, wind surfing and outward bound type problem solving, his lack of confidence was overcome and he proved to himself that he could hold his own with his peers. This would always stay with him and he thanked the Club for giving him the opportunity to participate. Sarah had approached the week with confidence although having reservations about how she might integrate with total strangers. This had proved to be an initial stumbling block for all members of her team during the team problem solving task with everyone ready to air their views whilst not listening to others suggestions. However as the day progressed leaders emerged and the team members had to set aside any individual dislikes to ensure that the team objective was achieved. Sarah felt that she had learned the importance of delegation in the art of leadership, had more confidence in her own abilities and she had also gained some lasting friendships. Sarah thanked the club for nominating her.
Ian Copland presented Sarah and Andrew with certificates to mark their participation.
Lunchtime Meeting on 26th November 2003
|District Governor Iain Young|
President Ian Copland welcomed the members together with two visitors, District Governor Iain Young and Howe of Fife Rotary Club President, Sandy Green, and also honorary member Rev. James Porteous.
Bob Buglass reported that following two defeats in the Gavel competition, the club team had a successful evening against Dundee Camperdown club in the Invercarse Hotel winning by a substantial margin.
The District Governor outlined the main aims for the 2003/2004 year as envisaged by RIBI President Brian Stoyel.
The main planks of the programme will be:
1. Numeracy and Literacy.
2. Alleviation of Poverty.
3. Water Treatment and Management projects.
4. Childhood Diseases Immunisation
5. Involvement of family in Rotary.
District 1010 will continue to support CHAS, the Scottish childrens' hospice project and internationally RIBI will be involved in the beginnings of an attempt to eliminate malaria in Tanzania. One of the initiatives which the District Governor would like to see supported is Mercy Ships, two of which are already operating and a third, bought by Anne Gloag, is currently being fitted out. These ships are fully fitted out as hospitals with all the necessary facilities including operating theatres and move around the world to areas where they are needed.
The President thanked Iain Young for his outline of the coming year's tasks
Lunchtime Meeting on 10th December 2003
|Robert Stuart Jones - Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar|
President Ian Copland welcomed 31 members and one guest to the lunch. The speaker, introduced by Rotarian Sandy Mitchell, was the Club's Ambassadorial scholar Robert Stuart Jones from Arkansas in the USA.
He is studying for one year at the St. Andrews University Department of International Security Studies which is headed by the internationally known Prof. Paul Wilkinson. Robert gave a brief description of Arkansas which is in the Deep South and is regarded as the rice capital of the world. It is also internationally known for its excellent duck shooting. Born, raised and educated in Arkansas, Robert played American football and golf, but became enthusiastic about debating while studying at the University of Arkansas. International debating brought him to Britain and he visited both Glasgow and St. Andrews. He knew then that he wanted to come back. After leaving University he did a political internship in Washington D.C. and took part in a Senate election campaign. Robert was in Washington on September 11th and this had a profound effect on him and gave him the urge to study International terrorism and political violence. He was one of only seven successful candidates out of 170 applicants for a place at St. Andrews and researches on the Departments terrorism data base. He expressed his gratitude to Rotary and to the Cupar club in particular for the opportunity to study in Scotland.
Lunchtime Meeting on 17th December 2003
|Jimmy Simpson - Verdant Works Museum|
President Ian Copland welcomed a full house of members, honorary members, visitors and guests to the Club's Christmas lunch in the Howe of Fife clubrooms. Among those present were Honorary Member Caroline Baird and her infant son Christy who must be the Club's youngest lunch guest and who behaved impeccably. Also present were Pat Robb, President of Cupar Inner Wheel, President Sandy Green from Howe of Fife Rotary, Marion Laing, President of Cupar Ladies' Probus, Sam Fraser representing Cupar Probus, Steve Hutcheon of Cupar Round Table, David Chalmers representing the Community Council and Sarah and Jennifer, two of the Chinese students presently attending Elmwood College.
Excellent Christmas fare was enjoyed by all. The Club's appreciation for the efforts of Chef Michael and his staff over the last year was marked by a presentation to Michael by President Ian. The speaker was Jimmy Simpson from the Verdant Works Museum in Dundee.
An electrician by trade, he now works on a volunteer basis and has a great enthusiasm for the history of Dundee. With many an amusing anecdote he traced its development from a hamlet in the 14th and 15th centuries through its time when the leather, glass and sugar beet industries flourished to its fame as a linen and jute centre with a workforce comprising almost totally women and children.
Jim McLean Cameron gave a vote of thanks.
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Thanks to Roger Siddle of the Carnforth Rotary Club for his revolving Rotary wheel.