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Notes on all meetings in 2008

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Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 9th January 2008

District Governor Clive Bartram and President Vince Fusaro - Click for larger image Marjorie Kinnaird and President Vince Fusaro - Click for larger image
District Governor Clive Bartram and President Vince Fusaro Marjorie Kinnaird of CHAS received a cheque for £1000 from President Vince Fusaro

District Governor Clive Bartram was welcomed as a special guest at Cupar Rotary Club's first meeting of 2008 by President Vince Fusaro, along with Marjorie Kinnaird, who was presented with a cheque for £1000 on behalf of CHAS (the Children's Hospice Association, Scotland). The District Governor had visited 82 clubs in his official capacity, along with nine others, and gave an up-beat message about Rotary Clubs in his District - numbered 1010, it extends North from Fife through Tayside, Grampian and Highland Regions to the Northern Isles and the Hebrides, and is bucking the trend of falling membership with a total of 3150 members. Moves to more convenient meeting times and relaxation of previously strict rules on attendance and classification are encouraging younger men and women to join clubs; the non-religious and non-political nature of the organisation allows truly international cooperation in achieving ambitious targets. For example, Rotary's Polio Plus campaign, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, has succeeded in reducing annual cases of polio from 350,000 only a few years ago to 1900 now, confined to four countries - India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Because of its impartial nature, Rotary can act as the basis for fund-raising backed by others - last year's Rotary Flood Appeal was supported by Naomi Campbell and a group of models who raised £450,000 out of a total of £750,000 for flood victims.
President Vince closed the meeting by thanking District Governor Clive, and congratulated Rotarian Bruce McHardy on personally raising £500 for the Club's Water Aid fund.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 16th January 2008

Claire Smith - Click for larger image
Claire Smith - East Scotland Sea Eagle Officer for the RSPB

President Vince Fusaro inducted new member Willie Nicoll at the evening meeting of the club on 16th Jan 2008. Willie had been a member in the past, but only for a few months, as he had to move away with his job, but he hopes he is now permanently back in Cupar. Guest speaker Claire Smith spoke of her work with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), reintroducing the Sea Eagle to Scotland. These magnificent birds have a wingspan of up to 8 feet, and adult males weigh between 3.5 and 5kg, lighter than their mates which are between 5.5 and 7kg. This bird is the fourth largest bird of prey in the world, and the RSPB has been releasing 15-20 young birds per year in North Fife in an attempt to replace a species which became extinct in the UK in the early years of the twentieth century. There are currently between 5 and 7 thousand pairs in the world, mostly in Norway, and it is from here that chicks are collected at 6 to 8 weeks of ago, and transported to Scotland courtesy of RAF Kinloss. The birds are fed entirely by staff to start with, taking care that they are not imprinted on human beings by passing the food through the wall of a hut with a gloved hand, and once they have been released additional food is left for them until they no longer come back for it. This year's birds have now dispersed to other areas of Scotland, including St Fergus, Loch Lomond, and the Tay and Almond valleys, where they are tracked by radio back-packs.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 23rd January 2008

Craig Rodger, Vince Fusaro, Tom Green - Click for larger image Tom Green - Click for larger image Sandy Mitchell and Tom Green - Click for larger image Bruce McHardy and Poosie Nancy - Click for larger image Craig Rodger - Click for larger image
Craig Rodger, President Vince Fusaro, Tom Green Tom Green prepares to slice the haggis Sandy Mitchell shows remarkable steadiness under fire Piper Bruce McHardy, with Poosie Nancy Craig Rodger - "The Immortal Memory"

President Vince Fusaro welcomed 37 members to the Club's Annual Burns Supper. The haggis was piped in by Rotarian Bruce McHardy, and the Address to the Haggis was given, for the second year running, by Tom Green.
The Immortal Memory was delivered by Craig Rodger, the Bard of Cupar Burns Club. Sandy Mitchell gave the vote of thanks for an entertaining evening.
Members were reminded of next week's joint meeting with Inner Wheel and the Howe of Fife Rotary Club at the Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood College Golf Course, and that a new stock of banners has been acquired, for members visiting other clubs.

Evening Meeting held at the Fairways Restaurant as guests of the Inner Wheel Club of Cupar on Wednesday 30th January 2008

The last meeting of January was a joint meeting with the Howe of Fife Rotary Club and The Inner Wheel Club of Cupar, hosted by the Inner Wheel at the Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood College Golf Course.
Twenty-nine members of Cupar Rotary Club joined a full turn-out from the other clubs to fill both dining areas of the restaurant, and after brief business meetings for the respective clubs, all came together for the story of Mrs McLeod's Wallpaper, delivered brilliantly by guest speaker Andrew Clegg who was apparently a child in Glenmidgie when this legendary material was acquired and applied to the lady's walls with flour and water paste.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 6th February 2008

Thirty four Members and six Rotarian guests were at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 6th February. Chaired by Club President, Vince Fusaro, the meeting took the form of a club business meeting, with chairmen of club committees reporting on the activities which were planned for the period up to the end of June. The addition of two new members in the first half of the year was reported upon by Past President Scott Blyth, with prospects for additional Rotarians being explored. Hilda Scott, for the Entertainment Committee, advised of arrangements for the Club Dinner-Dance taking place on 22nd February.
Plans for two fund-raising events under the auspices of the Ways and Means Committee were noted, the Club Golf Day on 15th May and a sponsored bike and hike event at Tentsmuir on 22nd June. Euan Barbour for the Community Service Committee proposed a number of activities which would engage with both youth and senior members of the community. These would include a football outing, a tea dance and Kids Out trip for the pupils of Kilmaron School. The Committee was also investigating the options for further environmental projects.
The Vocational and Youth Activities programme was reported on by Bill McSeveney. The Club would sponsor two candidates at the annual Rotary Youth Leadership camp in summer and plans were being advanced for the local heat of the Primary School Quiz. Following the recent successful vocational visit by 18 members to Gleneagles Conversions, more opportunities for this type of outing were being planned.
Andrew Morrison for the International Committee reported on social and sporting events being organised for overseas students and workers. The club had, with the assistance of school pupils and students, filled 150 shoe boxes containing household goods, toys and treats for families in Eastern Europe which would be delivered as part of a larger consignment from Scotland. Bruce McHardy, chairman of the Foundation Committee brought the Club up to date on the overseas water projects they are involved in sponsoring in Nepal. The Club's Honorary Member Jackie Taylor would be attending the Club shortly to give a first-hand report from her most recent visit to Nepal. It was also reported that two Ambassadorial Scholars, sponsored by Rotary Foundation funds in their own countries would be present at future meetings to speak about their experiences.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 13th February 2008

Honorary Member Jackie Taylor brought the number of members present to thirty-five at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar, chaired by President Vince Fusaro.
Rotarian Stuart Campbell spoke on "Advances in Vehicle Technology", describing the changes in car design aimed at improving the safety of motorists and pedestrians. These range from simple design features such as recessed windscreen wipers and hidden aerials, through supplementary restraint systems such as additional side and knee-level airbags, through to hi-tech traction and braking systems. Having described these systems briefly, Stuart showed their effectiveness in dramatic detail with a video taken from the air of a Police chase in the USA - a stolen Ford Mustang was being followed by the Police, but wouldn't stop, so the car was flicked from behind several times by the Police car to push it off the road. The Mustang was turned through 180 degrees on several occasions, so that it was running backwards along the road, and each time the electronic safety equipment turned the car back round again, and the car was only stopped when it ran into a fire-hydrant.
Rotarian David Nimmo thanked Stuart for his talk, and was followed by Jackie Taylor, who gave a progress report on the Aarkhala water project, which the club has funded. She had had to wait in Nepal for the monsoon rains to subside before she was able to reach Aarkhala, where she received a hearty welcome from the villagers, whose lives have been transformed by the availability "on tap" of drinking water - previously this had required a 300 metre descent down the hillside, and an arduous return journey with pots of water. She found that one of the two pumps wasn't working, but this had been the result of an electrical fault which was easily remedied. Because the pumps are solar-powered, they aren't subject to the regular power-cuts which affect the area.
Jackie reported that a similar project at Bagnas had been delayed until December and interrupted by a landslide during the monsoon, but that this was going well.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 20th February 2008

Jo Ann Sharkey - Click for larger image
Ambassadorial Student Jo Ann Sharkey

Cupar Rotary Club met in the Armaan Restaurant on 20th February 2008 with President Vince Fusaro in the Chair. Thirty members and two guests were present. Rotarian Peter Haselhurst introduced guest speaker Jo Ann Sharkey, an Ambassadorial Student at St Andrews University where she is studying English Literature and Theology.
Jo Ann hails from Houston, Texas and she spoke about her family, the city of Houston, which is the fourth largest in the United States with a population of just under the total population of Scotland and her studies prior to coming to Scotland including her Master of Divinity Degree. Her hobbies include music, literature, theatre and film. She talked about the links between Scotland and the Lone Star State and ended her talk by playing the Hills of Lorne and the Yellow Rose of Texas on her fiddle.
The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian, Tracy Jordan.
In a busy week for the Club, members joined International Students at Elmwood for a games night on Thursday 21st February with the annual dinner dance following the next night at the St Andrews Golf Hotel.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 27th February 2008

Club President Vince Fusaro welcomed 29 members to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 27th February with the first business being the induction of new member, well-known local business woman, Jennifer Martin into the Club.
Rotarian Peter Haselhurst introduced the guest speaker, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Yohei Endo sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kyoto Rakucku. He is currently studying for a master's degree in architectural conservation at Dundee University. His talk compared European and Japanese architectural styles through the ages. He demonstrated that each culture went through similar phases, starting with the simple masculine styles which became more and more feminine in their ornateness, structure and embellishment. The Japanese materials were usually wood and paper, so many of the original buildings have been lost. Those that remain are usually towers, castles, shrines and imperial villas. The gardens and ponds around these structures were considered of equal importance to the building as in European stately homes.
Little changed in styles over 200 years as Japan closed itself to all foreign influences, so when students were once more allowed to travel, they brought back new influences. Traditional architecture is still influencing modern Japanese style where character and gardens remain supreme.
The Club's formal vote of thanks was given by Past President Graham Pirie.
Under other Club business it was reported that a number of club members had been involved in planting young trees near the old curling pond on the Eden side.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 5th March 2008

The club met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 5th March with President Vince Fusaro in the Chair. Thirty-eight members were present.
The Speaker was Rotarian Susan Duff who gave an illustrated talk about her holiday in the Austrian Tyrol in June 2007. Although she knew the area from previous walking holidays she and her husband David managed to get around a good deal quicker on this occasion courtesy of their Ducati and Harley Davidson bikes and so their travels were not confined to Austria itself as the opportunity was taken of biking into Bavaria.
The vote of thanks was appropriately given by a fellow motorcyclist Rotarian Rennie Ritchie.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 12th March 2008

The club met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 12th March 2008 with President Vince Fusaro in the Chair. Thirty-two members were present.
The Speaker was Rotarian Graham Findlay who talked about his recent travels and in particular a recent business trip to the city of Shanghai as a member of a delegation representing the UK Dental Laboratory Industry.
Shanghai, which has a population of approximately 20 million people, is a mixture of wonderful old and new buildings. Professionally of most interest to him was a visit to a large new Dental Laboratory which employs 5000 people and as such more than 30 times bigger than the largest Laboratory in the UK. With round-the-clock working and not having to comply with the relevant European directive this Laboratory is going to be a significant threat to the UK Industry.
Thanks were proposed by Rotarian Jim Robertson.
The Club will be involved in organising the local heat of the Annual Primary School Quiz at Castlehill on Tuesday 18th March.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 19th March 2008

Thirty three members and one visitor were welcomed to the meeting by President Vince Fusaro. Rotarian Bruce Rollo described his recent trekking expedition to North East Pakistan. Following arrival in Islamabad, his party was to have flown North, but the flight was cancelled, and they were forced to take an alarming two-day jeep trip up the Karakoram Highway, before starting the trek itself. Everything they needed for the trek was brought up by porters, because the area is so inaccessible and sparsely populated. Bruce illustrated his talk with a selection of slides, covering the colourful villages and vehicles as well as the spectacular scenery and challenging terrain they were walking through. Many of their days started with a wake-up cup of tea at 4am, breakfast at 5 and departure at 6, so that they could avoid walking in the hottest part of the day. The destination, Concordia, afforded them views of K2, the second highest mountain in the world, but much harder than Everest. More than 1400 people have now reached the summit of Everest, including 300 in the last year, but only 189 have conquered K2, twenty-two of whom died on the way down. Female climbers are outshining their male colleagues in many mountaineering projects these days, but only five women have reached the summit of K2; three of these died on the way down, and the other two have died on other mountains since then. Rotarian Bill Pagan thanked Bruce for his presentation. The local heat of the Rotary Primary Schools Quiz took place at Castlehill School on Tuesday 18th March. Seven teams from six schools took part, with Rotarian Ian Copland in the question-masters chair. After ten rounds a tie-break was required to separate the three leading teams. This in turn failed to separate the teams from Castlehill and St Columba's, so a sudden-death play-off was required, and St Columba's was declared the winner. It was reported that the club's Charter Dinner last November raised £4000 for charity. This will be matched by a further £4000 from St Columba's Church, so a total of £8000 will be donated to Age Concern. Repairs to the Wishing Well at the Deer Centre brought in a further £110 for the charity account.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 26th March 2008

President Vince Fusaro welcomed thirty-three members and five visitors from the Rotary Club of Leven to the meeting. There was no speaker, and the meeting was devoted to fellowship. The monthly draw for a bottle of whisky was won by Eric Young, but as he was absent, the prize was retained for the forthcoming Golf Day.
Secretary Ian Copland reminded members of the RIBI Conference at Blackpool, and pointed out that although Cupar members who are to attend the conference are not delegates, they would appreciate a steer from club members on their opinions.
The Wishing Well at the Deer Centre has been repaired by Ronnie Law and Bobby Houston for the cost of materials - £90.
A contribution of £800 has been made to the Vine Trust.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 2nd April 2008

President Vincent Fusaro welcomed 34 members and one guest to the evening meeting on 2 April 2008.
Rotarian Dr Michael Hendry gave a fascinating account of his recent trip to Antarctica, following the route from there of Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, who went to seek help after his ship Endurance was trapped in ice, to South Georgia and then to the Falkland Islands and back to South America. The talk was illustrated by well-composed photographs of the surprisingly varied wildlife (from the ubiquitous penguins to seals and whales) and the scenery, including an iceberg larger in area than Fife. A keen ornithologist, Michael's enthusiasm and evident knowledge were enjoyed by all.
Rotarian Pat McInally proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 9th April 2008

Richard Hynd - Click for larger image Vince Fusaro and Vicky Hunter - Click for larger image
Richard Hynd President Vince Fusaro and New Member Vicky Hunter

The twenty-nine members present at the meeting on Wednesday 9th April were increased by one following the induction of new member Vicky Hunter by President Vince Fusaro, who also welcomed one guest to the meeting.
Vicky is Cupar born and bred; with a degree in Biochemistry and several years in the bio-technology field, most recently at the Wellcome Trust Biocentre in Dundee, she was keen to run her own business back in Cupar. She and her husband Jim opened the children's play centre, Bonkers, last year.
Richard Hynd, who is incidentally President-Elect of the Rotary Club of North Fife, was the speaker for the evening, talking on "Classic Car Ownership and Restoration". He described three types of vintage car owners - "The Polisher", "The Driver and Racer", and the "Basket of Bits Restorer". He's in the last category, and described the purchase of his first car as a blind buy - it was sold as an MG, but he soon realised that it was very heavily hybridised. As well as many accessories, the engine had been replaced with one from a Morris Ten. Over the years he has developed a network of friends who interchange ideas, skills and spares, and now finds that the internet is very helpful in tracking down elusive spares. This communication network has led to the development of a number of sources of newly-manufactured spares, including some in the Far East. Rotarian Béla Simandi thanked Richard on the Club's behalf.
The Club's question-master, Ian Copland, reported that the winning team from the first round of the Primary Schools Quiz (St Columba's Primary School), will be appearing in the next round on Saturday 26th April at the Queen's Hotel in Dundee at 10:00 for 10:30.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 16th April 2008

The club met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 16th April 2008 with President Vince Fusaro in the Chair.
Thirty-two members and one guest were present. Rotarian Tracy Jordan introduced the guest speaker the Reverend Doctor Ken Jeffrey who spoke on the work undertaken by the Vine Trust in Peru and in particular the plight of abandoned boys in that Country.
In October 2006 a working party from Cupar had travelled to Ica to construct the walls of a home for street children and, following an earthquake in August 2007 which severely damaged the area, work had been accelerated on the home to allow early completion of the site.
Reverend Doctor Jeffrey felt privileged to be asked to return to Ica to open the home in January this year. The home already provides a safe environment for 20 abandoned boys which will soon grow to 40.
Another working party from Cupar is travelling to Peru in October this year to build dormitories and the hope is to add workshops in the years ahead. His talk was illustrated by a DVD which he had taken during his visit in January. The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Ron Smith. He thanked Reverend Doctor Jeffrey for his moving talk which vividly contrasted the predicament of the under-privileged in a country such as a Peru with the lifestyle we were fortunate to enjoy in the affluent world.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 30th April 2008

Forty Rotarians, comprising thirty-five members, one honorary member and four guests from other clubs, were welcomed by President Vince Fusaro.
President-Elect Canon Pat McInally spoke on his six-year connection with the village of Kakumiro in Uganda, which had arisen by accident when his brother in London had asked if he would host the village's priest, Father Gerald, who was on holiday in the UK. Illustrating his talk with "before-and-after" photographs of the conditions the teachers and pupils were working in, he showed how funding of £5000 per annum from St Columba's Parish Church had financed the building of science laboratories for the school in Kakumiro, which were now the best in the whole area.
The school has become so popular that children are being sent from far away and need to board during term-time, so an accommodation block was also funded last year. This was originally designed to house 24 boys and 24 girls in two dormitories, but there are now 40 of each and by adding extra tiers of bunk beds there will be soon be space for 100 boys and 100 girls. All of these people need water for drinking, cooking and washing, and at present the children have to walk 1 km down the road several times a day carrying jerry-cans of water pumped by hand from a bore-hole. Nuns who run a school nearby had faced the same problem, and after several failed attempts to get reliable piped water they decided to collect rain-water from the roofs of their buildings. Using tanks holding 20-30,000 litres, they have never run out of water in the last ten years. The monthly rain-fall in Kakumiro is similar, so a joint water project has been set up to build three tanks to supply the school and the hospital, drawing funds from St Columba's Parish, from the Rotary Club of Cupar and from the Rotary Foundation (the international fund which supports improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty).
As if all this were not enough, St Columba's Parish is also supporting the training of two nurses from Virika School whose motto, "With Gladness We Serve", has an uncanny likeness to that of Rotary - "Service Above Self", and is now planning to support another school upgrade project at nearby Kiriika.
The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Bill McSeveney, who also reported that interviews had been held on Thursday for RYLA - the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. The successful candidates will spend a week at Nethybridge during the summer, financed by the Club, and join in activities planned to develop leadership qualities.
Rotarian Eric Young reminded members of the sponsored "Bike & Hike" day, a family day out open to the public which will take place in Tentsmuir Forest on Saturday 22nd June. Full details and a registration form are available on the Club's website,

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 7th May 2008

The club met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 7th May 2008 with 41 members present and 1 guest with President, Vince Fusaro in the Chair.
The guest, Mary Law, was introduced by Rotarian Rennie Ritchie. She gave a brief history of the Cupar in Bloom Organisation which she helped establish in 2004 and highlighted the strides which had been made by the Organisation with the assistance of the business and residential community throughout the town as well as Fife Council.
Since the establishment of Cupar In Bloom, Cupar has without fail achieved an individual accolade in the Beautiful Scotland Competition and in the last 2 years has been runner up in the middle sized town section. She indicated the Beautiful Scotland judges would be visiting the town on Friday 10th August and her Committee's aim was to ensure the town was looking at its best on the day so that the judges could declare Cupar as the winner in 2008. She indicated the new projects which were earmarked for the current year including a wildflower meadow at the Curling Pond, new tubs at Cupar Railway Station and extra planters in various parts of the town.
Rotarian, Dermot Stewart proposed the vote of thanks stating that the town was indebted to her and her fellow volunteers for the considerable efforts they had made to improve the town which were clearly evident for all to see. The Club is now looking forward to a successful Charity Golf Day to be held at the Elmwood Course on Thursday 15th May.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 14th May 2008

The club met at the Armann Restaurant on Wednesday 14th May 2008 with President Vince Fusaro in the Chair with 37 members present.
The speaker was Rotarian Brian Bayne who gave a Powerpoint presentation on health and safety with particular emphasis on the requirements of the legislation in relation to Rotary Events. He outlined the responsibilities involved and emphasised application of common sense was always required. The vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Cliff Strong.
The Club's Eleventh Charity Golf Day was held on Thursday 15th May at Elmwood Golf Course with teams of 4 competing. Team prizes were won by First - PLM Optometrists, Second - Steel Eldridge Stewart and Third - Spar, Ceres. The golfers then enjoyed an excellent lunch at the Fairways Restaurant with guest speaker the Bard of Ballingry, Jim Leishman.
The vote of thanks was proposed by President Vince Fusaro.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 21st May 2008

Dr Jacqui Wood - Click for larger image
Dr Jacqui Wood, MBE, Chairman of Ninewells Cancer Campaign

The club met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 21st May 2008 with President Vince Fusaro in the Chair. Thirty-eight members and two guests were present.
Rotarian Eric Young introduced the speaker Doctor Jacqui Wood, MBE Chairman of the Ninewells Cancer Campaign/Help Dennis beat the Menace. 17 million pounds has now been raised by the public since the campaign started in 1991 and the campaign has been instrumental in making Dundee one of the leading Cancer Research Centres in the world. Jacqui explained that every penny donated goes to the Campaign as there are no paid employees nor are any expenses paid. Through the Campaign it has been possible to bring many leading Cancer Specialists to Dundee. The Campaign was instrumental in the creation of the Bio Medical Research Centre, the Princess Alexandra Centre and the World's First Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology. The aim of the present campaign is to raise 1.5 million pounds to build essential laboratories for personalised medicine whereby patients would receive drugs at the correct dose which will home in on their tumour with greater prospects of success. She thanked the Club for including the Ninewells Cancer Campaign as one of its nominated Charities which is to benefit from the Club's Sponsored Bike & Hike day to take place in Tentsmuir Forest on Sunday 22nd June.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Bill McSeveney.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 28th May 2008

Dr Frank Toner - Click for larger image
Dr Frank Toner

President-Elect Pat McInally welcomed thirty members and one guest to the Club's meeting at the Armaan Restaurant.
Rotarian Rennie Ritchie was congratulated on the £866 raised so far by sponsored motor-cyclists for the "Send a Cow" charity.
Past Member Frank Toner's talk was entitled "By Yon Bonny Banks" - his personal experience of Loch Lomond. At 26 miles long by 6 miles wide, Loch Lomond is, surprisingly, Europe's greatest expanse of fresh water. Despite its proximity to Glasgow, and the very busy A82 running up its West Bank, Loch Lomond supports a wide variety of wildlife in and around the water, including the very rare freshwater herring, a breeding pair of ospreys, and a colony of wallabies (on one of the islands). The area is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, and its management must balance numerous conflicting interests - nature and beauty with leisure activities and preservation of the area and its natural wildlife with the economy of the area and its local population. Frank himself forms part of this tension, as he has a 25ft boat - Anelise - which weighs two tons and whose fuel tank costs more than his Winter Fuel Allowance to fill! Although he's critical of speed-boat drivers whose wash, noise, booze and litter disturb wildlife and other human users, he's not keen on closing the loch to motor-boats altogether. This policy has been applied at Lake Windermere, with adverse effects on the local economy. He summed up his talk by describing Loch Lomond as "a minimally spoiled area to be enjoyed".
Members were reminded of two upcoming fund-raising projects - the Bike and Hike family event Tentsmuir forest on Sunday 22nd June (sponsorship forms can be requested through the club's website at and the Garden Party and Barbecue on Sunday 29th June to be hosted by Rotarian Bill Pagan at Belmore Lodge.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 4th June 2008

Thirty-five members were welcomed to the meeting at the Armaan Restaurant on the 4th of June by President Vince Fusaro, and were entertained by Rotarian Pat Mitchell's review of her career as a secondary school music teacher from 1970 to the present.
There has been a steady change for the better in the attitude towards music in schools since she was first faced with a group of forty pupils who'd been sent to her for a singing lesson, particularly in the repertoire - changed from worthy pieces like "Nymphs and Shepherds" and extracts from Gilbert and Sullivan to more contemporary material which pupils were actually interested in.
The emphasis now is on the enjoyment of music-making for all, not just for those fortunate enough to have formal lessons on their instruments, and Pat feels lucky to have been involved in many new enterprises at Bell Baxter. Highlights have been Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Noye's Fludde and Oh What a Lovely War, although the staff musicians found the uniforms of the old Cupar Band which they wore for this very hot and uncomfortable! She has enjoyed musical exchange visits with schools abroad, particularly with Ridgley School in Baltimore - this came about because former Bell Baxter pupil Helen Parr had been let down by a Welsh school and contacted Pat for a replacement. Pat finished by leading the club in a rousing rendition of "She died, she did, she died of a broken rib", to the tune of "Narcissus", and was formally thanked by Rotarian Eric Young, whose percussive talents had been encouraged by Pat during his time at Bell Baxter.
Members were reminded of the "Kids' Out" day on the 13th June at Craigtoun Park, and Rotarian Bruce McHardy was congratulated on a charitable donation of £200 received from the Inner Wheel Club.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 11th June 2008

Thirty three Club Members and Rotary Assistant Governor Harry Leadbitter from Dundee were in attendance for the Rotary Club of Cupar meeting on 11th June.
Following a welcome from Club President Vince Fusaro, President Elect Canon Pat McInally conducted the Club Assembly, the club meeting at which proposals for the ensuing Rotary Year, 2008-2009, are presented and approved.
The Club Service Committees provided details of plans to attract additional members, communications and public relations, arrangements and dates for club social occasions and future fund raising activities.
The Community Service Committee proposed having a tea dance in Autumn, 2008, a football outing for local youngsters to a Scottish Premier league game, the annual carol singing visits to local residential homes and an outing for deserving local elderly residents.
The Vocational and Youth Activities committee received support to continue the sponsorship of two candidates for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, to stage the local heat of the Primary School Quiz, arrange vocational visits for club members and carry out further development work to encourage the development of an interact club.
The International Committee proposed the continuation of activities which had involved international students in the area, to repeat the Rotary Shoe Box initiative, to engage with international workers resident in our area, and consider further means of supporting water initiatives overseas.
The Foundation Committee was charged with raising finds for the Rotary Foundation and a number of ways of achieving this within the club were outlined. The committee would continue to have an active role in overseas water projects and investigate whether additional involvement could be set up with Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars in Scotland.
The President Elect outlined his vision for the coming year, emphasising the value of continuity in the projects that were proposed and how Rotary could add value as a stakeholder in local projects.
The Assistant Governor gave his views on the programme, which he considered to be an indicator of an active and committed club. He asked the club to consider adopting the Rotary Club leadership plan, to apply for a Presidential Citation, given the breadth of the programme and to take up the Bill Gates challenge by finding funds for the last push to eliminate polio.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 18th June 2008

Marjorie Kinnaird - Click for larger image
Marjorie Kinnaird, CHAS Volunteer

Thirty-three members were present at the Armaan Restaurant on the 18th of June, with President Vince Fusaro in the chair. The evening's speaker was Marjorie Kinnaird, a volunteer from CHAS (Children's Hospice Association Scotland), who came to describe the work of the association. The club has already contributed more than £14,000, and will be devoting some of the proceeds from this weekend's "Bike & Hike" event to CHAS. Marjorie, until recently a head-teacher, first became involved with CHAS because children in her school were collecting for CHAS, and she went to visit Rachel House to see what the charity is doing. She was immediately impressed by the feeling that she was in someone's home, not in a hospital, and found that this first impression was backed up by the emphasis on flexibility in dealing with children's needs and those of their families.
CHAS depends heavily on charitable donations to cover its annual costs of over £5 million, although there is some statutory funding available, and it runs two hospices (Rachel House in Kinross, which opened in 1996, followed by Robin House in Alexandria in 2005) and runs a "Rachel House at Home" scheme in Inverness. Most members of the public think of a hospice as a place for cancer patients, but there are many other life-limiting conditions for which the practical and emotional support of a hospice are invaluable, and the majority of the 232 Scottish children supported by CHAS don't have cancer. Improvements in the management of chronic conditions such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have led to a challenge for CHAS which is not unwelcome - affected children are now surviving well into adult life, in some cases up to the age of 27. New cases aren't taken after the age of 16, but there is no age limit on the organisation's support once a child has been enrolled. Teenagers' needs are catered for by specially themed "Teen Weekends", which are meant to stimulate imagination and discussion - for example, a recent Grand Prix weekend which included a Scalextric layout and a trip to the Knockhill Racing Circuit. Apart from a Mother-and-Daughter weekend, parents are generally barred from these events! Support for families is still available after the death of a child, and CHAS is there to support siblings and grandparents as well as parents.
Rotarian Andrew Morrison gave the vote of thanks.
Rotarian Bruce Rollo reported on last Friday's "Kids Out" day. Children from Kilmaron School and the Leven Assessment Centre were taken to Craigtoun Park to enjoy the miniature railway, the boats, and the play areas, followed by a picnic in the grounds. The club had already agreed to fund the picnic and to provide members to assist the school's staff, and at Bruce's request agreed to provide a further £50 to help with transport costs.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 25th June 2008

Vince Fusaro and Pat McInally - Click for larger image
President Vince Fusaro hands over to incoming President Pat McInally

President Vince Fusaro welcomed 34 members and 2 guests to this, his last meeting as President. Rotarian Andrew Morrison reported that fund-raising for the Send-a-Cow project had brought in £2618.27 for the charity, enough for three cows and one bull. Elmwood students had raised £705.29, and the Club had raised the balance of £1912.27.
President Vince reported on the success of the Bike & Hike day, despite the weather, and went on to summarise the events of this past year. He had enjoyed the year enormously - not only had a lot been discussed, a lot had been achieved. Highlights for him had been the President's Reception, the Charter Dinner, the Coffee Morning, the Cornish Choir and Ceilidh, the Christmas Dinner, the Burns Supper, the Dinner-Dance, the Golf Day, Bike & Hike, Kids' Out Day, the Christmas Carols, the Club's Water Projects, the Tarvit Pond Project and Motorcycle Miles for Moos. He was delighted by the good attendance figures, and the excellent speakers during the year, both from outside and from within the club, and he singled out for especial praise the Club Secretary Ian Copland, whose knowledge and experience of all Rotary matters were second to none.
On a more sombre note, he had to record the death of Rotarian Ken McLaren earlier this year; we'll all miss him and his pawky sense of humour.
As retiring president, he nominated several charities for support: Polio-plus (£500), Water-Aid projects (£500), Microcredit scheme (run by Leven Rotary Club) (£500), Cupar in Bloom (£500) (with especial thanks to Rotarian Ronnie Law), Town Twinning project (£500) and he asked that £1000 be ring-fenced in the Club's funds for Age Concern.
The President then introduced incoming President Canon Pat McInally, who had astonished him with what he'd achieved in the nine years since he came to Cupar. He described Pat as a person who didn't say much, but got a great deal done - he's a person who can take a horse to water AND make it drink!
Following the presidental hand-over, President Pat said he had no intention of making any great changes in the coming year, but rather to build on what has been done already. He had accepted the nomination as President with some trepidation, because of his heavy involvement with his Church and community work, especially the joint work with the Club for Age Concern, whose blue mini-bus now carries the Rotary logo. He hoped that the relationship between Rotary and Age Concern would continue to be fruitful, and took up retiring President Vince's theme for last year - "Home and Away" - stressing the need to look to local causes as well as international ones. He is hoping to extend the successful Water Project in Uganda, and will shortly be meeting Father Gerald, who initiated this project.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 2nd July 2008

Vince Fusaro and David Rankin - Click for larger image
Past President Vince Fusaro and District Governor David Rankin

Past President Vince Fusaro was standing in for recently-installed President Pat McInally, when he welcomed 28 members and guest speaker District Governor David Rankin to the meeting.
David Rankin was particularly pleased to be at the "Mother Club" of his own Howe of Fife Club to present his ideas for the 2008-2009 session. He will be visiting all 86 clubs in Area 1010 during his year in office, from Fife up the East Coast to Orkney and Shetland, from Wick to the Western Isles and from Ullapool back down through Perthsire. His theme for the year is "Making Dreams Come True for Children", and he recounted a story he heard from another Rotarian, who had been visiting one of the war-torn areas of Africa. An old lady was following him in the street, tugging at his sleeve, and saying "Thank you". She explained that when the Rotarians come the children stop dying.
In a time when Rotary in general is suffering from recruitment difficulties, he is delighted to be in an area with 52 Presidential Citations last year. These are given to clubs which meet the highest ideals of Rotary both in theory and in practice, and the highest score in any other region in RIBI (Rotary International in Britain and Ireland) was 12. He hopes to keep up to that score by encouraging clubs in his Area to recruit younger and, especially, female members to join them. There are some Clubs where members are reluctant to take this step, but he is convinced that this change will happen - after all, Rotary is an organisation of business and professional people. Not only are women rising to the top in these groups, they bring along new talents and skills to their clubs.
David encouraged members to attend the District Conference at Aviemore in September, and to take advantage of the fact that the RIBI Conference next year will take place in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh in April. He also asked us to consider attending the RI Convention when it comes to Birmingham next June.
Finally, David thanked us for electing him as District Governor, a post which he accepted with humility as an opportunity to serve. He hoped to continue a year of achievement for the Area, when we can make a difference, and make some children's dreams come true.
Secretary Ian Copland reported that Rotarian Bill Nicoll had accepted the post of President-Elect.
Past President Vince Fusaro made a presentation of two cheques to District Governor - one of £500 for the Bill and Melinda Gates Polio Plus Challenge, and one of £500 for the microcredit project being set up by Leven Rotary Club.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 9th July 2008

Harry Boram and Robbie Rayment - Click for larger image
Corporal Harry Boram and Cadet Robbie Rayment and their Rampaging Robot

Thirty-one members and two visitors were welcomed by Past President Vince Fusaro to the Club's meeting at the Armaan Restaurant. Rotarian Eric Young reported that the Bike and Hike event had raised £1500 so far, with some sponsorship money still to come in.
Rotarian Euan Barbour, in his capacity as Flight Lieutenant of the Cupar Flight, Air Training Corps, introduced the evening's speakers, Corporal Harry Boram and Cadet Robbie Rayment, who brought the "Rampaging Robot" which they'd entered in the annual Rampaging Robot Scottish Robotic Games on the 14th of June. The competition is based on radio-controlled robots made up by the competitors from standard kits of parts supplied by the sponsors of the event, Selex Galileo (a part of British Aerospace). The kits are powered by the batteries and motors from a standard drill, with hand-soldered circuit boards and the main frame of the robot constructed by the competitors. There are three separate events within the competition - a tug of war, a football match and an assault course. Harry and Robbie had to confess that they hadn't had huge success in these events, but the whole Flight had had enormous fun in building, maintaining and driving their robot, and had learned new skills in the process.
Members were reminded of the next major fund-raising event, the Coffee Morning, which takes place in Cupar's Corn Exchange on Saturday 9th August.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 16th July 2008

Yan Ren - Click for larger image
Yan Ren, recent Elmwood College Golf Management Graduate

Past President Vince Fusaro welcomed 36 members and 4 visiting Rotarians from Concord, California to the meeting. Past President Brian Bayne introduced his guest speaker, Yan Ren, who has recently added an HND in Golf Management to her Master's Degree, and they gave a joint presentation on Golf Development in China, and the role of Elmwood College in training Chinese students.
Golf is a booming sector in China, but is still very young - the first course was opened as recently as 1984. Because it is so expensive in China, it remains a sport for the wealthy, and it tends to provide a medium for business dealings. South China, the most prosperous area, has 60% of the courses in the country, which totalled 184 in 2004 and 300 a mere four years later. Hainan is being developed as a "golf island", with 30 courses already in operation and a further 30 to be built. The Mission Hills Golf Club recently reached the Guinness Book of Records with its twelve courses and a total of 216 holes. With a Gold Membership fee of $150,000, this is not your local golf course, and 60% of members are from Hong Kong, 10% from mainland China, and 20% are local.
The governing body of golf in China is the China Golf Association. Affiliated with the R & A, it also uses the R & A's rules in China, although the designs of courses are tending towards a US model. Established in 1985, the Association has a close working partnership with the R & A and Elmwood College, and the first proposals for golf education within China were put forward in October 1999. Elmwood has had 36 students from China, and has also trained smaller numbers from many other foreign countries. Any student leaving home to go to college has adjustments to make, with the addition of language and cultural differences for the Chinese students, and special induction sessions have been set up to deal with transport, accommodation, bank accounts, registration, shopping arrangements and information about the Scottish educational system. Continuing support is provided to explain local rules and regulations, and help with changes of accommodation, providing and maintaining a bicycle, and even the purchase of a car. Links within the community all help to give students an understanding of local conditions, for example, through Rotary Clubs, Churches, St Andrews University and various voluntary organisations.
Expansion of the Golf training available at Elmwood has already extended in a small way to other countries, and a new project with Croatia has just begun. Work is continuing on extending training into the growth of golf in India.
The vote of thanks was given by Past President Grant McLeish, and members were reminded of the need for support for the Coffee Morning to be held at the Corn Exchange on Saturday 9th August.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 23rd July 2008

Margaret Beetlestone and Niven Traill - Click for larger image
Rotarian Margaret Beetlestone of Gleneagles Conversions, with Workshop Manager Niven Traill

President Pat McInally welcomed 34 members and one guest to the evening meeting at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 23rd July.
Rotarian Margaret Beetlestone, of Gleneagles Conversions, introduced her workshop manager Niven Traill as the speaker for the evening. Around 25 companies in the UK are involved in converting production vehicles for the use of drivers who use wheelchairs, or for other reasons are unable to drive a normal vehicle. Because of the expense of the safety-tests required, a restricted range of vehicles is chosen for conversion - currently five models are in the range - with new models being brought in from time to time.
Once the design for the vehicle conversion has been drawn up and the seating for a simulated disabled driver, passenger and wheelchair user constructed, a stripped-down version of the vehicle is sent to Manchester University for testing. Chains are attached to the seat bases, and tugged by hydraulic equipment to simulate a crash. As this process costs about £12,000, it's important to get it right first time, and Niven described anxious moments when the sounds of welds breaking are added to the enormous racket of the machinery.
Niven illustrated his talk with a variety of vehicles the firm had converted, including a tractor converted for a wheelchair user, and a mini-bus created from a converted van with tip-and-fold seats down one side, which are moved out of the way to allow several wheelchairs to be secured to tracks in the floor, and a lift fitted under the floor at the rear.
The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Susan Duff.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 30th July 2008

President Pat McInally welcomed 32 members to the Club's meeting at the Armaan Restaurant on 30th July.
Rotarian George Bett spoke about his involvement as an assessor for the examination of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Arising from this work, and his involvement with Rotary in the London area, his name was put forward for membership of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, one of 103 different Livery Companies. The oldest of these companies date back to mediaeval times, and they were formed mostly to protect the interests of particular trades by setting and maintaining standards. This role is no longer required, as social and economic conditions have changed over the years, but their support to the trades and to the community at large continues.
In parallel with the application for Membership of a Livery Company, it is mandatory to apply for the Freedom of the City of London, which is conferred at a special ceremony at the Guildhall. Members are involved in many traditions going back as far as 900 years, including an annual dinner at the Mansion House, and the "Loving Cup" ceremony, which is said to date back to the assassination of King Edward on the orders of Elfrida, while he was drinking. Raising a large shared cup to drink while standing up makes a man vulnerable to attack, and the tradition is that when the drink is passed around each man must engage his neighbour to protect him from attack.
Rotarian Graham Findlay gave the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 6th August 2008

Rod McNeil - Click for larger image
Rod McNeil, Immediate Past President of Cowdenbeath and District Rotary Club

Thirty-seven members, with President Pat McInally in the chair, met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 6th August.
Rotarian Bill Pagan reported that the Garden Party on the 29th of June had raised £2101.45, half of which had been committed to the Order of St John.
The speaker for the evening was Rod McNeil, Immediate Past President of Cowdenbeath and District Rotary Club, who spoke on the Knights Templar.
Rod started with a modern representative of one of the founding families of the Knights Templar, Alisdair Rosslyn Sinclair. He had been arrested by the Israeli Police as he left Ben Gurion airport in April 1998, and was found to have 9000 Deutschmarks in a secret compartment in the bottom of his bag. No drugs were found to back up the charge, but Alisdair was later found strangled by his shoe-laces. His relatives were suspicious, and insisted on the return of his body to Scotland, where a post-mortem found that his heart was missing. This was explained away as an error by the pathologist, and a heart was eventually sent back to Scotland, but there remains a suspicion that the removal of the heart was connected with present-day Templar activities.
The original Knights Templar were led by Hugues de Payen, who married Catherine St Clair, the niece of his crusading partner Baron Henri St Clair of Roslin, in 1101, and the organisation was founded to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land from Muslims and robbers. They were well-connected and well-organised, and became a powerful military force, hiring their services out to various kings - they were even approved by the Pope - and they established the World's first banking system.
Although their primary purpose was lost when Saladin took Jerusalem in 1187, the Templars continued with military and banking activities. They had fallen out of favour with the Pope by the time of Robert the Bruce, and Scotland became the only country in Christendom which would accept Templars following the excommunication of Robert for the murder of John Comyn. Robert became the first Grand Master of the Templars in Scotland, and following his death his heart was taken on a crusade to the Holy Land by William de St Clair. On William's death in battle in Andalucia, the heart was returned to Scotland, and is buried at Melrose Abbey. Dan Brown's book, the Da Vinci Code, has rekindled interest in this mysterious organisation, and particularly in Roslin Chapel, which was built by a descendent of William de St Clair, Sir William St Clair, with a design based on Herod's Temple in Jerusalem.
The vote of thanks was given by Past President Grant McLeish.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 13th August 2008

Susan Peattie - Click for larger image
Susan Peattie - representing the Calvary Zion Children's Home Support Trust

President Pat McInally welcomed 33 members to the Club's meeting on the 13th of August, along with his guest from Uganda, Father Gerald, who has been an essential link in the Club's school water project in the village of Kakumiro.
Treasurer Bill Low reported net proceeds of £1686 from the Coffee Morning last Saturday.
The Speaker for the evening was Susan Peattie, who spoke on her involvement with the Calvary Zion Children's Home Support Trust in Mombasa. Kirkcaldy-born, Susan worked for Job Centres in various parts of the UK for many years, but resigned in 2005 to work in a children's home in Kenya before starting a course at Stirling University. The Calvary Zion Children's Home was started up in a private house, and has taken in numerous children with tragic stories - for example, two girls aged 15 whose parents had died of AIDS, a baby abandoned at 2 days old, another aged 4 left in a shop and so on - until the 3 bedroom house now houses 38 children.
The trust has bought 2.5 acres of land on which to build a new home for 72 children, and has the services of a lawyer and two local electricians free of charge. Capital is required to drill a bore-hole to supply drinking water for the school, and solar and wind power will be used as much as possible to keep running costs to a minimum. The land will enable the Trust to grow vegetables and keep some livestock, and any small surplus of food will be sold to help with expenses.
President-Elect Bill Nicol gave the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 20th August 2008

President Pat McInally welcomed 29 members and three guests to the meeting on 20th August.
The speaker for the evening, introduced by Stuart Campbell, was Dr. John Ferris whose topic was "BASICS, the unknown emergency service".
John started working life as a paramedic and then studied medicine at St. Andrews University.
He is a Registrar in emergency medicine at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and his involvement with BASICS is over and above his normal workload.
BASICS is a charity which supplies volunteer doctors to attend major traffic accidents and other serious incidents. The object is to provide fast response in these circumstances when the Ambulance Service may be thinly stretched. Doctors can bring to accident scenes flexibility not available to paramedics. As an example they can administer anaesthetics, use drugs not available to paramedics and open a patient's chest.
Some of the most common scenes which John attends are road traffic accidents, cardiac arrests, diabetic comas, stabbings and house fires. The charity is supported by the Sandpiper Trust which funds GPS units so that each volunteer's position is known at all times.
Volunteer doctors personally finance almost all necessary clothing and equipment such as defibrillator, flame resistent suit, helmet and vehicle locator and this can total some £15000. The meeting was surprised to know that John is the only BASICS Medical Incidents Officer operating in North East Fife.
Rotarian Peter Haselhurst proposed a vote of thanks for an extremely interesting and enlightening talk.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 27th August 2008

Paul Rizza and President Pat McInally - Click for larger image Group Study Exchange Scheme Members - Click for larger image
Paul Rizza, Group Study Exchange Team Leader and President Pat McInally Group Study Exchange Scheme Members from Pennsylvania with their Leader, Paul Rizza

President Pat McInally welcomed 37 members and 5 guests to the meeting at the Armaan Restaurant on the 27th August 2008.
Honorary Member Jackie Taylor reported on the progress of the Club's Water Project in Nepal. The project at Bagnas is proceeding well, and when complete will supply 100 homes with drinking water; because the source is 250 meters below the houses, a two-stage lift is required, with a reservoir half-way up as well as at the top. At the earlier project in Aarkhala a further £50 donation from the Club has been used to provide additional pipework to connect an outlying family to the supply.
The five visitors to the Club were all Rotarians from Pennsylvania, visiting our area as part a Group Study Exchange, a programme supported by the Rotary Foundation which is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women between the ages of 25 and 40 and in the early years of their professional lives. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits between paired areas in different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's institutions and ways of life, observe their own vocations as practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas. The group had visited St Andrews in the morning, and had been on a guided tour with Rotarian Bruce McHardy of Fisher's Laundry in the afternoon before joining the Club for dinner.
Members of the group gave brief presentations on their homes, their families and their jobs, and following an exchange of Rotary banners the vote of thanks was given by Rotarian John Hendry.
Finally, Rotarian Ronnie Law received a cheque for £500 from the Club on behalf of "Cupar in Bloom".

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 3rd September 2008

President-Elect Bill Nicoll welcomed 35 members and 1 guest to the Club's meeting at the Armaan Restaurant, Cupar.
The speaker for the evening was Rotarian Susan Duff, who has previously addressed the club on her hobbies and interests, and decided it was time to speak about her profession. Susan has been in the legal profession for more than twenty years, but felt in need of a change of direction and resigned from her local firm of solicitors in October last year. Prevented by a restrictive covenant with her previous partners from practice in the same area for a period of time, she took up lecturing in Law at Dundee and Abertay Universities, and has recently joined another local firm of solicitors. Approaching law education from the teaching end, she realised that a very important skill she'd picked up in her professional life was being able to communicate legal concepts to clients who may have little or no understanding of legal terminology - as a student herself, and now as a teacher of law students, she had had a common vocabulary and set of ideas to work with.
Communication is particularly important with wills, a major part of a solicitor's work, and Susan illustrated this with a number of anecdotes about wills and the ways they might be misused - even being used in an aggressive way to settle old scores within families! It is sometimes possible to challenge an apparently properly-drafted will if there is a question about the person's "testamentary capacity" at the time. This was the line taken last year by Zoran Kostic, who claimed that his father was "deluded and insane" when he wrote his will in the 1980s after stating that Mrs Thatcher would save the world from Satanic monsters, and left his whole estate to the Conservative Party. The judge agreed with Zoran, and upheld a 1974 will which left the estate of over £8 million to him.
The club's vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Michael Hendry.

President's Reception held at the Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood Golf Course on Wednesday 10th September 2008

The Meeting on the 10th of September took the form of the President's Reception Dinner, at Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood College, with President Pat McInally in the Chair.
The guest speaker was Rev Dr Graham Blount, who is the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer. Since devolution in 1999 the Churches have had a presence in the Scottish Parliament through his office, which is an ecumenical initiative, designed to support the relationships between Scottish Churches and the Scottish and UK governments. Having outlined his Parliamentary duties, Graham went on to disappoint those who'd expected a sermon by delivering a witty and entertaining speech, which rounded off an excellent meal in good company.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 17th September 2008

Pat McInally, Heather Goodbody and Andrew Morrison - Click for larger image
Pat McInally, Heather Goodbody (from Send A Cow) and Andrew Morrison

The meeting on Wednesday 17th September was chaired by President Pat McInally, who welcomed 30 members, and special guest Heather Goodbody, who came as an Ambassador for Send A Cow to receive the club's cheque for £2630.
This is the 20th anniversary year of Send A Cow, which is a Christian charitable organisation started by a group of Devon farmers who saw milk surpluses in the UK at the same time as children starved in Africa, and decided to do something about it.
At first, they sent cows in calf to poor African families, which became a double gift if the calf was female, as this calf would be passed on to another poor family. Restrictions on the movement of cattle imposed in response to BSE put a stop to the shipping of cattle from the UK, and all animals supplied by the charity are now sourced locally, which has had the beneficial effect of reducing the transport costs.
At first, only Uganda was involved, but now Send A Cow works in ten African countries, all very different in language, culture and climate. Recipient families are chosen by local community groups, and there is no requirement that they should be part of a Christian, or indeed any, religious group.
Because of the wide variety of circumstances families find themselves in, the charity now supplies many different animals and equipment - for example, trees, beehives, rabbits, sheep, goats, chickens and "grass-cutters" (also known as cane rats). The smaller animals are ideal for those families where children have tragically become family heads because their parents have died of AIDS.
As well as the material contributions, Send A Cow also ensures that education and practical training are in place, so that the families know how to grow fodder for their cattle before they arrive. If the gift has been a cow, there will be an 18 month period of training and supervision, including instruction on the collection of the animal's dung and urine to fertilise land which has usually been depleted by overuse. All of the animals are "zero-grazed", in other words, they are kept in a shelter and fed on specially-grown fodder, which means that there isn't a risk of the animal's grazing contributing to the depletion of the land and eventual desertification. As well as training, families also have access to low-cost veterinary and animal husbandry advice. Heather stressed that although the gifts themselves keep multiplying and are passed on to others in need, the process should be regarded as a hand-up, not a hand-out. Families are enabled to feed themselves well from their small patches of land, and can sell surpluses for housing improvements and for their children's education.
The club's vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Vicky Hunter.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 24th September 2008

Club President Canon Pat McInally took the chair for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 24th September.
Responsibility for fellowship was in hands of Rotarian Tracy Jordan. Thirty four members and one guest were present and also on show, taking pride of place, courtesy of Past President Ronnie Law was the trophy recently won by Cupar in Bloom.
The meeting took the form of a Club Business meeting at which Club Officers and Committee Chairmen brought members up to date with aspects of club activities. The Treasurer's report confirmed that the Club had recently made payments from the charity account to the charity, Send A Cow, and the Order of St John in Fife. The Club Coffee Morning had been very successful and details of the funds available for disbursement were provided.
President Elect Bill Nicoll led the reports from Club Service Committees, with progress reports from Membership, Entertainment, Communications, and Entertainment Chairmen.
The Community Service Committee laid out its plans for a football outing for local youngsters, a bus trip for elderly residents and to continue Kids Out Day for the pupils of Kilmaron School in the summer.The Club's Carol Singers would be active in visiting local residential homes and hospitals in the period immediately prior to Christmas.
The International Committee planned to involve overseas students at Elmwood College, local migrant workers and to seek the assistance of local schools in filling charity shoe boxes for deserving outlets in Eastern Europe.
The Rotary Foundation Committee brought the Club up to date on the overseas water projects which the Club has instituted. As well as Nepal, there are advanced plans to progress work in Uganda and Kenya. The Club will continue its association with Nepal through provision of funding of a local school teacher there, for the modest outlay of £100 a year.
The meeting agreed to a number of charitable donations which will be made available to the good causes concerned on 8th October.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 1st October 2008

The club met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 1st October 2008 with President Pat McInally in the Chair. There were 33 members and 5 visitors present.
Rotarian Donald Fisher introduced Stuart Barton who in addition to having a physiotherapy practice in Pittenweem, is also the current physiotherapist to the Scottish Rugby Team and was physiotherapist to the British and Irish Lions in 2005. Stuart has had more than 100 "caps" for Scotland in his physiotherapist role and having that wealth of experience he amused the meeting with tales from on and off the pitch.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Bruce McHardy. The club then heard from David Dunston from the Rotary Club of Brynmawr on the Life Straw Project. David circulated around the room, two examples of the Life Straw, an emergency tool to give children safe water to drink. A basic Life Straw costs £3 each. The larger family unit costs just over £15 and will provide up to 17000 litres of water which is sufficient to keep a family of 6 alive for approximately a year. In 2000 the UN reported that every 15 seconds a child dies from drinking dirty water, which equates to 6,000 per day or 2 million children per year. These instant microbiological purifiers can be a valuable tool in addressing this humanitarian disaster. He urged the club to support the project and it was clear from the questions in response that his persuasive talk had struck a chord with the membership.
The vote of thanks was proposed by President Pat McInally.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 8th October 2008

Jim Lang, Anne Ronaldson, Ivor Neville, Pat McInally, Jacqui Wood and John Vaughan - Click for larger image
Jim Lang (CHAS), Anne Ronaldson (Age Concern, Cupar), Ivor Neville (Cupar Children's Gala), President Pat McInally, Dr Jacqui Wood (Ninewells Cancer Campaign) and John Vaughan (Cupar and Howe of Fife Twinning Association)

Thirty one members and six guests were present at the Armaan Restaurant on the 8th October with President Pat McInally in the Chair. There was no speaker for the evening, which was devoted to the presentation of cheques totalling £7500 to various bodies: Cupar Arts and Heritage Project (represented by Peter Cura), Cupar Children's Gala (Ivor Neville), Age Concern Cupar (Anne Ronaldson), Cupar and Howe of Fife Twinning Association (John Vaughan), the Children's Hospice Association, Scotland (CHAS) (Jim Lang) and Ninewells Cancer Campaign (Dr Jacqui Wood).
A cheque for a further £500 is to be sent to the British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS), for use within Fife.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 15th October 2008

Pat McInally, Mary Law and Vince Fusaro - Click for larger image
President Pat McInally, Mrs Mary Law (Cupar in Bloom) and Immediate Past President Vince Fusaro

President Pat McInally was in the chair for the meeting at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 15th October 2008.
The evening's speaker was Rotarian Peter Haselhurst, who outlined his career as an economics teacher starting with 11 years at a boys-only Grammar School in Chelmsford in 1973, followed by 22 years in a co-education ex-direct grant school in Suffolk. Since coming to Cupar in 2006, where his wife Anne had become the Rector of St James the Great, he has been teaching part-time at Bell Baxter and St Leonards Schools.
Peter noted that it was a Fifer, Adam Smith, born in 1723 in Kirkcaldy, who laid the foundations for current economic theory. Smith's classic work, The Wealth of Nations, is frequently referred to, but not so frequently read!, as it is couched in the language of the late 18th Century - the time of the Scottish Enlightenment. He wrote at length on various economic ideas, including the division of labour (the basic idea behind mass-production), taxation - which he said should be fair and simple, and not based on distant economic decision-making - and even fair trade. As a philosophy teacher, Smith argued that free enterprise was morally good, as self-interested producers and traders benefit society as a whole. Peter declared that no British economist has ever had a greater effect than Adam Smith, whose work directly influenced past British Prime Ministers Pitt the Younger, Robert Peel and William Gladstone - and Gordon Brown has been known to enlist his support for the ideas of New Labour!
Following the vote of thanks, given by Rotarian Jennifer Martin, a cheque for £500 was given to Mrs Mary Law on behalf of Cupar in Bloom. Mary thanked the club for the donation, and pointed out that the 84% score which gave Cupar the top award in the Medium Town category in the recent Beautiful Scotland competition was due in no small part to the 30/30 mark in the Community Involvement section.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 22nd October 2008

President Pat McInally welcomed 30 members and 2 Australian guests to the meeting on the 22nd October.
Going back to his family roots in Morayshire, Rotarian John Hendry chose to speak about one of the area's less attractive inhabitants - Alexander Stewart.
Late fourteenth century Scotland was a land of men on the make, but few earned a blacker reputation than this man, third surviving son of King Robert Ii, better known as the Wolf of Badenoch. Made infamous by the tide of devastation which he unleashed on Moray in 1390, which included the calculated destruction of Forres and of Elgin Cathedral, Alexander has long been portrayed as the archetype of the Highland robber baron, a man who thought his royal blood put him beyond the law.
The reality was more complex, for his violent assault on the Moray lowlands was part of a bloody game played for the highest of stakes - the mastery of Scotland. King Robert had granted Alexander the lordship of Badenoch, the royal lieutenancy in the North, the Sheriffship of Inverness and justiciarship North of the Forth, and in 1382 had arranged for him to marry Euphemia, Countess of Ross, thus placing in his hands Ross, Skye and many estates from Nairn to Buchan.
Alexander sought to consolidate his power-base by military means, and came into conflict with his powerful neighbours Alexander Bur and John Dunbar, respectively the Bishop and the Earl of Moray. Bur and Dunbar eventually allied themselves with Alexander's brother, Robert, Earl of Fife, who capitalised on the horror and revulsion of the political community at his brother's sacrilegious destruction of Elgin Cathedral to tighten his own grip on power, and forced Alexander to submit.
Rotarian Grant McLeish proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 29th October 2008

President Pat McInally welcomed 37 members and one prospective member, Christina Renton, who was inducted during the meeting.
Introduced by Rotarian Ronnie Law, Christina is Headteacher at Kilmaron School in Cupar, and has had contacts with the club over the years in connection with the Kids' Out days at Craigtoun Park and with Cupar In Bloom.
Speaker for the evening was Rotarian Michael Hendry, who recounted a recent trip with his wife to Namibia. The reason for the trip was the wildlife and the desert scenery, and he presented photographs of these after an introduction on the history and geography of the country, which is about three and a half times the size of the UK, but has a population of only two million - making it the second most sparsely populated country in the world, after Mongolia. It was largely inhabited by bushmen until the Bantu expansion of the 14th Century brought in pastoral tribes, who displaced the bushmen to the most inhospitable areas of the country. Portuguese explorers visited during the 15th Century, but it wasn't until the "Race for Africa" in the 19th Century that Germany set up a colony there.
South Africa occupied the colony during the First World War, and annexed the territory after the Second. Although a war of independence was started by SWAPO during the 1960s, it wasn't until 1990 that the country became an independent state. Because of its low rainfall only 1% of the country's land can be used for food production, and Namibia still has to import food from neighbouring countries. On the other hand, it is rich in minerals, including diamonds and uranium, and given that it is (by African standards!) very peaceful and free of corruption, its prospects look good.
Rotarian Harry Mellotte proposed the Vote of Thanks.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 5th November 2008

36 members were present at the club's meeting at the Armaan Restaurant on the 5th November, with President Pat McInally in the chair.
Rotarian Vicky Hunter spoke after dinner, describing the trials and tribulations of her transition from research scientist to entrepreneur as she and her husband Jim developed the idea of their indoor children's play area - "Bonkers" - and then put it into practice.
Full of confidence following experience of D-I-Y home improvements, when Castle Furniture put its premises on the Moathill on the market they put together their business plan - but then got cold feet as the projected costs mounted up. Looking for an alternative building they were knocked back by the Council with proposals to set up their project at the Cupar Trading Estate or in the old gymnasium at the Bell Baxter Westport site, and it was a chance meeting with friends who happened to have bought the Castle Furniture building that got them back on track - their friends had re-roofed the building and were now looking for tenants.
After their plans had been submitted they had a frustrating five-month delay before the approval came through for the change of use of the building, and they were able to get on with the alterations. Roof insulation was required to comply with the requirements for the building warrant, but eventually they got to the re-surfacing of the floor and the inside of the building started to take shape. During this phase Vicky and Jim had to acquire First Aid certificates, learn about food legislation, Health and Safety, Public and Employers' Liability, Tax, and VAT, and then hire staff and deal with payroll and accounts! At noon, two days before Bonkers was due to open, the Building Inspector came and found several reasons to reject their application for a building warrant. At this point, their decision to use local tradesmen during the construction phase paid off, even though they might not have quoted the cheapest prices, because they were able to get these jobs done just in time for the 3 o'clock deadline set by the inspector.
All was set for the official opening by Sir Menzies Campbell on the following Sunday, but over the weekend it became clear that he was under increasing pressure to resign from leadership of the Liberal Democrats. Despite this, and his actual resignation on the day of their opening, he fulfilled his commitment to them, and their business was up and running.
Rotarian Pat Mitchell proposed the Vote of Thanks.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 12th November 2008

Dr Alan Marchbank - Click for larger image Recent Recruits - Click for larger image Pat McInally and Jo Ann Sharkey - Click for larger image
Dr Alan Marchbank - Robert Louis Stevenson expert Recent Recruits Vicky Hunter, Willie Nicoll, Christine Renton and Jennifer Martin with President Pat McInally (centre) President Pat McInally and Ambassadorial Student Jo Ann Sharkey

Thirty-five members were present at the meeting, chaired by President Pat McInally at the Armaan Restaurant, along with Ambassadorial Student Jo Ann Sharkey and guest speaker Dr Alan Marchbank.
Secretary Ian Copland introduced his guest, who like him had been a librarian by profession, but with a PhD in French Literature, and who took as his subject "Robert Louis Stevenson". As a past president of the Robert Louis Stevenson Club, founded in 1920, he was clearly an authority on the subject, and illustrated his talk with an ingenious cross-referenced computer presentation which he'd devised himself and which allowed him to present images and quotations in any order in response to queries from his audience. Looking up "Cupar" in his index, he found a reference to the town in Catriona - "He that will tae Cupar maun tae Cupar".
Stevenson was a sickly child, born into a family of engineers in the days when engineers needed to be physically strong, particularly in the family's specialist field of lighthouse-building, and he eventually had to confess to his father at the age of 21 that he couldn't cope with this kind of heavy work. He studied Law at Edinburgh University and practised briefly as an advocate, but his urge to write took over and this career was abandoned. The time spent accompanying his father on surveying and construction projects around Scotland stood him in good stead in the detail he was able to put into "Kidnapped", which has never been out of print since it was first published. Because of his chest problems, he travelled extensively abroad, and met his American wife-to-be, Fanny, in France. He followed her to the USA, eventually marrying her after her divorce, and he became wealthy there after the syndication of his books across the country. He subsequently crossed the South Pacific looking for a climate suitable for his health, and eventually settled in Samoa in 1889 where he died of tuberculosis at the age of 44 in 1894.
Rotarian Sandy Mitchell proposed the Vote of Thanks.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 19th November 2008

Carolyne Nurse - Click for larger image
Carolyne Nurse, MacMillan Cancer Support Fundraiser

The Club met at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 19th November 2008 with President Pat McInally in the Chair.
There were 34 members and 1 visitor present.
Rotarian Ian Donaldson introduced Carolyne Nurse, Fundraiser with Macmillan Cancer Support who explained that their principal aim is to help people from the moment they hear they have cancer by ensuring they get the best information, treatment and care available. The Charity which was founded in 1911 by a Scot, Douglas Macmillan, has 26 nurses in Fife. She outlined how the Society assisted with a whole range of problems that face cancer carers and their families. In addition to the nursing assistance the Society provide a welfare benefit service and grants can be made to cancer sufferers where appropriate.
Since joining the Society in April 2008 she explained she had been involved with the World's Biggest Coffee Morning which raised £31,000 in Fife alone together with other fund raising events. At present the focus in Fife is the campaign to raise £450,000 which will assist the Fife Benefits project, a palliative care dietetic clinic, provide an Assistant Chemotherapy Practitioner and various grants for those in need of financial support as a result of their diagnosis.
A vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Grant McLeish following which President Pat McInally was pleased to hand over a cheque in favour of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 26th November 2008

Special General Meeting.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 3rd December 2008

Alison Irvine - Click for larger image
Alison Irvine, Fife Council Access Officer

In the absence of President Pat McInally, President-Elect Bill Nicoll welcomed 30 members and three guests, including guest speaker Alison Irvine, to the meeting at the Armaan Restaurant.
Alison was introduced by Rotarian Tracy Jordan, who shares her passion with horses and who explained that Alison had been a Ranger for Fife Council for about 20 years before taking up her current post as Fife Council's Access Officer in 2001. Alison told the Club that she had been appointed in preparation for the introduction of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which gives everyone statutory access rights to most land and inland water in Scotland.
Ironically, her first duties were not aimed at opening up access, but in closing it down, as her appointment coincided with the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak of 2001. Rights of access under the Act are balanced by responsibilities towards the owners and other users of the land, and generally speaking all that is necessary is the application of common sense, but there are a number of exclusions. For example, hunting, shooting and fishing still require the permission of the relevant owner, as do motorised activities such as motor-biking, scrambling and microlighting. Pastimes such as watching wildlife, sight-seeing, painting and photography, family activities such as walking, paddling, dog-walking and picnicking, and active pursuits such as hill-walking, horse-riding, cycling and canoeing are all allowed. There are obvious exceptions, such as land where crops are growing, building sites, and some slightly less obvious - like sports pitches with artificial surfaces, whether they're in use at the time or not. Responsible use of the access rights granted under the Act includes respect for the privacy and peace of mind of others, care for the environment, proper control of dogs, and particular care when planning events or running a business which might impinge on the use of the land.
Rotarian Grant McLeish thanked Alison for her clear and thorough explanation of the Act and its implications.
Rotarian Graham Findlay was congratulated on becoming Vice President of the Club.

Evening Meeting held at the Armaan Restaurant on Wednesday 10th December 2008

John Allan, Bill Nicoll and Louise Cunningham - Click for larger image
John Allan and Louise Cunningham receive their RYLA certificates from President-Elect Bill Nicoll

Thirty Members of Cupar Rotary Club met under the chairmanship of President-Elect Bill Nicoll at the Armaan Restaurant.
Rotarian Bill McSeveney introduced two Bell-Baxter pupils, Louise Cunningham and John Allan, who had been this year's successful candidates in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award ("RYLA") scheme, and who spoke with great enthusiasm of their experiences at the RYLA camp during the summer.
As if arriving not knowing anyone there wasn't bad enough, each of them had to confront and deal with fear of heights and of deep water during the week! Each day started with a guest speaker who gave his view on the development of leadership skills, and was followed by activities including gorge-walking, mountain-biking, an assault course, simulated rescue of a team member, raft-building, orienteering with an overnight stay under tarpaulins, canoeing, climbing and abseiling.
Noting the obvious keenness and self-confidence of the speakers, Rotarian David Nimmo thanked them for reporting back to the club - if any member ever doubted the value of the RYLA scheme, hearing the report of the year's successful candidates would immediately dispel it!

Evening Meeting held at the Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 17th December 2008

The Christmas Dinner was held at the Fairways Restaurant, and featured the Club's Choir, singing a selection of the Carols from the programme presented during December to patients in the Adamson Hospital, and to residents of Lunardi Court, Pitlair House, Bathgate Court and Northeden House.


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