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Notes on all meetings in 2006

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Evening Meeting on 4th January 2006

Committees meeting.

Evening Meeting on 11th January 2006

Committee Reports

Evening Meeting on 18th January 2006

Jackie Taylor - Click for larger image
Jackie Taylor - Nepal Water Project link

Donald Cameron, Club President welcomed 32 Members to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 18th January. What was to have been a routine meeting became rather special when Past President Leslie MacAndrew was called forward to be presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship. The Award is the highest honour Rotarians can bestow on one of their own members and recognises those who have excelled in the quality of service they have rendered to the movement and through it to the wider community. Having recovered from the surprise, Leslie expressed his appreciation on receiving the honour and the privelege he felt in being part of the Rotary movement. Rotarian Bruce McHardy introduced the visiting speaker, Jackie Taylor, who is involved in trekking to the more remote areas of Nepal. Through her experiences there, she has recognised the need for outside assistance to community related projects such as education and water supply. She has built up a rapport with one specific village located some 320 kilometres from the capital, Kathmandu which is only visited rarely by trekkers from the west. Fresh water which we take for granted is not readily accessible. It is very difficult to obtain outside the monsoon season as the village people have to negotiate very steep paths down to the valley below to collect water, carry it uphill in pots and the task is invariably left to the women. What is needed is a project involving a solar powered pump which would deliver the water through a 200 metre rise to two stand pipes, carrying 500-600 litres a day. Because of the difficulty in obtaining water, livestock can only be taken to water every four days and this has obvious repercussions on animal husbandry. A Nepalese Government development budget is out of the question because of the ongoing security situation. Jackie fielded a variety of questions from those present who recognised that while the village residents were self-reliant and attuned to their environment, the impact of having a readily accessible water supply would be life changing.
Past President Scott Blyth expressed the Club's thanks and wished Jackie good fortune in pursuing her goal.

Evening Meeting on 25th January 2006

Bob Drummond - Click for larger image
Bob Drummond - The Immortal Memory

Club President Donald Cameron welcomed members and guests to the Club's Burns Supper on the evening of Wednesday, 25th January. The Selkirk Grace was delivered by Rotarian Bruce McHardy. Past President Sandy Mitchell took on the role of Poosie Nancy, appropriately dressed for the part and made a grand entrance with the haggis. The Address to the Haggis was given in stages by Jim Robertson, Dereck Thomson, Bill Low and the President. The company enjoyed traditional fare of Cock a Leekie Soup, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties before being regaled with verses from their favourite poems from Burns by Jim Robertson, Dereck Thomson and the President. Principal guest, Bob Drummond gave an immortal memory which evoked fond recollections not only of Rabbie Burns, but also the Club's Honorary Member Charlie Todd and the service he gave over many years as an enthusiasttic performer of the works of Burns up to his death in 2005.
The Club's vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Bruce McHardy.

Evening Meeting on 1st February 2006

Sir Alan Smith, Andrew Gold and Marlyn Carr Gillies - Click for larger image
Sir Alan Smith, Andrew Gold and Marlyn Carr Gillies

Club President Donald Cameron chaired a joint meeting attended by Members of the Inner Wheel and Rotary Club of Howe of Fife in addition to Cupar Rotarians on Wednesday, 1st February. The meeting was honoured by the presence of distinguished guests, namely Maryln Carr Gillies, Sir Alan and Lady Smith from Kinross, and Andrew Gold, chair of the Douglas Bader Memorial Garden appeal. Andrew Gold conducted interviews with Maryln Carr Gillies and Sir Alan Smith, in which they recollected how they had come to meet Douglas Bader and the influence he had on then through the sheer force of his personality. Maryln Carr Gillies found him to be totally lacking in self-pity about his personal circumstances and disability, but very sympathetic and encouraging to those in a similar predicament. Sir Alan Smith recalled Bader as someone who lived for the present and did not dwell on the past. Bader had no fear, was determined to win and had exceptional leadership qualities. Although he became an international hero figure, he was never big-headed and was an inspiration to the war time generation. Andrew Gold provided an update on the Douglas Bader Garden project which had the vision to develop the garden as a world class facility for people of all abilities and a local community resource.
President Elect Dereck Thomson of the Rotary Club of Cupar gave the official vote of thanks for what had been a memorable and inspirational evening.

Evening Meeting on 8th February 2006

The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar took the form of a Club Business Meeting with Club President, Donald Cameron in the Chair. Club Committees presented reports about ongoing projects and dates for a number of events were agreed. The Club would be participating in a Blood Pressure Awareness Event on 7th and 8th April, encouraging members of the public to have an up to date test on their blood pressure on the spot. The Ways and Means Committee announced the date of the Club's Annual Golf Day organised by Past President Sandy Mitchell would be April 27th at Elmwood College Golf Course and entries were being sought from teams representing local companies and organisations. A Sponsored Walk to raise funds for good causes selected by the Club would be taking place near the end of May. The routes would be of three different lengths around Cupar to suit all abilities and levels of fitness and it was hoped to attract a good level of public participation.
The Community Service Committee were in process of organising Games Nights at two venues for senior citizens and Saturday afternoon outings were also planned utilising the Age Concern Bus. The Vocational and Youth Activities Committee would be organising the Annual Primary School Quiz to take place on 23rd March and later in the Spring would host the All Fife Final to select teams to go forward to Scottish finals at Stirling in June. The International Committee would be holding a Table Tennis and games night with overseas students attending Elmwood College on 23 February and on the Club's International Day on 22nd May, Tom Findlay would be speaking on behalf of Mercy Ships. Collections of tools for Tools for Self Reliance continued and a renewed appeal for school textbooks for Books Abroad would be issued in the near future.
The Foundation Committee which raises funds for Rotary International's own Foundation Charity reported that arrangements for fund-raising from within the Club were proceeding smoothly. The Club heard further about a proposed project to bring a water supply to a village in Nepal and agreed to fund a professional survey to establish feasability and costings in addition to making an approach for a grant from Rotary International funds. The Club were advised that the 75th Aniversary of the foundation of the Rotary Club of Cupar would arise in November 2007. It was agreed that this occasion would be marked in an appropriate way and a sub committee would be appointed to progress arrangements.

Evening Meeting on 15th February 2006

David Wilson - Click for larger image
David Wilson, Farrier, Balmullo

Rotarian Jim Robertson introduced the speaker, David Wilson of Balmullo, Farrier, at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday evening. David, a sixth-generation blacksmith and farrier was born in Kilmany in 1937 and has become a renowned expert in his field through his fifty years in the farrier trade and his long association with the Royal Highland Show.
He told of how the ealiest recorded member of the Wilson family following the trade was recorded at Kilmany in 1813 and in addition to that place of business the family were also linked with both Ayton and Forgan Smithy at various times. On leaving school at the age of 15, David started to formally serve his apprenticeship under his father, although he had been trying out his skills long before by nailing horse shoes to the floor. Unfortunately his father died when David was only 17 and he had to complete his training elsewhere. He eventually established his own smithy at Balmullo where business has been carried on for 47 years. While the farrier business has gone through periods of downturn, the trend now is very healthy with 2476 qualified farriers in the U.K.
Through his experience and association with the Royal Highland Show, David was involved in setting the standard for shoeing Clydesdale horses and his skills were further recognised when he won the world championship for farriers in Calgary.david was later to be awarded the BEM for his services to the trade. His reputation has taken him around the world to conduct clinics and judge at prestigious events.
David proceeded to illustrate some of his travel experiences by way of a slide show in which he featured the Calgary Stampede and a clinic for Budweiser Beer at St Louis University.
Club President Donald Cameron, coincidentally the son of a blacksmith, had the pleasure of proposing the vote of thanks to David for a fascinating account of his work and travels.

Evening Meeting on 22nd February 2006

Dereck Thomson - Click for larger image
Dereck Thomson, President-Elect

Club President-Elect Dereck Thomson entertained fellow members of the Rotary Club of Cupar at their weekly meeting on Wednesday 22nd February with a talk on four legends of the North East of Scotland. The first of these concerned the town of Banff, close to Dereck's birthplace Portsoy. Banff acquired notoriety as the town which hung MacPherson, a renowned cattle thief who met his end in November 1700. This was despite a stay of execution being granted and a reprieve being despatched. So keen were the Burgh to proceed with the execution it is said that the hands of the town clock were advanced to bring the event forward. As his last request, MacPherson, an accomplished musician literally played for time on his fiddle to the point of exhaustion and he eventually had to give in to the hangman. The event is commemorated in the well known fiddle tune, MacPherson's Rant!
Near Banff is the village of Cornhill, once the centre of a thriving livestock market for the surrounding area. Dereck recollected that fellow Rotarian George Illingworth became something of a legend as he plied his trade as an auctioneer at the Cornhill Market. As a boy Dereck was fascinated to observe the mysteries of the bidding process employed by the dealers and farmers. Each had his private signals to indicate a bid and George's skill was to pick up on all this, play the crowd along with humour, keeping up the tempo of the sale and obtain a good price with his knowledge of the livestock on offer. Eventually George departed for bigger challenges and Cornhill's loss became Fife's gain.
Fifteen miles from Banff is the town of Turriff, famous for an incident in 1913 that led to the legend of "The Turra Coo". When Lloyd George introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme with ramifiications for weekly contributions from workers and employers, the imposition of new taxes caused many in the North East, including Robert Paterson of Lendrum Farm, to publicly refuse to pay insurance stamps for his men. One of his cows was impounded to cover arrears and a sale was arranged at the Market Square, Turriff as the local cattle markets declined to handle it. A half-day holiday was granted to many farm servants for the occasion and an unruly crowd of 2000 gathered and 8 arrests ensued with no sale taking place.
Eventually the cow was auctioned at Aberdeen where a sympathetic group organised offers so that the cow could be returned to Lendrum in triumph and commemorated for many a day with souvenirs and bothy ballads. The final legend recalled events of the Dunkirk era and concerned a Fraserburgh fishing boat, "The Daisy". The evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches of Dunkirk was accomplished through the participation of many small boats in addition to the Royal Navy. "The Daisy" had been fishing out of Great Yarmouth and when the appeal came to save our troops from the Dunkirk beaches, the crew responded. Legend has it that the crew sought out men from their own area as a priority amidst the confusion. Thirty-nine souls were reported to have been rescued by "The Daisy", mostly from the North East, but the full story has never emerged. Given that any living survivors are now in their 80s or 90s, the facts will require serious detective work to verify the legend.
Rotarian Tommy Gilmartin gave the Club's formal vote of thanks to Dereck for his well researched and entertaining presentation.

Evening Meeting on 1st March 2006

Gus McDonald - Click for larger image
Past Director General, Gus McDonald

Donald Cameron, Club President was in the chair to welcome 29 Members and guest speaker Gus McDonald, Past District Governor of Rotary District 1010 on Wednesday,1st March.
Gus explained that he had been appointed Polio Plus Co-ordinator for the Scotland North, Rotary District, to encourage Clubs in Rotary to continue their support for a project which had been launched 20 years ago.
The background was that in 1986, Rotary International had undertaken to take part in the world wide programme to eradicate polio. The aim was to complete the task by 2006. This involved the immunisation of two billion children in 200 countries and Rotary entered into a partnership with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the Centre for the Control of Diseases in addition to the National governments where the immunisation needed to take place.
A target of $120 million to be raised in three years was set and locally the effort was led by a Rotarian, Dr Bill Jamieson of Kings Cross Hospital, Dundee. The local target was achieved in two years and our area continues to contribute.Over the 20 years since the launch of Polio Plus, Rotary the world over has contributed 600 million dollars to pay for vaccines, while government and international agencies have contributed 1.7 billion dollars. The achievement of the programme can be readily measured.In 1985, there were 350,000 cases in 125 countries. In 2005, 1000 cases were reported in 6 endemic areas. A few small pockets still exist today, but 166 countries were able to report no new cases last year. The danger is not yet over, as there are carriers who may be travelling from areas that missed out on immunisation who do not realise they are carrying the disease. The message Gus wanted to put across was that while the effort to eradicate polio is nearly complete, there was an impetus to complete the job and Rotary Clubs should continue giving towards the cause to create a Rotary legacy of a ploio free world.
The level of interest in the subject was marked by the number of questions and comments from the floor and in his vote of thanks, Past President Scott Blyth remarked that in Gus, Rotary had chosen the right man to communicate the success to date and the need to continue the good work.

Evening Meeting on 8th March 2006

Ian Brownlie - Click for larger image
Ian Brownlie, Tayside Group, National Association of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis

Club President Donald Cameron welcomed his opposite number George Brown and visitors from North Fife Rotary Club to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 8th March. Rotarian Graham Findlay introduced the guest speaker, Iain Brownlie who was speaking on behalf of the Tayside Group of the National Association of Crohn's and Colitis. Their Group is one of 70 across the UK whose activities are to help people who have Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease and their families. It is a small charity which has only 10 full time workers, but has respect and support from health professionals.
Nationally, the Association have raised £3.5 million for research. The aims overall are to improve life for sufferers, as there is unlikely to be a cure. Local support and self help is encouraged, publicity is distributed to non members, there are links with hospitals and the medical profession and fund-raising. The types of activity undertaken by local groups include regular self help and support meetings, educational meetings with expert input, social events, lending of books and videos on the illness, distributing a local news letter and contacting those who have been recently diagnosed to offer support.
Nationally the association deals with 7000 enquiries a year which has led to the appointment of a fourth information officer. There is significant reliance on volunteers, in raising awareness among the public, health service, employers and politicians. Recent developments include wider distribution of information leaflets in hospitals including ethnic minority languages. Recent campaigns focussed on the need for specialist nursing, provision of disabled badges and assistance with prescription costs. In 2007 the fund-raising target is to be £500,000 annually for research.
Past President Sandy Mitchell gave the Club's formal vote of thanks for a presentation which had been informative and helpful, as the NACC would be one of the beneficiaries of a future fund-raising sponsored walk organised by the Club in May.

Evening Meeting on 15th March 2006

Moira Lawrence - Click for larger image
Moira Lawrence, Fund-raising and Events Manager, Alzheimer Scotland

Moira Lawrence, fund-raising and events manager for Alzheimer Scotland was introduced as guest speaker by Club President Donald Cameron at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 15th March. The illness was first diagnosed about 100 years ago under the broad term of dementia. The symptoms of sufferers are a progressive loss of mental powers, leading to loss of memory and understanding and becoming less able to look after themselves. It is the fourth most common cause of death in Scotland, Alzheimer's Disease and vascular dementia being the most common forms and it is reckoned that 63,000 Scots have dementia, with many of us knowing someone who is affected. More than half of people with dementia live at home and care can be a 24 hour, 7 day a week task which is emotionally, physically and financially draining. There is no cure at present, although drugs can keep symptoms under control. It is a condition that chooses its victims at random and is no respecter of status; for example, two well known sufferers were Ronald Reagan and Rikki Fulton.
Alzheimer Scotland provides a wide range of services throughout Scotland, including day centres, care at home or home support, carer support, a freephone information helpline with trained volunteers on duty. Both locally and nationally, Alzheimer Scotland represents people with dementia and their carers at every level, seeking higher standards of care greater financial assistance, flexibility in service provision and lobbying local and national government about their policies. As a fund-raising and events manager, Moira explained that she is involved in a wide ranging programme of activities which raise money for Alzheimer Scotland and also raise the profile of the charity. Among the events which she highlighted among forthcoming events are a 'Tea Break' for small gatherings between 4th and 11th June, The Great Scottish Walk on 18th June and Bonfire Night Firewalking in Glasgow. She also expressed her appreciation to the Rotary Club of Cupar for including Alzheimer Scotland as a nominated charity in the Club's Sponsored Walk in May.
Past President John Hendry gave the Club's formal vote of thanks to Moira.

Evening Meeting on 22nd March 2006

Tom Findlay - Click for larger image
Rev. Tom Findlay, who spoke on Mercy Ships

The Club celebrated their International Day with a specially themed meeting and International guests from among those currently attending Elmwood College. Club President Donald Cameron welcomed the visitors, and the guest speaker, the Rev. Tom Findlay representing Mercy Ships, was introduced by Andrew Morrison, Chairman of the club's International Committee.
Mercy Ships operate a fleet of ships crewed by doctors, teachers, water engineers and agricultural specialists visiting some of the poorest regions of the world. In his presentation, Tom Findlay explained that the UK effort centred on three vessels, the Caribbean Mercy, the Anastasis which has recently been on location in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia dealing with the aftermath of 14 years of civil war.
The most important current project was the completion and commissioning of the Africa Mercy, a former Scandinavian Ferry which was undergoing renovation and hopefully to be completed by 31st March. Following the commissioning of this vessel, it will set off for 10 months in Ghana. While medical and healthcare form a large part of the Mercy Ships work, there are other aspects such as educating local people in hygiene, nutrition and basic health care. There is a great effort to empower communities to help themselves through better crop husbandry, caring for livestock and becoming self sufficient in food production. The lack of clean water is a major cause of preventable disease in the developing world today. Mercy Ship teams test local water sources, drill wells and assist with latrine construction to overcome some of the problems which cause disease. Volunteers meet their own costs in travelling and serving on Mercy Ships, thus reducing the operating costs to a minimum. Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland have agreed to support Mercy Ships, following the example of Rotarians in Scotland who first took up the cause.
Following a vote of thanks from Andrew Morrison, Club President Donald presented a cheque for £500 from the Club for Mercy Ship funds.

Evening Meeting on 29th March 2006

Vicky Hunter - Click for larger image
Vicky Hunter, School of Life Sciences, Wellcome Centre, Dundee

Rotary Club Members were joined by two visitors from the Leven Club for their weekly meeting on Wednesday, 29th March. Club Vice President Vince Fusaro introduced the speaker Vicky Hunter of Cupar who enlightened those present about her work at the School of Life Sciences at the Wellcome Centre in Dundee. The level of research conducted in Dundee has transformed the city's aspirations and it is now established as a world class centre in discovering fresh aspects of the human make up. Genetic influences on disease are become much better understood following the work that has been undertaken on the human genome. It is now possible to identify the genes associated with specific diseases and consider how to intervene and modify gene behaviour.
Stem Cell Research which is a controversial area of activity also holds out prospects of tackling medical conditions, but before any actions are embarked upon, ethical issues are to the fore when matters such as human gene therapy and the future exploitation of the technology are considered. Transgenic technology which has potential applications in agriculture, medicine and industry is another aspect of the work being undertaken at Dundee. Following a series of questions from the Club members, Past President Ian Copland proposed the Club's vote of thanks to Vicky for shedding light on an area of important research happening on our doorstep.

Evening Meeting on 5th April 2006

No speaker. Meetings of Club Committees.

Evening Meeting on 12th April 2006

Eric Young - Click for larger image
Rotarian Eric Young

Rtn. Eric Young was the speaker at the meeting of Cupar Rotary Club chaired by Club President Donald Cameron on Wednesday, 12th April. His topic, the Atlantic Salmon and how to catch one, was an eminently suitable one from an ardent angler. Eric took the audience through the life cycle of the salmon, from the location chosen by adult fish to spawn, the feeding habits of the young fish and how they were preyed upon by a variety of natural enemies from the Heron to the Brown Trout in their early stages. As the salmon develops, the smolt descend the river to the sea having reached 20 -30 times their original weight and spend the next year at sea feeding. How the salmon navigate their way back to the river of their birth is a mystery, due to some sort of sixth sense inherent in the species. It had been established that salmon will not enter the river if the temperature is too cold for spawning. Eric then moved on to the aspect of catching salmon. As there are 120 salmon fishing waters in Scotland and with 25 years experience of fishing he had plenty of experience to draw upon. He illustrated his talk on the art of fly fishing by dressing for the part, donning his chest waders and other equipment, assembling his Hardy Sovereign salmon rod, explaining the type of reels he used in various conditions and showing the salmon flies suited to Scottish waters. While there was insufficient space to demonstrate his casting technique, the audience were taken through the motions in an entertaining and informative manner. Rotarian Bill Nicol proposed the Club's vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting on 19th April 2006

Peter Day - Click for larger image
Peter Day, former Head of Economic Planning at Fife Council

Club President Donald Cameron had the pleasure of inducting a new member into the Rotary Club at their weekly meeting on Wednesday, 19th April. New Rotarian Stuart Campbell was sponsored and introduced by Rotarian Bruce McHardy. A Director of McLeod's Car Body repair business, Stuart will have the Rotary Classification, Vehicle Accident Repair. Past President Ron Smith introduced the guest speaker, Peter Day, formerly head of Economic Planning at Fife Council. His topic was the proposed expansion of Cupar housing and the bypass which would be funded by new housing. Peter has a direct interest arising from the closeness of the route to his home and is also a member of CARD, Cupar against Rural Development. He indicated that there was a lot of confusion between the Local Plan for the area and the Strategic Plan for Fife which is a strategic document. The proposals in the Structure Plan are well known, the extra housing, retail and business parks. His question was, is the scale of development proposed acceptable to residents? The local plan when it is considered will deal with the detail of where development happens. There has been a consultation process going back over three years, including public meetings and workshops. In his view, the number of houses proposed is not required and as to the need for a bypass, even with all the local concerns about congestion, Cupar does not have the volume of traffic required by national tests to justify a bypass. Arising from the issues up from discussion, his other question was can we make Cupar a better place? He indicated that the costs for the proposed development to work are unknown and much more information is needed. In his view of the proposals are put into the structure plan there will be no turning back. The lack of serious proposals for the management of the town centre were also of concern. The meeting of Fife Council on the 27th April is going to be critical as the proposals will be submitted to the Scottish Executive after that date. He also pointed out that the local authority elections which are due to take place in May 2007 may change the political landscape. He regretted that officials of Fife Council were attending consultation meetings to hear views but they were not listening.
Rotarian Hilda Scott proposed the Club's vote of thanks to Peter for a timely contribution on this important issue.

Evening Meeting on 3rd May 2006

The Annual General Meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar took place on Wednesday, 3rd May. With Club President Donald Cameron in the Chair, the Members present approved the officers of the Club for July 2006 to June 2007 as: President, Dereck Thomson; President - Elect, Vince Fusaro; Junior Vice President, Canon Pat McInally; Secretary, Ian Copland; Treasurer, Bill Low; Assistant Secretary, Susan Duff and Immediate Past President Donald Cameron. Additional Members elected to the Club Council were Rotarians Bruce McHardy, George Bett, Hilda Scott and Graham Findlay. Committee Chair positions were agreed to be George Bett, Vocational and Youth Activities, Canon Pat McInally, Community Service, Andrew Morrison, International and Bruce McHardy, Rotary Foundation and Vince Fusaro , Club Service. The meeting received updates from existing Committee Chairmen about completed projects and ongoing projects. The next two Club events would include hosting the Fife Final of the Primary School Quiz on Saturday, 13th May and the Cupar Walkathon on Sunday, 21st May.

Evening Meeting on 10th May 2006

Margaret Nethery - Click for larger image
Margaret Nethers, Fund-raising manager at Lauder College, Dunfermline

Thirty One Members of the Club were welcomed by President Elect Dereck Thomson to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 10th May. The speaker, introduced by Rotarian Ken McLaren, was Margaret Nethery, Fund Raising Manager at Lauder College, Dunfermline. She explained that the Lauder Group had developed from the original College and now comprised the Andrew Carnegie Business School, Babcock Learning Technology, the Business Learning and Conference Centre and Employment and Enterprise activity geared to the needs of individual companies and communities. Her presentation looked in some detail at a new project at Lauder College, which has teamed up with the architectural practice, RMJM to create a unique workshop for students in the construction industry. The purpose of the building is to meet the expected demand for over 400 new apprentices required in Fife over the next four years. The ECOSpace Project is planned to provide Scotland with a centre of excellence dealing with the new skills that will be required to meet the challenges of the sustainable construction sector for Scotland. The ECOSpace Centre will incorporate renewable resources, use as much natural light as possible and optimise energy performance. It will also showcase the best of Scottish products. Included will be a suite of restoration workshops to train future craftspeople from across Scotland and aid the redevelopment of lost skills in traditional crafts and construction. Another element of the project, Aspire will provide training opportunities and provide life skills for independent living to a number of students with learning difficulties. Rotarian Bill Pagan gave the Club's formal vote of thanks. Among the Club announcements, Canon Pat McInally intimated that the Club's Kids Out Day for pupils at Kilmaron School would take place on 16th June.

Evening Meeting on 17th May 2006

Bob Thomson - Click for larger image
Past Member Bob Thomson, Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Leven

The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar took place on Wednesday, 17th May with Club President Donald Cameron welcoming 26 Members. They heard a memorable presentation from an old friend - former Member Bob Thomson, Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Leven. Bob has just led a Rotary Sponsored Group Study Exchange to Uttar Pradesh, the vast poverty-stricken rural Indian State where Lucknow is the Capital. The study group included a district nurse, a policeman and a special needs teacher. In a little over a month, they covered 3,500 miles in a nine seater jeep negotiating bullock carts, elephants, sacred cows and horrendous traffic. Whenever they stopped in remote areas a small crowd would gather to look in wonder. At formal stopping places arranged by local Rotarians, the Group were warmly welcomed with the red mark of welcome on the forehead, garlanded and offered sweet milky tea. Meals were often buffet style dinners, out in the open after 11.00 p.m.For three weeks the Group ate no meat. The local cooking fuel was usually dried cow pat, there being no oil, gas or electricity. The group also attended a traditional Indian Wedding and on another occasion Bob had to address 400 steel workers who had waited many hours for the Group's arrival. The local population were apparently happy and friendly, with easy access to water flowing from the Himalayas. The region has no social services, nor any free schooling so illiteracy is widespread. Several Rotary Projects were visited, including a polio immunisation camp, rural medical clinics and a Rotary Hospital where 40 cataract operations take place every day and a "Poor School" run by Rotary. The group found India wonderful but humbling, shook up the whole party's perceptions as to how they view everything. Bob now has the task of co-ordinating the next Rotary Group Study Exchange. It will show the other side of the coin as it will be visiting an affluent area of New York State between September and October, 2006. It too will be a unique cultural and vocational opportunity for young business and professional men and women between the ages of 25 and 40. The Club's formal vote of thanks to Bob Thomson was given by Rotarian Ken McLaren.

Evening Meeting on 24th May 2006

Bruce Rollo - Click for larger image
Past President Bruce Rollo

Club President Donald Cameron had the pleasant duty of inducting two new Members, in the presence of 34 Members.
Following introductions by Past President Scott Blyth, the new Rotarians welcomed into the world wide fellowship of Rotary were Tracy Jordan, classification Funeral Director and Dr Michael Hendry, classification medicine.
The speaker after the formalities was Past President Bruce Rollo who treated Members to an illustrated account of his most recent travel adventures.
His account of seeking out tigers on elephant was accompanied by some arresting close up pictures of these magnificent creatures and no one could disagree with his sentiments about saving this species for the future. However, the most recent trip had taken Bruce and Lesley into Nepal to tackle the Annapurna Circuit, considered to be one of the best trekking experiences in the world. The trek is a circuit encompassing the Annapurna mountain range featuring Annapurna at 8091 metres, the tenth highest peak in the world. The trek is undertaken in anticlockwise direction and every day brings new experiences and challenges. The trek commences at Besisahar, proceeds round the Sudar peak before Annapurna 2 and 3 are seen from the river valley. The Thorong La Pass, one of the highest in the world was a highlight of the trip.
As well as the magnificent scenery, this wild and remote region has a welcoming and hospitable population. The variety of landscape ranged from sub tropical terraced farmlands, cool mountain forests, wind swept mountain trails, glacial scree,snow covered high altitude passes and rugged arid deep valleys such as the Mustang Region with fierce winds.
Bruce's photographs captured all the magnificence of the region, the snow capped peaks, the simple dwellings where the party lodged and the local residents.
One aspect of visiting the troubled area of Nepal was that travellers had to co-operate with the Maoist representatives who style themselves as the Tamuwan Autonomous Region Government by paying a tourist tax.
On their return to Khatmandu, with a strike and civil unrest creating travel problems, patience had to be exercised before leaving the area.
Past President Brian Bayne gave the Club's formal vote of thanks to Bruce for sharing his account of what must have been an arduous but rewarding experience for himself and Lesley.

Evening Meeting on 31st May 2006

Graham Burgess - Click for larger image
Graham Burgess, who spoke of his experiences with the British Antarctic Survey

Thirty Eight Members, two visitors from the Howe of Fife Rotary Club and Honorary Member Dave Rollo were in attendance to be welcomed by Club President Donald Cameron to the new venue, The Armaan Restaurant.
Rotarian Tom Gilmartin introduced the guest speaker, Graham Burgess from Newburgh. Graham gave a fascinating account of his experience as a member of the support team with the British Antarctic Survey over two periods of time, 1987 - 1990 and 1992 - 1993.
His role was as a mechanic, maintaining the specialist vehicles and transport and the generators which provided power to the settlements.
He initially found his way into employment with the British Antarctic Survey by responding to an advert in the Farmer's Weekly, was invited to Cambridge, the Headquarters for the Survey, and following on his appointment spent an intensive period on familiarisation and preparation. The voyage to the South Atlantic was from Grimsby on the RRS Bransfield, an ice strengthened cargo vessel, originally launched at Leith in 1970. The first stop on the voyage was at Montevideo, where more crew embarked. The balmy conditions experienced in the early part of the voyage changed to rougher seas as they proceeded south, firstly to South Georgia where the task was to set up a krill study.
Graham's slides showed the dramatic landscape, the old abandoned whaling station at Stromness, local wildlife including penguins and herds of reindeer that had been introduced by the Norwegians as a food source. The harsh conditions that existed were recalled in the memorial stones to those who had perished in the area and of course the memorial to Shackleton whose endeavours are well documented.
The arrival at Halley Base involved the unloading of cargo including the supply of aviation fuel for all the vehicles and a year's stock of beer!
The dramatic landscapes and atmospheric conditions were captured in Graham's slides, and he commented upon the periods of darkness and confinement to base when conditions became difficult. He emphasised that living and working in these conditions would not suit everybody as individuals need to have a positive approach and a team ethic. The evolution of techniques and equipment to cope with living and travel in this polar region have led to reliable snow vehicles instead of husky teams, and ski equipped and fixed wheel aircraft ( De Havilland Twin Otters ) which act as a taxi service. All clothing was supplied by the BAS, and there was no excuse for feeling cold as the design and advanced fabrics equipped staff to face the harshest conditions.
It was not all work and opportunities for recreational outings and camping using the husky teams were popular. Graham had a high regard for the dog teams. The discipline of life in the Antarctic meant that every day, blocks of ice had to be cut to obtain fresh water.
One of Graham's slides pictured a passenger cruise vessel showing the region and its wildlife to tourists. This was a growing trend, and while the experience would educate those who made the trip, the work of those who spent years researching climate change and tracking the ozone layer would at the end of the day be more beneficial to the planet.
Past President Graham Pirie proposed the Club's formal vote of thanks to Graham for sharing his experiences and bringing a first hand account and wonderful visual images of the region.

Evening Meeting on 7th June 2006

Jackie Taylor - Click for larger image
Jackie Taylor - Nepal Water Project link

Twenty Nine Members and one guest were in attendance.
The Club agreed to purchase eight new lightweight and effective ophthalmoscopes for use in developing countries following a recommendation by Club Secretary Grant McLeish.
Rotarian Bruce McHardy introduced the guest speaker, Jackie Taylor who was making a return visit to update the Club about a project she was trying to get off the ground in Nepal.
Having recently returned from Nepal, she made reference to the political situation and recent unrest when much of the country came to a standstill and the 7 political parties called for demonstrations against the King. The eventual outcome and the concessions granted will see the return of an elected parliament with the prospect of huge changes and optimism in the country. The ongoing crisis had held up progress in taking forward her proposal to provide an accessible water supply to a remote village as travel arrangements could not be guaranteed and the activities of the local Maoists had caused problems for residents in the remoter areas as well.
Eventually she had obtained new estimates for the necessary engineering works drawing water from a new source, being powered by solar panels. Members were advised of the revised costs for the technical work, civil engineering aspects and transport. Arrangements would be made to train local personnel to care for the system once it was up and running.
Following a searching question and answer session, the Club's formal vote of thanks were given by Past President, Leslie McAndrew.

Evening Meeting on 14th June 2006

There was a healthy attendance, with special guest David Rankin, District Governor Elect from the Howe of Fife Rotary Club welcomed by Club President Donald Cameron.
The evening took the form of a Club Assembly during which President-Elect Dereck Thomson introduced his team and proposals for the new Rotary year commencing 1st July.
Vince Fusaro, Vice President introduced the plans prepared by members of the Club Service Committee, incorporating membership, communications, speaker supply, sports, entertainment and ways and means.
Eric Young, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee reminded the Club that their first fundraising event of the year would be the annual coffee morning at the Corn Exchange on 12th August. Canon Pat McInally, Chairman of the Community Service Committee outlined his plans, including outings for the elderly, Kids out Day, games nights at local Residential Homes and a stroke awareness event at Cupar Highland Games.
The Vocational and Youth Activities Committee would be repeating many of the Club's ongoing Rotary Projects such as Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Primary School Quiz, Inter - School Debate for Secondary Pupils and vocational visits to local business by Club Members.
Andrew Morrison, International Service Chairman proposed that the Club renew its support for Vision Aid International, participate in the Rotary Shoe Box Scheme and take on board a new project, Riders for Health, supporting transport for health workers in remote areas of Africa.
Bruce McHardy as Chairman of the Foundation Committee indicated that the fund-raising in the Club for Rotary's own Charity Foundation would continue in the established pattern and was also given approval for the Foundation Committee to manage the Club's water aid project in Nepal.
President - Elect Dereck introduced proposals for a series of events to celebrate Cupar and to encourage enjoyment and fun within the Club. District Governor Elect David Rankin congratulated the Club on a forward looking and busy year ahead.

Evening Meeting on 21st June 2006

Club President Donald Cameron was in the chair to welcome 29 Members and three special guests representing charitable organisations that were to receive funds generated from the Cupar Walkathon. They were Moira Lawrence of Alzheimer Scotland, Ian Brownlie of NACC and Jackie Murray of DebRA. Each organisation received a cheque amounting to £2000 from the Club and the respective charities expressed their gratitude as the sums involved would make a huge difference to their work.
The Club Members present also approved the disbursement of a further £2,750 between ten local organisations in the voluntary and charity sector.

Evening Meeting on 28th June 2006

President Donald welcomed members and guests to the evening's meeting. They were greatly entertained by a humorous presentation given by Rotarian Sandy Mitchell about a wide variety of unrelated subjects. The Club's appreciation was expressed by David Nimmo in a hearty vote of thanks. The meeting closed with a number of reminders relating to future meetings.

Evening Meeting on 5th July 2006

Outgoing President Donald welcomed 28 members then expressed his thanks to the Club for its support and particularly to Secretary Grant who was demitting office. After installing Dereck as President, Donald was presented with his Past President's badge, then Dereck set out his objectives for the year, to "Celebrate Cupar", taking part in the programme and enjoying the year ahead.

Evening Meeting on 12th July 2006

Club President Dereck Thomson welcomed 32 Members to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 12th July when the speaker was Club member, Susan Duff. Susan chose to speak about her favourite place, which happens to be Glenesk. She explained to those who might not have explored the area, that Glenesk is the most easterly of the Angus Glens, is 15 miles long and because it has no through road, this has helped protect its unspoilt character. The Glen is divided into three sporting estates and provides the majority of employment, although farming, water treatment and tourism provide additional work. The past of the area is depicted in the contents of the Glens Folk Museum. The landscape comprises moorland, native woodland, plantations, arable land and rough pasture while the higher ground includes Mount Keen, the most easterly Munro. While the hills may look empty to the casual visitor, they are carefully managed and support grouse, red deer and sheep and an extensive range of flora and fauna. The rich natural history comprises many bird species, red and roe deer and a range of typical Scottish wildlife. Fishing is managed by the Dalhousie Estate, on the North Esk River and Loch Lee. Local landmarks include the Queen's Well, so named to commemorate the occasion when Queen Victoria stopped off for a drink at Glen Mark at the head of Glen Esk. Invermark Castle built in the 16th Century by the Lindsays, often used as a refuge when cattle raiders were in the area. Signs of human habitation through the centuries are evident from Pictish and Iron Age settlements, small scale silver mining, and in addition to present day dwellings there are many ruins providing evidence of a larger population in earlier times.
The Club's vote of thanks to Susan was proposed by Rotarian Ian Donaldson.

Evening Meeting on 19th July 2006

Jimmy Gou - Click for larger image
Jimmy Gou, visiting scholar from China

Derek Thomson, Club President, welcomed 27 members and two guests to the meeting. Fellowship was in the hands of Rtn. Harry Mellotte. Past Pres. Brian Bayne introduced the speaker for the evening, "Jimmy" Gou, a visiting scholar from China, currently undertaking a golf industry professional development course at Elmwood College. In China, Jimmy is an Assistant Principal of an Aviation and Tourism College. Those present were treated to a wide ranging presentation about Chinese folk culture and history. One aspect he touched on was that unique mythical creation, the Chinese Dragon, which has influenced the people of China over many centuries. The Dragon represents supreme power over and above human power and the Chinese emperors used this to hold sway over the people, claiming to be descendents of dragons. It is this influence on the Chinese mentality that causes the people to respect authority and rely on central powers to make decisions. Jimmy then went on to explain how China had brought many great inventions to the World, the abacus, gunpowder, paper, printing and the magnetic compass. China is, of course, where one of the great wonders of the world can be found, the Great Wall, but even that great structure has not been above criticism. The complicated arrangements for serving the many varieties of China Tea were described, the power of Chinese medicine was described and the unique effects of acupuncture which now has acceptance all over the world. In Chinese history, the Ching Dynasty was probably one of the most important as it united seven separate kingdoms, unified the legal system, hand writing, currency and measurement.
In proposing the Club's vote of thanks to Jimmy, Harry Mellotte reflected on whether many of those present could provide such an insight into our own culture and history in a language which was not our own.

Evening Meeting on 26th July 2006

Twenty Eight Members gathered for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 26th July at the Armaan Restaurant. Past president Scott Blyth was on Fellowship. In the absence of a speaker, the opportunity was taken to conduct club business.
Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rotarian Eric Young reminded Members about arrangements for the Coffee Morning Fundraiser to be held at the Corn Exchange on Saturday 12th August and issued a plea for contributions to the range of stalls which would be on offer. Past President Ronnie Law, on behalf of the Cupar in Bloom Committee intimated that Cupar had reached the final judging stage and expressed his thanks to the Club for their ongoing support. Club President Dereck Thomson announced a fund-raising social evening with music which was to be specifically in aid of the Howe of Fife Youth Rugby. This would take place at the Howe Club Rooms on Friday, 25th August.

Evening Meeting on 2nd August 2006

The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar took place at the Armaan Restaurant under the chairmanship of Club President Dereck Thomson on 2nd August. Dereck welcomed a number of visitors, Jimmy Gou from Elmwood College who was shortly to be returning to China and John Cumming, Secretary of Leigh on Sea Rotary Club in Essex. The guest speaker, Ken McGavin was introduced by Rotarian Ken McLaren and proceeded to give an illustrated slide show on the theme, "Playful Photography".
Ken drew upon his architectural training, artistic and photographic skills to interpret the various slides which he had chosen. The audience was taken through a series of unusual and unorthodox pictures, as well as more standard interpretations of landscapes and buildings.
These ranged from naval vessels, Regents Park Zoo, scenes on the Island of Mull and a number of architectural features and forms from the South Bank Complex in London. Ken showed a photograph of the house once lived in by John Ruskin's aunt at Bridgend in Perth, and also later by Ken's own family. Sadly the house was demolished some time ago, but Ken took much inspiration from Ruskin in his approach to art.
Local interest was represented by photographs of banners created as part of an anti-litter campaign in Cupar on the early 1970s. In conclusion, some slides of Ken's own abstract paintings were shown to complete his theme for the evening. The Club's formal vote of thanks was proposed by Immediate Past-President, Donald Cameron. The evening concluded with some Club business when it was agreed to make financial donations to Fife Folk Museum and the Vine Trust.

Evening Meeting on 9th August 2006

Gavin Logan - Click for larger image
Gavin Logan, who spoke and received a cheque on behalf of the Vine Trust

Dereck Thomson, Club President, welcomed 35 Members and one guest to the evening weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 9th August. Fellowship was in the hands of Rotarian Stuart Campbell. The speaker for the evening, Gavin Logan, was introduced by Rotarian Bill Nicoll. Gavin spoke informatively his involvement with the Vine Trust and in particular the Trust's invaluable work in aiding the Street Children of Peru. The Vine Trust began life in 1985 to offer relief for the Ethiopian Famine. Amongst other projects, it now, in conjunction with Scripture Union in Peru, provides a lifeline to homeless children in the streets of the cities in Peru. The Trust raises funds and provides skilled volunteers to build hostels as safe havens for these children who otherwise have an appalling and short existence to fend for themselves from as young as three years of age, out on the streets.
The Trust also offers education and work opportunities ploughing back profits from such business ventures as a bakery and a rickshaw taxi service to help more children by offering them safety, education, medical help and above all self respect and a future.
The Club's formal vote of thanks was proposed by Stuart Campbell.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Club President Dereck Thomson presented a cheque for £250 to Gavin Logan to be used for the ongoing work of the Vine Trust.

Evening Meeting on 16th August 2006

Jack Daniels - Click for larger image
Jack Daniels, who spoke on his career as an obituary journalist

Dereck Thomson, Club President, welcomed 32 Members and one guest to the meeting. Fellowship was in the hands of Rotarian Alastair Clark. Rotarian David Nimmo introduced the speaker for the evening, Jack Daniels, a member of St Andrews Rotary Club who has had a varied career and now travels the world in connection with his current role as a part time International Officer with St Andrews University.
Jack developed an interest in obituaries as a young journalist and spoke knowledgeably and humorously about this interest, which he views as biographies. He greatly entertained the company with witty excerpts from his favourite obituaries.
He also related humorous anecdotes about his own experiences as a journalist in compiling material for obituaries, including the error which led to a notable soldier being able to read his own obituary in the morning paper.
The Club's formal vote of thanks was proposed by Alastair Clark.
Rotarian Eric Young reported that to date, the Rotary Coffee Morning held on 12th August had raised £1400 thanks to the generosity and strong support of local people.

Evening Meeting on 23rd August 2006

Thirty two Members were present for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 23rd August, Rotarian Bill McSeveney was on Fellowship duty. Club President Dereck Thomson introduced Club Member, Bill Pagan as the speaker for the evening. The subject of his presentation was highly topical, terrorism, and the rights of the citizen in the context of "The War on Terror". He suggested that there was more chance of being a major lottery winner than suffering at the hands of terrorists in a targeted aircraft, yet he had adjusted his travel plans lately, going to London by train rather than spend time negotiating airport security.
Fear was a major factor in how government was dealing with the situation, but what exactly were we afraid of? Too often situations have arisen that produce knee jerk legislation and major changes have crept in as to how the law deals with the citizen.
He cited the example of the extradition treaties which the UK has with a number of governments including the USA which has not ratified extradition from the USA to the UK.
An allegation of a crime is sufficient under " War on Terror "legislation and this led to the Nat West Three becoming casualties of this extraordinary situation.
It was also disturbing to hear pseudo intellectual arguments being used to support the situation. The Home Secretary recently suggested that human rights needed to be curtailed to win the war on terror. In short, common sense seems to have gone out of the window and the opposition parties have failed to speak out sufficiently to say things have gone too far.
Big Brother is really with us now and those in power are circumventing basic human rights, using the "War on Terror" as their justification. A further example was the flouting of the Geneva Convention at Guantanamo Bay by the USA. It is a basic principle of law that evidence obtained under torture is inadmissible, because it is worse than no evidence at all.
In conclusion, Bill expressed his incredulity at a recent Foreign Office Statement that the technique known as waterboarding did not count as torture. He concluded that we should be in mourning for the rights of the British Citizen. The attention given by the listeners to Bill's presentation was evident in the many questions and opinions expressed after his talk.
Bill McSeveney expressed the Club's formal vote of thanks for a presentation on a difficult topic delivered with authority and commitment.

Evening Meeting on 30th August 2006

President's Reception at Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood Golf Course with guest speaker Jim McArthur.

Evening Meeting on 6th September 2006

Club Committees

Evening Meeting on 13th September 2006

Bill Leslie and Dereck Thomson - Click for larger image
District Governor Bill Leslie and President Dereck Thomson

A welcome visitor to the weekly Rotary Club Meeting on Wednesday evening was Bill Leslie, District Governor of the Scotland North Area of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. Bill had travelled from his home in Westhill near Aberdeen as part of his Rotary journey which involves visiting all 84 Clubs between July 2006 and June 2007 within his area of responsibility. With his trip to meet Cupar Rotarians, it was no mean feat when he announced that he had now reached the milestone of 50 visits on coming to Cupar. He made a point of greeting all Club Members personally on arrival, a gesture which was much appreciated. Following an introduction by Club President Dereck Thomson, Bill brought the greetings of his own Club, Westhill and District and moved on to congratulate Cupar Rotarians on the range of programmes which were planned for the year 2006-2007 and the recent achievements of the Club. He also drew attention to the work going on through Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland under the Presidency of Peter Offer, including supporting the Impact Foundation which deals with prevention and treatment of disability in developing countries. The Institute of Cancer Research will also be a beneficiary of Rotary fund-raising in the coming months.
He also spoke highly of the Rotary International President Bill Boyd from New Zealand. His career in the book trade and publishing has fostered his emphasis on improving literacy among the programmes he is encouraging Rotarians to lead the way in, along with the continuing commitment of Rotary International to eradicate polio.
Past President John Hendry expressed the Club's formal vote of thanks and finally, to send Bill back on his way north, the President led the company in singing the 'Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen'.

Evening Meeting on 20th September 2006

Carol Borthwick - Click for larger image
Carol Borthwick, Director of Golf and International Affairs at Elmwood College

Club President Dereck Thomson was in the chair for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 20th September, with Rotarian Jim Robertson on Fellowship duty.
The first business of the meeting was to welcome and induct a new member into the Club. Past President Ronnie Law introduced Margaret Beetlestone to Club members who becomes the fourth lady member serving as a Cupar Rotarian. Margaret, Managing Director of Gleneagles Conversions will hold the classification, coachbuilding.
The guest speaker for the evening was introduced by Rotarian Andrew Morrison.
Carol Borthwick, Director of Golf and International Affairs at Elmwood College gave a presentation on the vision that was evolving for Golf Education at Elmwood and the progress that had been made so far. Elmwood College was now the biggest provider of golf education in Europe, building on its strengths, achievements, reputation and image in this niche market. It also aimed to have the best qualified staff in Europe through the range of specialisms represented, offering state of the art facilities, practical experience for students and excellent greenkeeping facilities.
New provision would include golf coaching and performance courses and a golf academy was under development. Work was also progressing on the changes to the Elmwood Golf Course with a projected opening date in May, 2008. The College aimed to keep customers happy by having the course open during reconstruction.
The numbers being catered for in the golf market by the college were around 770 students, of whom 102 were international. Strong links have been developed with the golf industry, including the R and A, the Professional Golfers Association and other bodies validating courses. The aim is to follow best practice in teaching and have a sustainable golf agenda, demonstrating sound environmental practices. The College also works with other educational providers to allow students to progress to degree level this all leads to enhancing the image of being the top provider of golf education in Europe.
Staff represent the College on National and International Committees and the College has recently opened a new International Office in St Andrews, located in St Rule Golf Club.
Carol felt that there was still potential for further knowledge transfer in the field of golf and growth in the number of international students.
At the conclusion of a busy session dealing with questions, Carol was accorded a hearty vote of thanks on the call of Jim Robertson.

Evening Meeting on 27th September 2006

The meeting of Cupar Rotary Club on Wednesday, 27th September took the form of a Club Business Meeting, chaired by Club President, Dereck Thomson.
The Club Treasurer, Bill Low reported on the final receipts from the Walkathon organised by the Club back in May, supplemented by Gift Aid contributions. There was agreement that as the sponsored event had specific aims to support named charities, the additional funds which had accrued would be disbursed accordingly. Following reports on the activities of the Committees dealing with the Club's internal affairs, those present heard of plans for the coming months. The Community Service Committee would be undertaking arrangements for Carol Singing at local homes and hospitals, Games Nights at local Residential Homes and visitations or outings for those isolated in the community. The Club's environmental project involving Tarvit Pond was discussed at some length.
The Vocational and Youth Activities Committee recommended that the Club continue to support candidates attending Rotary Youth Leadership Award Camps in July next year.
The Local round of the Primary School Quiz was to be scheduled for March 2007.
The International Service Committee was progressing with the Rotary Shoe Box scheme and planned this for completion on 23rd October.
The Foundation Committee reported on progress with the Club's Water Aid Project in Nepal. Regular updates to the Club are provided by Jackie Taylor in Nepal and it is anticipated that there will be an early completion date.
Future events to look forward to in 2007 include a Charity Fashion Show in April and a repeat of the Cupar Walkathon in May.
The Club President reported on two forthcoming events involving the Club, a street collection for Cancer research on 4th November with a lecture by a prominent oncologist on 10th November, and participation in the Creative Cupar Exhibition which would be open to the public at St John's Church hall on 16th and 18th November.

Evening Meeting on 4th October 2006

Visiting speaker at the Wednesday meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar was their own member, Aubin Roger, on a return visit to Fife from his chalet catering business based in France. Life in Les Carroz, was the title Aubin chose for his presentation. Located in the border area of France, Switzerland and Italy, the Chalet Calluna is close to a typical French Alpine Village which has a 400 year old history and boasts the second oldest ski lift in France. As a small scale resort, normal population 1,700 rising to 11,500 in the skiing season, Les Carroz has a very French atmosphere, unlike many of the larger resorts catering for the international market.
The local population were originally skilled in making clock and watch parts and this tradition has passed down over the generations as the surrounding area has many precision engineering companies. Aubin took the audience through a series of illustrations showing how the exterior and interior of the chalet were converted over a period of 15 months, with the comfort of visitors being a priority in comparison with the basic amenities many chalets still offer.
Spectacular views abound whichever direction you face and the hot tub with its alpine views was admired.
The extensive skiing areas provide 265 km of prepared ski runs, while off-piste offers even more choice.
The change of season with the disappearance of the snow still provides picturesque scenery, good walking country with strong floral displays being a point of competition between neighbouring communities. It was a surprise to Aubin to discover how fertile the area was for gardening, as he demonstrated with pictures of courgettes and outdoor tomatoes.
In addition, there was a local golf course, providing one of the highest golfing experiences in Europe at between 1,850 and 1,910 metres.
The local markets always had an abundance of fresh produce, locally grown, with all ages having an appreciation of the finer points of food quality.
Within easy reach was the attractive town of Annecy and Geneva Airport only 40 minutes away. Past President Bruce Rollo gave the Club's formal vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting on 11th October 2006

Ian Dorward - Click for larger image
Ian Dorward - who spoke on his work with employment tribunals

Thirty Members were welcomed by Club President Dereck Thomson to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 11th October, with Rotarian Aubin Roger on Fellowship Duty.
Past President Donald Fisher introduced the speaker for the evening, Ian Dorward, former Secretary and General Manager of Fife Health Board who provided an account of his experiences as a member of employment tribunals. He hoped that his account of the work carried out by tribunals would encourage individuals to think about taking up this important public duty. He explained that these tribunals comprised three members, a chair who was legally qualified and two lay members drawn from a panel filled these days by public advertisement. Each case is dealt with on its own merits and is fair, with both sides normally represented. On rare occasions it may be that the appellant chooses to represent him or herself, but that has the danger of individual perceptions and accents not being fully understood by the chair.
The tribunal members have to work hard for their fees, coping with a significant amount of detail and requiring to make copious notes as a case proceeds. Often members are hearing conflicting evidence under oath, so the truth is never pure or rarely simple. What is often being heard are receptions of the truth. The tribunal members have to decide which witness is credible and make subjective judgements based on the demeanour of witnesses.
It is part of the process of a tribunal that members need to learn and understand how workplaces operate and Ian commented that this was one of the most fascinating aspects of the work he carried out.
He went on to describe some of the tribunals he had participated in, the time taken to deal with complex cases which required concentration from the first day through to delivery of the final verdict. Tribunal members receive regular training in our evolving employment law and other aspects of law such as sex discrimination, disability rights, understanding stress at work and now very recently, the introduction of legislation on age discrimination.
Rotarian Aubin Roger gave the Club's formal vote of thanks for a fascinating account of the public service duty carried out by members of employment tribunals.

Evening Meeting on 18th October 2006

Vince Fusaro - Click for larger image
Vince Fusaro - the history of Port

President-Elect Vince Fusaro chaired the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 18th October, and by coincidence found himself the main speaker for the evening.
His topic for the evening was appreciated by those in attendance, as he chose to give an outline of the history of Port as a drink, supplemented by a tasting under his guidance.
Vince described the qualities to be expected in White, Ruby, Tawny and Crusted Port. While the Members were sampling two examples to contrast the way Port is presented to the consumer, they were simultaneously undertaking a quiz on wine appreciation.
At the end of the quiz, Rotarians were better informed about where different varieties emanated from, famous vintages and some of the terminology associated with the wine trade. Rotarian George Sharp proposed the Club's vote of thanks to Vince for what had been a vintage meeting.

Evening Meeting on 1st November 2006

Ken McLaren - Click for larger image Recipients of Cheques for 3500 each - Click for larger image
Ken McLaren, who described a recent Norwegian coastal holiday Club President with Moira Lawrence of Alzheimer Scotland and Bill Murdoch of NACC Tayside and Fife with Rotarian Graham Findlay and Immediate Past President Donald Cameron

With 33 Members present, Club President Dereck Thomson was in the chair for this meeting which opened with the presentation of cheques to two charities arising from the proceeds of the Cupar Walkathon. It was explained that the event had ultimately generated £11,542.51 in sponsorship while Gift Aid had added a further £2,261.04. Each of the Walkathon's nominated charities, DEbra, Tayside and Fife NACC and Alzheimer Scotland had benefited with a total payment of £3,500 each with the balance being applied to local good causes.
Moira Lawrence of Alzheimer Scotland and Bill Murdoch of NACC expressed the gratitude of their respective organisations.
The speaker for the evening was Rotarian Ken McLaren Speaker Photo: Ken McLaren who gave an illustrated account of the experiences he shared with wife June on a Norwegian Coastal Voyage. This 12 day round trip navigates northwards to Kirknes before turning south to sail back to Bergen. Passengers experience the very best of the dramatic Norwegian coastline in a variety of weather conditions.
The trip commenced with a flight from Aberdeen to Bergen before joining the M/S Lofoten for an evening departure. The first port of note was Alesund, destroyed by fire in 1904 and rebuilt in Art Nouveau style. Continuing north, the medieval city of Trondheim included an excursion to Nidoros Cathedral. Crossing the Arctic Circle was a later highlight, complete with ceremonial involving King Neptune.
Tromso, capital of the Arctic provided a spectacular Cathedral and Polar Centre for sightseeing. The dramatic vistas shown by Ken illustrated how quickly winter conditions changed. The port of Kirknes had a significant Russian Fishing Fleet present and access to a harbour courtesy of an ice breaker amply illustrated that conditions were very cold.
The vessel had remarkable stability which was essential in the sea conditions and no fewer than 5 global positioning systems to aid navigation.
The Club's appreciation of Ken's presentation was formally expressed by Rotarian Béla Simandi.
The picture shows Club President with Moira Lawrence of Alzheimer Scotland and Bill Murdoch of NACC Tayside and Fife with Rotarian Graham Findlay and Immediate Past President Donald Cameron.

Evening Meeting on 8th November 2006

Rotarian George Bett, Julie Geyer, Lewis Hamilton, President Dereck Thomson - Click for larger image
Julie Geyer and Lewis Hamilton receive RYLA Certificates from President Dereck Thomson

Thirty one Members were present for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 8th November, with two special guests from Bell Baxter High School. Pupils Julie Geyer and Lewis Hamilton had been selected by the Club to participate in the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Camp which is sponsored by Club throughout the north of Scotland. Following an introduction by Vocational and Youth Activities Chairman George Bett, Julie and Lewis gave a joint presentation about the Leadership Camps which they had attended in early July. At the outset, on the day they travelled to the venue near Nethy Bridge, it was with mixed feelings, expectations were uncertain and they were unsure what the week would hold. As they travelled further north and collected more passengers, the conversation picked up and became more animated. Allocation of accommodation meant that they got to know their fellow participants very quickly and shared the early morning wake up call. After breakfast each day there was a guest speaker to provide inspiration and insight into leadership. These included a former captain of the Scottish Women's Hockey Team and a Chess Champion. Lessons learned included how to cope with losing! For the daily outdoor activities a new leader was selected each day from among the participants, developing communication skills and team spirit and new adventure skills by doing new things such as hill-walking, gorge walking abseiling and kayaking on a river. New challenges had to be faced on a daily basis and confronting phobias and fears. Both had learned much about themselves during the week, giving consideration to others, not to judge on first impressions, gaining self confidence. They had met interesting people, made new friends and overall the Camp was an experience to remember for the rest of their lives. Following George Bett's vote of thanks, Club President Dereck Thomson presented framed certificates to mark their achievements.

Evening Meeting on 15th November 2006

Alastair Brodie - Click for larger image
Alastair Brodie

The introduction of a new Member to the Club took precedence at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 15th November when Club President Dereck Thomson inducted Rennie Ritchie into the Club. Rennie was introduced by Past President Scott Blyth and will hold the Classification of Advanced Driving Instructor.
The speaker for the evening was introduced by Bruce McHardy, Chairman of the Club's Rotary Foundation Committee. Alastair Brodie, a member of the Aberdeen St Fittick Rotary Club, is a Member of the Rotary District Team of Officers and deals with matching grant applications. He had also previously undertaken humanitarian work in Malawi, dealing with the effects of famine and HIV Aids. Alastair's presentation furthered the understanding of how Rotary Foundation funds are allocated between world funds, district funds and volunteer service grants It was possible to take a Rotary Club funding contribution of $3000 and develop this to the $11,500 for an overseas project through matching grants provided that there is a Rotary Club to work with in the host country. Examples of successful projects included provision of medical equipment for a hospital in Livingstonia, building an Aids Clinic and meeting the cost of drugs.
Local community project grants are also available with a ceiling of £600, provided that there is direct participation by Rotarians. Examples included a reading scheme for disadvantaged children, respite for young carers, hosting children from Chernobyl and the organisation of a major charity walk.
Volunteer Service Grants were also available for teams of Rotarians to undertake humanitarian projects overseas and recent examples included work in Sierra Leone. Rotarian Dermot Stewart in giving the Club's formal vote of thanks praised Alastair for the lively and informative presentation which had brought the subject to life and reinvigorated interest in the humanitarian work that Rotary was carrying forward.

Evening Meeting on 22nd November 2006

Tracy Jordan - Click for larger image
Tracy Jordan

Club President Dereck Thomson introduced Rotarian Tracy Jordan, as the evening's speaker at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 22nd November. It is traditional for new Members to give a "Job Talk" and as a funeral director, Tracy opted to concentrate on directing rather than embalming as she is qualified in both professions.
The changes that have occurred in funerals and funeral directing in out own time have been significant. Fifty years ago an undertaker was usually a local tradesman, normally a joiner because of his ability to make a coffin. He carried out all the duties associated with a funeral with the assistance of other businessmen. Funerals were uncomplicated but more opulent. In the 1950s, Cupar had seven joiner cum undertakers and local garages had six hearses between them. The nearest crematorium being in Dundee required a booking to be made on the ferry. As the world moved on, traditional was replaced with original and changes in the public's attitude towards death, cremation becoming more accepted, more regulation all required funeral directors to be trained in every aspect of the profession.
Tracy is the fourth generation in the family owned and run business which is one of the oldest firms of its kind in Scotland. The role of the country funeral director is more diverse than that of a city director. On the business doorstep there are 52 churches, 56 cemeteries and 5 crematoria and in each the procedures are different. From village to village, things are also done differently. In 1984, Tracy was the youngest female funeral director of the time, although at the time some of her male peers didn't think the public were ready for female funeral directors. The overwhelming response was positive from all the other parties involved and the public. She regarded her work as more than just a job, it is a way of life and draws strength from the many people met along the way who cope with devastating circumstances with a quiet dignity.
In the 23 years she has served as a funeral director, she had witnessed many changes, the loss of many customs, the growth in the number of female funeral directors, more female clergy, new religions, less limousines, less refreshments, less floral tributes, more collections and more family participation. Tracy described some of the older funeral customs peculiar to Scotland and Fife and some of the unusual requests received from clients prior to their funerals and arrangements for dispersal of cremated remains.
One of the more unusual requests was to provide a coffin for Snap, the Adamson Hospital's 20 year old cat who was a well loved character among staff and patients who was interred in the rose garden. It was appropriate that the Club's vote of thanks to Tracy was delivered by the Rev Cliff Strong who had shared the work of comforting bereaved families and had a high regard for the strong vocational approach taken by Tracy and father Dave in their service to the local public. The members present were enthusiastic in their appreciation of a thoroughly prepared talk.

Evening Meeting on 29th November 2006

Twenty Eight Members were welcomed to a Special General Meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 29th November by Club Vice President Canon Pat McInally in the Chair.
This was a Special General Meeting of the Club with the purpose of electing Office Bearers for the Rotary Year, 2007 -2008 commencing in July, 2007.
Club Treasurer Bill Low updated Members on the Club Finances, comprising the Club Account, Charities Account and Water Aid Account. The meeting agreed to a number of charitable donations following this report.
The Officers elected for the ensuing Rotary Year were Vince Fusaro - Club President, Canon Pat McInally - President Elect, Ian Copland - Secretary, Bill Low - Treasurer, and Susan Duff - Assistant Secretary.
The arrangements for the programme of Carol Singing at local residential homes were confirmed, including visits to Lunardi Court, Adamson Hospital, Bathgate Court, Rosturk House, Pitlair and Northeden House.

Evening Meeting on 6th December 2006

Dr Michael Hendry - Click for larger image
Dr Michael Hendry, who spoke on the extensive family history collected by his late father, Rotarian Dr David Hendry

The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar took place under the chairmanship of President Dereck Thomson who welcomed 29 Members and two visitors to the meeting.
It was announced that arising from recent fund raising efforts dedicated to supporting one of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland's selected charities, the Club was now in a position to give the Institute of Cancer Research £1,200.
The speaker for the evening was Club Member, Rotarian Dr Michael Hendry, who posed the question, "Genealogy, is it an Inherited Disease?"
Drawing upon sources of family history and using family photographs and portraits, he illustrated how family stories were important in contributing to the overall fascination with our ancestors. Research required examination of old parish registers, monumental inscriptions and legal documents. Family links with Galloway and the Glenluce area produced one ready made family tree for one branch of the family on a gravestone. One of the aspects revealed by such records was the high rate of infant mortality and the evolution of the variant spellings of the family surname. The Portpatrick connection had been traced back as far as a Thomas Marshbanks who lived between 1567 and 1637. His father's side of the family had some of its origins in the North East of Scotland, with Alexander Hendry, 1794 to 1811 having been traced in Moray. One of the family portraits shown was of David Frederick, 1831 to 1899, his Great, great, great uncle who had been a railway developer in the mid nineteenth century. Having answered a number of pertinent questions from those present and concluding that Genealogy was infectious, the Club's formal vote of thanks was given by Past President Sandy Mitchell.

Evening Meeting on 13th December 2006

Thirty two members and two visitors were welcomed to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 13th December, with Club President Dereck Thomson in the Chair.
This was the last meeting of the year prior to the Club's Christmas outing and the opportunity was taken to thank the staff of the Armaan Restaurant who prepared and served meals at the meetings for their unfailing courtesy and help.
As there had been a late call off from the scheduled speaker, updates on a number of Club Projects were provided to members.
Rotarian Bruce McHardy had been in receipt of regular progress reports from Jackie Taylor while she was in Nepal and there was confidence that the arrangements to install a fresh water supply to one of the villages would be completed on time and on budget. Information had been obtained about one of the local Rotary Clubs in the vicinity, Palpa Tansen, and it was hoped that links with this Club could be made to foster long term co-operation between our areas.
Past President Bruce Rollo brought news of the project to obtain funding to upgrade footpaths around Tarvit Pond in Cupar. Financial support had been confirmed and accepted from one source and the indications were very hopeful that other funding agencies would bring the additional resources to enable work to commence early in the New Year.
A report on the ongoing programme of Carol Singing visits to local homes and hospitals was provided by past president Sandy Mitchell, with the final recital taking place at North Eden House on Tuesday, 19th December. Past President Bruce Rollo reported that he had visited the Signal Hill Rotary Club, Cape Town on a recent visit to South Africa.

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Thanks to Roger Siddle of the Carnforth Rotary Club for his revolving Rotary wheel.