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Notes on all meetings in 2011

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Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 5th January 2011

Evening Meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 5th January 2011.
Forty-one members attended the Club's first weekly meeting of the year at Watts Restaurant on the 5th January, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The evening’s meeting was given over to an evening of fellowship.
However the club’s protection officer, Bill McSeveney, gave a short talk on the importance of following the rules when Rotarians are involved with vulnerable groups. Following the rules protects both the vulnerable person and in addition protects the Rotarian from any malicious and/or unfounded allegations.
News was also announced of 2 fund-raising events, firstly a Jazz lunch at Watts at lunchtime on Sunday 16th January. Then a concert featuring the Ruff Diamonds band, this to take place on the evening of Friday 21st January at the Corn Exchange. The latter event will raise funds for the Fife branch of the MS Society.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 12th January 2011

Liz Teevan - Click for larger image
Liz Teevan, from the Fife Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society

Forty-two members attended the Club's first weekly meeting of the year at Watts Restaurant on the 12th January, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
Ahead of the fund-raising concert at the Corn Exchange on Friday 21st January featuring the Ruff Diamonds band, the speaker for the evening was Liz Teevan from the Fife branch of The Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The first thing Liz did was ask for a show of hands from her audience as to how many people knew someone who had been affected by MS – about half the audience raised their hands. Liz went on to give us some figures – 2.5 million people suffer from MS worldwide with around 10,000 in Scotland and 680 in Fife. Scotland has the highest per capita rate of MS in the world.
The symptoms of MS can vary tremendously from person to person and over time one person can have different symptoms and the symptoms can disappear for a time. The symptoms can vary from mild to disabling, Liz giving us examples such as vertigo, difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, memory loss, to major muscle disturbance. Liz herself has gone blind in one eye, been unable to walk at times needing to use a wheelchair, but then the symptoms disappear and she could be back dancing. This variation in a person’s symptoms can lead to accusations of ‘swinging the lead’. There is no cure for MS but there are drugs that can stabilise and/or slow the progress of the condition.
Rotarian Eric Young proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 19th January 2011

Johanna Melville and John Rankin - Click for larger image Brian Bayne - Click for larger image Bob Drummond - Click for larger image
Johanna Melville as Poosie Nancy, with Piper John Rankin Address to the Haggis - Brian Bayne The Immortal Memory - Bob Drummond

Forty-eight members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 19th January, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair. The evening was the club’s Burns Supper with the speaker being Bob Drummond.
Bob’s topic for the evening was 2 of the women in Burns’ life with the first subject being his mother. Agnes Brown was born in 1732 and married William Burnes in 1757. Robert was the oldest of their 7 chidren. Agnes sang and was musical but illiterate, out of 700 letters Robert wrote not one was to his mother. Clues to her character can be found in the cotter’s wife in the poem The Cotter’s Saturday Night – thrifty, fond of family and hospitable. She died aged 88 and is buried in Bolton, near Haddington.
The second woman in Bob’s talk was Frances Anna Dunlop, an aristocratic lady who supported Burns’ work and with whom Robert exchanged letters for 10 years until they fell out over Robert’s support of The French Revolution.
Rotarian Bryan Bayne proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 26th January 2011

Paul Taylor - Click for larger image
Local Historian Paul Taylor

Forty members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 26th January, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was Paul Taylor who is a member of Dundee Camperdown Rotary Club but lives in Ceres. His talk was on ‘The Famous Sons of Largo’. The major part of his talk was about the man termed “Scotland’s Nelson”, the Lord High Admiral Sir Andrew Wood. Wood started as a sea captain and trader in Leith. In the wars between Scotland and England in the latter part of the 15th century neither country had a navy, any naval battles were between merchant ships with the merchant ships going side on to each other and the battles being fought hand-to-hand.
James III granted Largo to Wood for his defence of Dumbarton against the English. In 1488 Wood rescued the king from rebels by transporting him across the Firth of Forth. However James III was killed later in the same year at the battle of Sauchieburn. Wood was subsequently summoned to the council held by the rebels but insisted that he be sent hostages before doing so. Wood went to the council and spoke up for the dead king, in defiance of the council, he would have been executed were it not for the hostages.
During the reign of the next king, James IV, Wood captured 4 English ships. The English King offered a huge sum of £1,000 for anyone to defeat Wood. Stephen Bull took up the offer and a battle took place starting off the Isle of May and finishing off near Bell Rock with the Scots triumphant. Wood was knighted and had a castle built at Largo of which the tower remains. He loved water so much he had a canal dug so that he could be rowed to the church in Largo.
Wood’s great grandson John Wood served James VI and Charles I. His money was used to build John Wood’s Hospital, which is no sheltered housing. Paul also told us brief details of the real ‘Robinson Crusoe’, Alexander Selkirk and David Gillies whose Herring Net factory and fine house (Cardy House) are the fine buildings still to be found next to the beach-side car park in Lower Largo.
Rotarian Margaret Beetlestone proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 2nd February 2011

The Business Meeting on 2nd February was attended by thirty-two members, along with two guests from the St Andrews Kilrymont Rotary Club. Taking the chair, President Graham Findlay invited committee chairmen to report on recent activities and present their plans for future projects.
Over £1500 was raised for MS Scotland at the Corn Exchange on 21st January, and this is to be repeated at about the same time next year. A repeat performance later this year is also planned for the Jazz Lunch with Dr Jazz, which took place at Watts on the 16th January and raised £265 for the Rotary Charity Account.
Although the hard winter may slow them down, the purple crocuses planted last year as part of "Focus on the Crocus" should be in flower in time for Rotary Day on the 23rd February - the flowers represent the purple ink dabbed on a child's finger after polio immunisation, which has been supported by Rotary worldwide.
Local conservation work by Rotarians at Tarvit Ponds is to be followed by work (also under the guidance of Ranger Tony Wilson) to improve access to Cairngreen Woods.
Numerous other sports, social and fund-raising projects were progressing well, and the Club agreed with a number of charitable donations which had been recommended by the Club's Council.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 9th February 2011

Thirty-five members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 9th February, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was Rotarian Johanna Melville, a science and guidance teacher at Bell Baxter. Johanna told us of her visits in 2006 and 2010 to Uganda. Johanna taught at the secondary school at Kakumiro, situated to the west of the country, and also represented the parish of St. Columba’s at several projects in the area.
Johanna showed us several photos showing the range of Uganda’s range of landscapes ranging from the lush fertile lowlands to the snow-covered slopes of the Rwenzori mountains, also known as the mountains of the moon. Uganda was described as The Pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill.
On her initial arrival in 2006 Johanna was treated to a feast including white ants (which were hidden in a ground-nut stew). The feasts, and dancing, continued after each mass Johanna attended in the outlying areas with some masses, conducted in the local Ugandan languages, lasting for up to 6 hours. Johanna was given lessons herself in dancing, playing the drums and sewing.
Johanna taught science classes of 70 to 100 at the secondary school with the children’s last task of the day being to sweep and clean the school. The primary school class room was used as a dormitory at night for pupils from outlying areas. One of St. Columba’s projects was to build hostels at the school for these children.
Rotarian Alastair Andrew proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 16th February 2011

Ben Backsmeier - Click for larger image
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Ben Backsmeier

Thirty-seven members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 16th February, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was 2nd Lieutenant Ben Backsmeier of the US Army. Ben told us of his origins in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, a centre of corn and soybean production and close to the headquarters of the Caterpillar company.
Ben told us of his training at the West Point military academy from which he qualified with a degree in Politics, Policy and Strategy. He has worked as part of the US Army Airborne School in Germany, Romania and did humanitarian work in Ethiopia, the latter in an area where there was a malaria outbreak affecting 95% of the population.
In answer to a question Ben told of us the extremely full timetable at West Point giving us a typical day which starts at 6 a.m. with the cleaning of bathrooms and officially finishes at 9 p.m. with coursework to be done in their free time after 9. Only 1 weekend in 4 are free, with the other weekends involving sport and military training. In the summer ‘breaks’ Ben has worked at The White House.
Ben is currently studying International Security Studies at St. Andrews University. When not studying at the university Ben also enjoys playing shinty.
In a few months time will return to the US and from there he will be posted to Afghanistan where he will be assisting local people to build schools, hospitals, dig wells and improve irrigation.
Rotarian Donald Cameron proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 23rd February 2011

The evening Meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday 23rd February 2011 was a joint meeting with Howe of Fife Rotary Club and The Inner Wheel Club of Cupar held at the Fairways Restaurant at Elmwood Golf Course. The meeting was chaired by Pat Robb of Inner Wheel.
The speaker for the evening was Cupar Rotarian, Reverend Jim Campbell, minister of Ceres Parish Church.
Jim told us of his time in Malawi a country in southern Africa that has many links with Scotland, in particular with David Livingstone. Jim visited Malawi in 2008 and 2010 to establish twinning between Jim’s previous parish of Peebles and Melrose and the Malawian parish of Zomba.
Malawi as are many countries of Africa, are portrayed as undeveloped but Jim contrasted our relatively impersonal society with the warmth of the Malawian people, with their glad-to-be-alive, live for the moment attitude. However the latter also meant that there was a tendency to neglect technology etc. if it broke down.
Jim stayed with a lower middle class family which for us would be the equivalent of a very poor family. The local schools have classes of 120 pupils with the resultant problem that the classes were not so much education more like basic crowd control. The schools are desperately short the basics down to pencils and paper.
Jim showed us photos of some projects supporting the people in the area including the provision of sewing machines, reservoir pumps and the building of a health centre.
Carole Pirie of the Inner Wheel club proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 2nd March 2011

Anthony Lupo - Click for larger image
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Anthony Lupo

Thirty-seven members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 2nd March, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was 2nd Lieutenant Intelligence Officer Anthony Lupo of the US Army.
Anthony is currently studying for a Master of Philosophy degree at St. Andrews University. In line with his current studies, Anthony discussed the problems a powerful government faces when it decides to support an unscrupulous regime. He reminded us that just because a government may have been democratically elected it does not necessarily follow that this means that the resultant regime is a fair and equitable one.
A government will identify its own interests and formulate policies to support those interests, then look for countries that fall in line with these policies and support those countries. But how does the government then deal with aftermath of the downfall of a regime that it had previously supported?
Anthony also highlighted the problems faced by people who want to change a government policy. Supporting the status quo is by far the easier option, the current bosses favour this and if a career is to be progressed it usually means following the same line or policies as ones superiors. Those who disagree with their superiors tend not to get promoted.
Anthony ended his talk by thanking Rotary for supporting his studies in Scotland.
Rotarian Graeme Pirie proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 9th March 2011

Liz Teevan and Graham Findlay - Click for larger image
MS Fife member Liz Teevan receives a cheque from President Graham Findlay

Forty members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 9th March, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
Before the evening’s talk the club observed a minute's silence in the memory of Gavin Reekie OBE who had died the previous day at the age of 95. As well as distinguished service in the army, which included taking part in the Normandy landings, and founding the company that bears his name, Gavin had been a member of Rotary since 1950.
The speaker for the evening was Liz Teevan from the Fife branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Liz, on behalf of MS Fife, received a cheque from Cupar Rotary Club for £1650, this being the amount raised by the fund-raising evening featuring the Ruff Diamonds band that was held in January in the Corn Exchange.
Liz told us how money raised is spent with the society providing short break holidays for sufferers and carers. MS Fife also provides self-management courses for both sufferers of MS and anyone suffering from any other long term condition. The society is in the process of setting up a Friends service which will give both sufferers and carers the ability to discuss their problems with especially with regard to relapses and new symptoms.
Rotarian Graeme Pirie proposed the vote of thanks.

Scatter Week - no meeting

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 23nd March 2011

Francesca Hill - Click for larger image
Francesca Hill - the Club's Euroscola nominee

Forty-one members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 23rd March, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The evening’s speaker was Francesca Hill from Bell Baxter High School. Francesca recently took part in Euroscola. Euroscola days are organised by the European Parliament in Strasbourg and each year a group sponsored by Rotary Clubs across Scotland travels to Strasbourg for four days of intensive language and cultural immersion, culminating in the day in the Parliament during which the students from across Scotland join their counterparts from other EU member states for a day of discussion and friendship.
Francesca showed us slides of her time in Strasbourg. On their first full day Francesca and her fellow scholars conducted a survey on the streets of Strasbourg asking the residents about Scotland and Europe, with all the questioning being done in French. The group were subsequently taken on a tour of Strasbourg and learned about the history of the region – some people had lived through times when the area swapped between France and Germany 4 times. On their day in the European Parliament each group had to present a talk about issues in their own country but had to give the talk in a language other than their own.
Francesca will shortly be going to university to study French so her Euroscola experience will soon be put to good use.
Rotarian Vince Fusaro proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 30th March 2011

Alison Stedman - Click for larger image
Alison Stedman, Immediate Past President of Montrose Club

Forty members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 30th March, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
Before the evening’s talk Graham gave the club the sad news of the death of club member Alastair Clark, a former Cupar dentist.
The speaker for the evening was Alison Steadman of the Rotary Club of Montrose. Alison told us of the work of, and her support for, the Nyumbani charity, a charity that does great work with Aids orphans in Kenya.
Nyumbani established the first hospice for HIV positive children in Kenya. Nyumbani has established an orphanage for 112 and a village that will eventually house 1,000 people either suffering or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Alison herself has made several visits herself and to Kenya and taken part in practical work such as painting and decorating plus refurbishing, restocking and making profitable a gift shop.
Nyumbani has also provided a laboratory. The laboratory now has a genetic analyzer (which cost c. £80,000), which means that if an Aids sufferer becomes resistant to the particular cocktail of drugs the new mix of drugs can be sorted out quickly. Previously the samples had to be sent to Japan with a wait of 6 weeks for the results.
Rotarian Doreen Gray proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 6th April 2011

President Graham Findlay welcomed 35 members to the meeting at Watts, 1 guest and Dundee Rotary President Robert Burns.
Graham Findlay gave a brief eulogy in memory of Alastair Clark, a member since 1978, who sadly passed away a few weeks ago.
The Rotary speaker was Rotary member Rennie Ritchie who gave a us a talk about his 30 years in the Police Force.
Rennie Ritchie reminded all members that the Rotary Annual Charity Golf Day was taking place on 12th May 2011 and that there was still space available for a few more teams.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 13th April 2011

Thirty-two members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 13th April, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
Before the speaker it was announced that Michael Hendry’s band Dr. Jazz had raised £646 from their Sunday lunchtime performance at Watts restaurant. The money will be donated to the Kirkcaldy branch of The Samaritans.
The speaker for the evening was Rotarian Euan Barbour. Euan told us of the rigorous training that is undertaken by air cadets at the glider school at RM Condor, the Royal Marine base at Arbroath. With every training day being started by a briefing which all flyers, from the novice to seniors, must attend, attention to safety is uppermost. Euan showed us photos of the equipment and vehicles used. The gliders are pulled to take-off speed by a cable which is winched to 60mph within 2 seconds.
Euan then took us through the routine required prior to take off, with the controls, straps, instruments, trim, canopy, air brakes all needing to be checked. Cadets need to undertake 150 flights before being allowed to fly solo.
Rotarian Michael Hendry proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 20th April 2011

Thirty-nine members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 20th April, with President-Elect Dermot Stewart in the Chair. The speaker for the evening was Rotarian Bruce Rollo. Bruce told us of the similarities and differences of the 2 highest mountains in the world, Mount Everest and K2. With only 14 mountains in the world being greater than 8,000 metres the number of people who have climbed them all is no greater than the number of people who have walked on the surface of the moon.
Bruce showed us first the difference in the approaches to Everest and K2 with K2 requiring a walk along c. 80 km of glacial moraine with no human habitation, whereas Everest lies near a trade route that has been used for hundreds of years.
Because of the monsoon patterns Everest has periods of better weather when the jetstream winds abate allowing two periods in the year when climbing is favoured, April/May and November. Everest now has commercial companies arranging climbs to the summit. The number of people who have climbed Everest is c. 4,000 whereas only c. 400 people have climbed K2.
K2 does not have weather windows and is a much more dangerous climb, being particularly dangerous for climbers on the way down with around 1 in 7 of climbers who have actually reached the summit dying on the descent.
Rotarian Tracy Jordan proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 27th April 2011

Thirty-seven members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 27th April, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The evening was the clubs AGM with summary reports from the various committee chairmen of the activities undertaken over the past year.
Fund-raising highlights have included the coffee morning in the corn exchange which raised over £1,000, the Ruff Diamonds concert in January which raised c. £1,500. The wishing well at the Scottish Deer Centre also raised £290. Other highlights have included the sponsorship of 2 secondary school pupils to the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy outdoor pursuits week and also another pupil on her Euroscola trip to the European parliament in Strasbourg.
The club has provided enough funds to provide 4 shelter-boxes that will have been used in disaster areas such as New Zealand and Japan. The most recent event was the collection of Tools for Self Reliance, 2 tonnes of tools were collected – the tools will be reconditioned before being sent out to Africa.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 4th May 2011

Thirty-six members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 4th May, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was Rotarian Hilda Scott. Hilda told us of her search for information about her previously undiscovered family connections to Poland. Until a few years ago Hilda had no knowledge of letters written to her 3xgreat-grandfather George Broomfield from his brother Andrew, who was running a farm in Poland. The letters were written between 1841 and 1850.
In the early 19th century a Count Pac of Poland came to Scotland to look for farmers and engineers who could assist in modernising the agriculture on his estates. The Broomfields, the 2 brothers plus 2 sisters and a cousin, travelled to Poland in 1817. Originally they had a lease for 25 years on a farm near Suwalki, to the north-east of Warsaw. Other Scottish families moved to the area and there is still a farm called Scotia near Suwalki. In 1830 the Russian Empire confiscated Count Pac’s properties and the Broomfield family moved 200 miles to the south of Warsaw. The first letter from the new farm states that there were 26 families working for him doing 60 hours of work a week. The letter also listed the crops grown, the profits made and the extremes of weather suffered.
Hilda herself made a visit to the area and illustrated her talk with photos from both the areas in Poland.
Rotarian Bruce McHardy proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 11th May 2011

Thirty-six members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 11th May, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
Before the evening’s speech we were informed by Rotarian Bill McSeveney of the difficulties faced of one of the local events that Cupar Rotary Club supports. Cupar Highland Games is currently facing a shortfall of c. £6,000 to ensure this years games go ahead and needs all the support it can get.
The speaker for the evening was John Vaughan of Fife Olympiad.
John told us the origins of the Olympiad which began with the twinning between Glenrothes and Boblingen in Germany together with Boblingen’s other twin towns in Holland, France, Italy, Austria and Turkey. The Olympiad games are held every 3 years and consist of 10 different sports with 1,000 competitors aged from 13 to 17. The 10 sports are tennis, athletics, karate, swimming, volleyball, badminton, basketball and hockey. Over the history of the games, which started in 1981, 1,600 Fife teenagers have taken part. Glenrothes itself hosted the games in 1984 and 2003. 18 out of the 19 secondary schools in Fife have been represented. Fife won the games in 2000.
Rotarian Susan Duff proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 18th May 2011

Graham Findlay and Sheila Ottiwell
 - Click for larger image Graham Pirie and Scott Blyth - Click for larger image
Sheila Ottiwell, Kirkcaldy Branch of Samaritans receives a cheque from President Graham Findlay Graham Pirie and Scott Blyth receive their Paul Harris Awards from President Graham Findlay

Thirty-six members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 18th May, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The evening’s talk, or rather talks, were tributes to the service given to Rotary by two of Cupar Rotary Club’s longest serving members, Scott Blyth, a member of Cupar Rotary club since 1991 and Graham Pirie, a member since 1984.
Scott and Graham, both past presidents of the club, were honoured by the award of Paul Harris Fellowships. The fellowship is awarded by clubs to those members who meet the high professional and personal standards set by Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary. Paul Harris founded Rotary in Chicago in 1905.
After the tributes a cheque for £646 was presented to Sheila Ottiwell from the Kirkcaldy branch of The Samaritans. This was the money raised from the recent Dr. Jazz Sunday lunchtime session at Watts restaurant.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 25th May 2011

Forty-one members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 25th May with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was Rotarian Béla Simandi. B&eacaute;la gave the club a brief run down of the history of his native Hungary.
In the dark ages the ancestors of today’s Hungarians migrated from the area of the river Volga in the south of modern Russia. After around 100 years of raiding over western Europe the Hungarians became Christians and the first king, King Stephen was crowned in 1000 A.D.
In the 13th century half the population were killed when the Mongol hordes descended on the country. But the country recovered especially under the French Anjou dynasty in the 14th century. But then the Ottoman Turks invaded and Budapest was under Ottoman rule from 1526 to 1686. As the Ottoman empire in Europe crumbled Hungary became part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. As part of this empire Hungary took part in the 1st world war during which 0.5m. Hungarians died.
Hungary was a reluctant participant in the 2nd world war following which a communist dictatorship was installed after a rigged election in 1947. B&eacaute;la’s own father had been imprisoned by the Nazis for hiding a rival Jewish businessman, whereas his mother spent 6 months in prison after the communists took power. Béla himself made his way to the west during the 1956 uprising which was crushed by the Russians. Hungary had to wait until 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall to be finally free.
Scott Blyth proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 1st June 2011

Mandy Morton - Click for larger image
Ambassadorial Scholar Mandy Morton

Thirty-four members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 1st June, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was Ambassadorial Scholar Mandy Morton. Mandy is from the town of Nacogdoches, which lies between Dallas and Houston in the east of Texas. Mandy’s first degree was in political science for which she studied at the Stephen F. Austin University in her home town, this university being named after one of the founding fathers of Texas. Mandy worked for 2 years at the State Capitol in Austin. She was then given the chance to study for a Masters degree at St. Andrews University in International Relations specialising in post-conflict situations. As part of these studies Mandy has been to Bosnia and in particular the cities of Sarajevo, Mostar and Srebenica. Although the fighting in Bosnia stopped 16 years ago Mandy found that the different populations in Bosnia – Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian Muslim - are still not reconciled with the schools, shopping areas and living quarters all still separated. Mandy made clear her gratitude to the Rotary funding of her studies in St. Andrews.
Rotarian Ian Donaldson proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 8th June 2011

In the absence of President Graham Findlay, Past-President Pat McInally took the chair, and welcomed thirty-four members and four guests. The Club Assembly which followed dinner was chaired by President-Elect Dermot Stewart, who introduced his committee chairmen and invited them to outline their plans for the forthcoming year.
Members approved donations totalling £1100 to Fife Olympiad, to Cupar members of the Global Taekwon-Do Federation, to the Cupar Flower Show Centenary, to Cruse Bereavement Care and to the Diamond All-Star Cheerleaders.
After the business meeting, Assistant District Governor Grace Morris spoke briefly, and congratulated the club on an exciting and varied programme for the next Rotary Year.
Rotarian Vince Fusaro introduced three members of The Quaich Society, who raise money for the club's Water Charity Account by running whisky tasting events in St Andrews. They presented a cheque for £2300, which will be topped up with £500 Vince has collected over the year at whisky-tastings and similar events. This will bring the total in the club's Water Charity Account to £7361.49. Pat McInally reported that the club's contact in Uganda will shortly be returning home after a year on a course in the UK, and will be able to supervise the spending of this money on our behalf.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 15th June 2011

Giff Bradley - Click for larger image
Giff Bradley, First Volunteer Ambassador for MacMillan Cancer Support Scotland

Thirty-four members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 15th June, with President-Elect Dermot Stewart in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was Giff Bradley, a fellow Rotarian from the Howe of Fife Rotary club. Giff is the 1st volunteer ambassador for MacMillan Cancer Support Scotland.
Giff’s own daughter Sharon herself died from cancer at the age of 15. Sharon described her MacMillan nurses as her ‘angels’. Giff told the meeting some of the history of the charity. Douglas MacMillan, whose own father died of cancer, founded the charity 100 years ago with two aims, to give information and advice regarding cancer and to provide specialist nurses. There are now 4,000 MacMillan nurses as well as consultants, speech therapists, social workers etc. Giff contrasted the information on cancer available now compared to the suppression of information in the past comparing the number of deaths in the period 1939-1948 from enemy action (450,000) with those from cancer (830,000).
MacMillan gives practical support for the sufferer but also to carers. One example Giff gave was making people aware of the benefits available to cancer suffers, in 2002 £15m of these funds were not taken up, but by 2008 this had dropped to £9m. MacMillan receives 99% of its income from donations with 1% coming from sales.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 22nd June 2011

President Graham Findlay was in the chair for the meeting, and had the pleasant duty of inducting new member Tony Martin to the Club. Tony previously served in the RAF, and currently runs his own cleaning business, Clean and Dry, based in Ceres.
The recent cricket match against Cupar Round Table was won by the Rotary team by the narrow margin of 4 runs, and the club had reclaimed the Peattie Potty - the trophy donated by the late John Peattie.
Rotarian Tracy Jordan spoke after dinner on her involvement in the Twin Town Olympiad in France in 1981. Set up in 1978, the Olympiad involves youngsters aged 13 to 18 from Glenrothes's twin towns in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Turkey in various sporting activities. Tracy was involved in the dressage and show-jumping events in a team of eight, in an overall Fife group of 168. Despite various hitches, including a Civil Service strike in the months leading up to the Olympiad which affected airports and passport applications, the whole event went well. Tracy felt she'd gone to France as a schoolgirl and came back prepared to go out into the world as an adult.
Rotarian Willie Nicoll thanked Tracy on the Club's behalf.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 29th June 2011

Dermot Stewart and Graham Findlay - Click for larger image
Incoming President Dermot Stewart, and his predecessor Graham Findlay

Thirty-eight members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 29th June, with President Graham Findlay in the Chair.
The evening’s meeting was the last one under Graham’s presidency. Graham spoke of the many local causes that the Rotary club has supported during the year, these included Cupar in Bloom, the Adamson café project, cubs and guide packs. Plus 2 Bell Baxter pupils were sponsored on the RYLA activity weeks at Nethy Bridge and one pupil on the Euroscola trip to the European parliament in Strasbourg. Graham also thanked the outgoing secretary, Ian Copland, for his sterling work over the last few years.
Graham ended by praising the recent achievements of the incoming Rotary president, Dermot Stewart, highlighting Dermot’s leadership of Cupar Rotary’s ‘End Polio Worldwide’ fund-raising campaign which met its target a year ahead of schedule.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 6th July 2011

Club President Dermot Stewart welcomed thirty-three members to the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 6th July 2011.
Member, Dereck Thomson gave a fascinating insight into three of the “Fighting Cochranes” of Crawford Priory. Many historians consider Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860) to be Britain’s greatest seaman of all time. He served with distinction during the Napoleonic wars and it was Nelson who gave him his first ship, the captured “Le Genereux”. His first real command was the small sloop “Speedy” in which he went on to capture fifty ships in just one year! Napoleon referred to him as the “Sea Wolf”.
A strong critic of the poor conditions in the Navy, he made many enemies. He was wrongly jailed for fraud and stripped of his naval rank. Following his sentence, he headed the Chilean, Brazilian and Greek navies in their fight for independence earning him the nickname of “El Diablo” (the devil) by the Spanish. He was granted a free pardon by King William and reinstated as Rear Admiral of the navy.
Dereck then described Sir Ralph Cochrane's important role in the dambuster raids during World War II, pinpointing the targets and organising planes capable of dropping the “bouncing bombs”. Following his retirement, he entered the business world, notably as a director of Rolls Royce.
Coming right up to date, Dereck spoke of Captain the Hon. Michael Cochrane, who commanded the type 22 frigate, HMS Chatham in the Indian Ocean on anti-terrorist duties.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Susan Duff.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 13th July 2011

Isabel Clifford and Grace Morris - Click for larger image
Isabel Clifford and Assistant Governor Grace Morris

President Dermot Stuart welcomed thirty-two members and three guests to the weekly meeting in Watts restaurant on 13th July.
The club was addressed by Assistant Governor Grace Morris and Isabel Clifford from St Andrews Kilrymont club who described their groundbreaking work in setting up a ROTA-KIDS club in Cannongate primary school. The aim of the club is to help children aged 8-12 build self-esteem and participate in group projects, e.g. fund raising for the Life-Straw project which supplies water purifiers to families in areas of the world where clean water cannot be found, especially following natural disasters. Other projects were related to conservation of rare plants on the West sands and litter picking in the Botanic gardens.
The ROTA-KIDS project involves a partnership consisting of Rotarians, school staff, the children and their parents and only four exist in Scotland.
Grace Morris later presented retiring President Graham Findlay with a Presidential Citation from the District Governor for the club’s achievements during his year in office.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 20th July 2011

Dermot Stewart and Iain Macdonald - Click for larger image
President Dermot Stewart and District Governor Iain Macdonald

Club President Dermot Stewart welcomed thirty-two members and four guests to the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 20th July 2011.
A particularly warm welcome was extended to District Governor Iain Macdonald and his wife Winnie from the Forres club. Iain served in the RAF before taking up positions in Air Traffic Control and the Met. Office. Rotary District 1010, Scotland North encompasses 88 clubs with over 3000 members and the Governor visits each club during his year in office.
Iain spoke to the club of his inspirational meeting with the Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee whose theme for the year is “Reach within to embrace humanity”, believing that our world can be happier, healthier and more peaceful and that Rotarians can strive to create that better world through service.
An excellent example of this is the campaign to fight Polio throughout the world. Iain was delighted to announce that the District was well on the way to raise its target of $522,000 with some $460,000 already raised with 11 months still to go. The vote of thanks was proposed by Canon Pat.
Bruce Rollo advised the meeting that a letter had been received from the head teacher at Kilmaron thanking the club for the KidsOut Day which the members had organised at Cairnie fruit farm. It had been so appreciated by pupils, a repeat will be organised for next year.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 27th July 2011

Club President Dermot Stewart welcomed thirty-four members and three guests to the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 27th July 2011.
Member, Alastair Andrew gave an illustrated talk on the challenges faced during his fourteen years as Bridgemaster on the Forth Road Bridge. He gave a brief history of the ferries and their unique toll schedule which included charging a hearse extra if it carried a corpse and charging a higher toll for stallions than mares! The ferries carried 896,000 vehicles over the river in their last year compared to 4 million by the bridge in its first 12 months. That figure grew to 24 million by 2010 during which time hgv’s increased greatly both in numbers and in weight from 22 tons to 44 tonnes!
Alastair gave a description of the works to replace the vertical suspender ropes and the addition of pier defences to protect the bridge from ship collisions. The effect of the increasing Health & Safety legislation on managing the bridge over the years was also illustrated, including the need to test the vehicle safety barriers by full scale load testing. A detailed description was then given of the first investigations of their kind carried out in Europe which lead to the discovery of corrosion inside the main cable which. Combined with traffic loading increases, the corrosion has justified the building of a new bridge which is due to commence this year.
Two local groups benefited to the tune of £421 when cheques were presented to Anne Ronaldson of Age Concern by Margaret Beetlestone and to Donald Jenks of Cupar Scouts by Graham Pirie. Final details of the coffee morning to be held in the Corn Exchange on Sat 6th August were then discussed.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 3rd August 2011

Rod McNeil - Click for larger image
Abbot House Heritage Centre Volunteer Rod McNeil

Club President Dermot Stewart welcomed thirty-seven members and two visitors to the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 3rd August 2011.
The guest speaker was Rod McNeil who is a member of the Cowdenbeath club. Rod gave an enthusiastic talk on the Abbot House Heritage Centre in Dunfermline demonstrating an extensive knowledge of its history. The Abbot House was originally part of the abbey complex and was built in 1440. The heritage centre opened in the 1980s and is mainly staffed by volunteers. Rod’s précis of Scottish history started in 55 BC when the Picts ruled the land. In fact Fife was originally part of a Pictish kingdom called Fib! One of the several rooms in the Heritage centre is dedicated to Queen Margaret, wife of Malcolm lll, King of Scots and canonised Saint Margaret in 1250.
Other rooms in the heritage centre tell the story of Lady Anne Hackett, wife of Lord Hackett of Pitfirne, Robert Henderson, the poet who translated Aesop’s fables into the Scots language and James Vl, King of Scots. Another room is devoted to Fife’s industrial heritage including damask linen manufacture but mainly the coal industry, reminding us that in 1947 there were 48 deep mines in Fife. Today there are none. Rod finished by recommending the Heritage centre with its fine coffee shop as an ideal venue for a day out.
Rotarian Bill McSeveney proposed the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 10th August 2011

New member Colin McKenzie, a retired lecturer from Elmwood College, was inducted into the club by Club President Dermot Stewart at the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 10th August 2011.
Forty-two members and 3 guests heard an enlightening and thought provoking talk by club member Jennifer Martin who spoke on “25 Years of Dot-Com”.
Although, a spin-off from the American military in the sixties, it is now 25 years since the internet became a commonplace tool of commerce. The internet is, in fact an enormous collection of hundreds of thousands of inter-connected computers all over the world and it is estimated that it delivers $1.5 trillion annually in economic benefits! About 1.7 billion of the world’s population of 6.7 billion use the internet, (or put another way 75% of us are not using it). Current limitations on expansion relate to the need for each and every computer to have a specific address or IP number. At present the protocol is IP4 with a limit of 4 billion addresses but a new protocol IP6 is being rolled out which would be capable of giving every grain of sand on earth its own address!
As today’s youth become tomorrow’s adults an even higher % will become digitally engaged and this will increasingly transform business, industry and social behaviour. No single person or government has authority over the internet and no-one knows where it will lead but it will change us, whether for good or bad!
The vote of thanks was given by Rennie Ritchie.
Members were delighted to learn that the Rotary coffee morning held in the Corn Exchange on Sat 6th raised £1513 which will go to deserving causes both locally and internationally.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 17th August 2011

Twenty members and one guest attended the meeting, chaired by President Dermot Stewart.
Rotarian Euan Barbour spoke after dinner about the Home Guard Auxiliary Units set up to defend the UK in the event of a German invasion. The RAF base at Leuchars, the flat sands at Tentsmuir and the level area in the Howe made Fife a likely target for invasion, with railway lines being used to distribute tanks quickly. Plans were drawn up for the railway bridges to be destroyed in the event of an invasion, and tank traps had already been put in position around the crossing points.
Euan had photographs of the more obvious pill-boxes which are still visible - one in the woods between the Melville Lodges roundabout and Ladybank Golf Club and another in the grounds of a house at Kingskettle, but he also showed images of the much less obvious Operational Bases. These were underground buildings which would be occupied by local patrols in the event of invasion, and which were well stocked with weapons, including Tommy guns, explosives, hand grenades, sticky bombs and masses of ammunition. So secret were these, and so well hidden, that the base in the woods near Craigtoun House was only discovered in 2009 when it was exposed by exceptionally heavy rain.
It is rumoured that the Cupar patrol was under the command of Lt Jimmy Reid, for many years the cobbler in Cupar, but of course these patrols were formed in secret - often local farmers and estate owners were approached for suggestions because their workers had the necessary country skills and knew the land intimately.
Fife had a more central role in the preparations for invasion because Melville House was used as a training centre for the Auxiliary Units, under the command of Captain Eustace Maxwell, the brother of the author Gavin Maxwell.
For this and much more fascinating information Euan was thanked on the club's behalf by Rotarian Peter McKinnon.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 24th August 2011

Thirty-four members were welcomed by Club President Dermot Stewart to the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 24th August 2011.
Member Alison MacGregor gave an illustrated talk on her recent trip to visit the Inuit people of the North Atlantic. Alison’s cruise vessel was owned by the Inuit and the crew included six youths with behavioural problems. By learning the various skills involved in operating a large vessel they were better equipped to improve their future prospects.
The Inuit are thought to have been of Mongolian origin and currently number about 200,000 occupying Northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Siberia. Approximately 45,000 live in Canada in scattered townships, typically 400 strong. They have a very hard life with a lower than average life expectancy, with tuberculosis being rife. They lead a subsistence life despite there being vast deposits of gold, silver and copper beneath the ground. However, extracting these minerals from the permafrost presents an enormous engineering challenge. Because of the permafrost in the ground, buildings are placed on short stilts; otherwise the heat of the building would melt the permafrost causing the building to settle.
Interestingly, community fridges are used to store the meat gathered from hunting and so strong is this community spirit that couples without children will help out by bringing up children from large families! The word “Eskimo” was a derogatory term used by the American Cree tribe meaning “eater of raw meat”. (As there is no fruit, raw meat was the only source of Vitamin C available to the Inuits). Alison’s trip then took her to the Inuit of Greenland whose history of continuous trading and interaction with Europe has helped them to be healthier and more prosperous.
Pat Mitchell gave the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 31th August 2011

Club President Dermot Stewart welcomed 37 members to the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 31st August.
Rotarian Roy Marsden gave an interesting talk on a rather unusual trip to Slovakia which is a landlocked state in central Europe. It has borders with the Czech Republic and Austria to the West, Poland to the North, Ukraine to the East and Hungary to the South. It has a population of over 5 million, an area of 19,000 sq. miles and its capital and largest city is Bratislava.
Roy joined an expedition which set out during a bitterly cold winter to study the wolf population in a particular area of the northern mountains. This information was needed to inform the authorities who are under pressure to licence hunters. The trip started with safety briefings which included such issues as the use of flares if lost in a blizzard to how to react if coming face to face with a bear! The temperature did not rise above -3C throughout the trip and even water had to be carried in a “Thermos”. The group was fortunate that there was no wind and that snow fell mainly during the night. All wore snow shoes although Roy found out the hard way that they are of little use when descending steep slopes! Although no wolves were seen by the group, evidence of their numbers and direction of travel could be seen from their tracks which were plotted using GPS. Evidence of bear activity was found also. Interestingly, local farmers were advised to drape red ribbons on their fences as wolves were unlikely to jump over them then to attack their sheep!
Roy’s group was only one of several expeditions to take part in the exercise which is very much work in progress.
Rotarian Willie Nicol gave the vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 14th September 2011

Club President Dermot Stewart was in the chair to welcome an attendance of 33 members at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday 14th September.
Fellowship duty was in the hands of Past President Graham Findlay and Doreen Gray had Speaker Supply responsibility.
The first business of the evening was to welcome a new member into the Club, namely Graeme Black. Graeme was introduced to the Club by Past President Ronnie Law who provided a full account of Graeme's career prior to opening his new retail venture, "Funky Rascals" in Cupar town centre. Graeme responded suitably following the formalities of the official welcome from the President.
The speaker for the evening was John Rowbotham, well known former football referee who recounted many of the highlights of his high profile career. Kirkcaldy born and bred, John had been a player up to 1987 at amateur level and when he turned to refereeing, he felt that this experience was essential when dealing with players as he progressed through the ranks of the refereeing hierarchy. He served his time refereeing at Junior level, then working his way through the lower divisions of Scottish Football as match assistant, then match referee.
The experiences he recounted included handling the “Old Firm” teams and the Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Dundee United. When he was nominated as an International Referee, he took this as a tremendous honour as he was very conscious that he was there representing his country. He officiated at 50 games in Europe, including internationals and 4 world cup qualifiers. His international travels took him to destinations that were often far removed from the normal tourist traps. His distinctive appearance often led to some comparisons with the famous Italian referee Pierluigi Collina as both were tall and follically challenged.
His career allowed him to garner a series of commemorative medals from some of the games he officiated at and occasionally a prominent player's shirt. His final game in Europe was between Feyenoord and FC Basel, and as the game was in Switzerland he had the privilege of visiting FIFA headquarters and laying hands on the World Cup. As it was decreed that referees had to retire from the gamer at the age of 45, he took his leave of the game but still retains his interest as was illustrated in a lively question and answer session.
The Club's official vote of thanks was provided by Past president Graham Findlay.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 21st September 2011

President Elect Rennie Ritchie welcomed 36 members, Honorary Member Jackie Taylor and three visiting Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Leven to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 21st September. The Rev Cliff Strong was in charge of Fellowship.
The visiting speakers for the evening were Frank Sullivan and Fergus Daly representing SHARE, the Scottish Health Research Register. They are based at the Scottish School of Primary Care at the University of Dundee and are engaged in a new initiative, unique to Scotland, endeavouring to advance medical research by creating a confidential index of residents in Scotland who have actively expressed an interest in contributing to health research, either as patients or as healthy volunteers.
Much research fails because those eligible to take part never hear about the studies. Through the principle of "informed consent", it is proposed to alert potential volunteers by email, direct mail, advertising, social networks and health professionals. A further means suggested is to have a message printed on repeat prescriptions. It was explained that each research study is unique and will depend upon the criteria required. Many of the studies involve something simple like filling out a basic questionnaire or taking part in a clinical trial with approved and friendly researchers. Those on the register will always have the choice of whether or not they want to take part in any study they are invited to and can withdraw at any time. All the studies are subject to rigorous ethical approvals and any data collected will be stored on a secure database. The level of interest in the Scottish Health Research Register from those attending became obvious through the number of questions being posed.
The Rev Cliff Strong expressed the club’s thanks to the speakers at the close of the meeting.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 28th Sept 2011

Club President Dermot Stewart took the chair for a Club Business meeting on 28th September, with Past President Bill Nicoll on fellowship duty.
Past President Jim Boyd of the Glenrothes Rotary Club was a visitor. Tribute was paid at the commencement of the meeting to Past President Gavin J. Reekie who had passed away at the weekend.
Following the Treasurer's Report the Club agreed to provide financial assistance to Cupar Golf Club and the Cupar Monday Scouts.
Willie Nicoll on behalf of the Service Committees reported that the Wishing Well located at the Scottish Deer Centre which has generated substantial funds for good causes would have an information board provided to indicate where the donations would be used.
It was noted that the Club Carol Singing Choir would add Kilmaron School to the list of venues to be visited prior to Christmas. Rotarian Bill McSeveney reported on plans to create a mural at a local respite house.
The Club learned of a fundraising event in support of the charity, Help for Heroes, in the form of a festive entertainment incorporating a floral art and cookery demonstration at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 3rd November. The programme would feature Mary Law and Christopher Trotter.
The Ways and Means Committee also confirmed that in The Ruff Diamonds would provide the entertainment at an evening dedicated to raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support in January.
Graham Pirie on behalf of the Membership Services Committee announced that the meeting on 2nd November would take the form of an informal open night for the benefit of prospective members learning more about the Rotary movement.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 5th Oct 2011

Chris Fusaro - Click for larger image
Professional Rugby Player Chris Fusaro

Thirty-six members and two guests attended the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 5th October. Rotarian Vince Fusaro introduced his nephew Christopher as the evening’s guest speaker who gave an insight into his career as a professional rugby player. Chris started playing in Primary 4 with the Howe Minis and later the Midis before playing for Bell Baxter High School. Chris joked about the discipline needed to train and keep trim, particularly coming from a family whose business was ice-cream and fish and chips!
He recalled training in a blizzard on Christmas Eve whilst in sixth year at Bell Baxter! Such dedication is vital to succeeding in any sport and Chris paid tribute to the Howe coaches, John and Garry who inspired and supported him. Chris is a firm believer in the sportsman’s motto - “The harder I practice, the luckier I get”.
Chris represented Scotland in the under-18 to under-20 levels. He was in the team who beat Italy in the under-19 match in 2008 at Parabagio and a year later his first international appearance at under-20 was against Wales at McDiarmid Park, Perth on the opening day of the group’s Six Nations Championship. He has played all over the world including Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.
Chris was signed by Glasgow Warriors in 2010 and described the back-up support necessary to compete at professional level which includes a physiotherapy team of three, a doctor, a nutritionist and health & fitness strategists. In training for a match, his daily calorie intake rises to 4500, almost double the recommended adult amount! Chris gave up his full-time degree course in Chemical Engineering to follow his rugby career but is now studying chemistry with the Open University.
After answering numerous rugby related questions from members, the club’s vote of thanks was proposed by Rennie Ritchie before the meeting was brought to a close by club President Dermot Stewart.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 12th Oct 2011

Maurice Shepherd - Click for larger image
Dr Maurice Shepherd

Thirty-two members and one guest attended the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 12th October chaired by Dermot Stewart. The guest speaker was Dr Maurice Shepherd who gave a very interesting, illustrated talk on time and the development of clocks.
In ancient times, the only measurement of time was that a day lasted from sunrise to sunset. As a development of this, the sundial emerged, although it had to be set up for the exact latitude of its location. The earliest and most basic clocks are thought to be the clocks at Wells and Salisbury cathedrals, installed in the 14th century although they were only capable of showing the hour. The driver for the development of accurate, portable clocks was the requirement for sailors to know the time in their home port when the sun was high at their position. This would allow them to calculate their latitude as each hour’s difference represents 15 degrees. The longitude was found by reference to the sun or guide stars.
As more and more sailing ships set out to discover new lands it became even more important to navigate accurately. In a single accident in 1707, four British warships ran aground at the Scilly Isles and two thousand souls perished. The Board of Longitude was established by Parliament and the prize of £20,000 was offered to anyone who could find longitude at sea. It was John Harrison, a carpenter who made the first mechanical clocks which would be accurate enough to navigate but he battled for forty years to persuade the Board that his clocks would solve the problem. Eventually, marine chronometers based on Harrison’s work were produced in the early 19th century. The first quartz crystal watch was produced in 1929 and the first digital watch in 1969. The ultimate time keeper is the atomic clock which has an accuracy of 1 second in 300 million years!
The vote of thanks was given by Graham Pirie.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 19th Oct 2011

Catherine Brearly and Dili Mordi - Click for larger image
RYLA Participants Catherine Brearly and Dili Mordi

Thirty-seven members and eleven guests attended the weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 19th October chaired by club president Dermot Stewart.
The guest speakers were Catherine Brearly and Dily Mordi, both 5th year students from Bell Baxter High School. Following competitive interviews, Catherine and Dily had been selected by the club to take part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). RYLA is one of the most successful Rotary programmes for young people and is run by Rotary clubs throughout the world. The primary aims of RYLA are to build self-confidence and improve leadership and communication skills. Catherine and Dily spent a week during July at the Abernethy Trust’s Adventure Centre in Nethybridge and took part in numerous outdoor activities. The competitive nature of the tasks became evident in their enthusiastic descriptions and video clips shown to the club. Activities included gorge walking, kayaking, raft building, archery, hill walking, obstacle course, rock-climbing and even “welly” throwing! The very nature of the course encouraged them to speak to other participants and network with them throughout the week. Evening entertainment included music nights when course instructors joined in. It was obvious to club members that both Catherine and Dily had indeed gained self-confidence and overcome their previous fear of public speaking. Catherine and Dily thanked the club for giving them the opportunity and indicated they were determined to further develop the skills acquired at RYLA.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 26th Oct 2011

Bill Stone - Click for larger image
Bill Stone from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

The weekly meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 26th October was chaired by club president Dermot Stewart and thirty-four members attended.
The guest speaker was Bill Stone from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). The aim of the NSPCC is to end cruelty to children in Britain. There is much work to do; the stark reality being that in Britain today, one child is murdered every week, not to mention the many who are subjected to abuse at the hands of adults.
NSPCC does not have a long history in Britain. The late 19th century was a time of social deprivation and great hardship for children. Surprisingly, there existed a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals before there was any organisation in existence to protect children! It was 1884 until the London Society for the Protection of Children was established, the forerunner of NSPCC. Since its inception in the 1880s, the society has helped over 10 million children. Perhaps the most widely known service of the charity is Childline (0800 1111) which provides help and advice to children who call in and are connected to trained counsellors. Childline was launched in 1986 by Esther Rantzen and in its first year 23,000 children in desperate need contacted the service.
NSPCC also provides a Helpline for adults (0808 800 5000), specifically set up to handle calls from adults who have genuine concerns about children they suspect of being subjected to abuse. Bill explained that a child, subjected to abuse from birth would not understand his or her situation and would not be able to articulate their fears. It is in this circumstance where adults who have their suspicions have a responsibility to that child to speak up about their concerns. The Helpline is staffed by people, specifically trained to help in these circumstances. Although all the call handlers and counsellors are volunteers, NSPCC relies entirely upon charitable contributions. For example, it costs about £1600 to train each counsellor and about £42 to handle each call passed through to a counsellor.
The vote of thanks was given by club member David Nimmo.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 2nd Nov 2011

Jim Houston and Dermot Stewart - Click for larger image Ruxin, Vince Fusaro and Tony - Click for larger image
Jim Houston (Rotary Club of Leven) and President Dermot Stewart Past President Vince Fusaro with visitors Ruxin and Tony in front of the Shelterbox Tent

A special “Membership Evening” was held in Watts Restaurant on 2nd November.
Club President Dermot Stewart and 38 members welcomed 16 guests who had come along to learn what Rotary is and what it does. Displays highlighted the work of both local and international committees within the Cupar club. Members have recently been involved in clearing Tarvit ponds and opening up pathways at Cairngreen woods. They also organised a kids day out at Cairnie farm for pupils from Kilmaron school and an outing for local senior citizens. International work included the installation of a pumped water supply to a Nepalese village and raising funds for the international Shelterbox scheme.
An emergency Shelterbox family size tent had been erected in Watts and the full contents of a box were available to view. These included a stove, mosquito net, a basic tool kit and water purification equipment. Shelterboxes are flown out to areas affected by disaster such as the Pakistan floods, the Japanese earthquake and the more recent Thailand flooding.
Jim Houston of the Leven club gave a talk on the wider work of Rotary International including the Bill Gates Foundation challenge. If Rotary members throughout the world can raise $200m by June 2012 for the eradication of polio, the Bill Gates Foundation will add a further $350m! Rotary is well on the way to raising the funds and the incidents of polio throughout the world are now on the decrease. In Great Britain and Ireland, Rotary has over 55,000 men and women working to serve their local and international community in over 1850 clubs. In working to serve others, members enjoy the friendship and fellowship of like minded people.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 9th Nov 2011

Willie Nicoll and Tim Grantham - Click for larger image
Willie Nicoll presents a cheque to Major Tim Grantham - Help For Heroes

At its meeting, held in Watts Restaurant on 9th November, Club President Dermot Stewart welcomed 31 members and two guests.
Major (RTD) Tim Grantham, volunteer area co-ordinator with “Help for Heroes” (H4H) was presented with a cheque for £1415.55, from the “Hostess Hero” event held by the club in the Corn Exchange on 3d Nov.
Tim gave a moving account of the charity “Help for Heroes” and particularly the incredible work done with wounded soldiers returning from conflicts around the world. Our armed forces abide by the seven eternal virtues: - Courage, Comradeship, Offensive Sprit, Compassion, Endurance, Leadership and finally-Sense of Humour. Our wounded, their families, friends and carers will also need these virtues to fall back on for the rest of their lives, as will the dedicated teams who help guide them. It is a levelling fact that for every fatality there are on average 6 casualties who suffer life-changing injuries.
The medical help given to a casualty is now so advanced that such serious injuries would have resulted in death just 5 years ago. Within 36 hours of a blast in Afghanistan, an injured soldier will be in a UK Intensive Care unit! Then the complex pathway to recovery begins, littered with difficulties, pain and suffering, requiring real physical and mental determination.
Help for Heroes was established by Bryn and Emma Parry in 2007 and since then has raised more than £116 million to help wounded service men and women. Every penny raised by H4H goes to help the casualties as its overheads are more than met from sales in the H4H shop. In partnership with the MoD and the Royal British Legion, H4H is helping to provide purpose built Personal Recovery Centres (PRCs), the first of which was established at Erskine Hospital, Edinburgh. Providing specialist help, PRCs support the recovery process by providing holistic life skills and activities to get the sick and injured back out doing what they enjoy most. More PRCs are under development at Catterick, Colchester and Tidworth. The work of H4H will go on for many years as these badly injured service men and women, together with their families will require help for the rest of their lives.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 16th Nov 2011

President Dermot Stewart welcomed twenty-nine members and one guest (Andrea Morelli, from the Rotary Club of Bologna) to the meeting, and reminded members that this was the 79th anniversary of the club's foundation.
Rotarian Bill McSeveney spoke after dinner on the interpretation of paintings, and invited audience participation with several pictures. He pointed out that everyone brings his own history to the understanding of any work of art, and blending this with the artist's own background and information about the technical side of the work allows him to build a story around it.
Rotary Euan Barbour thanked Bill on behalf of the club.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 23rd Nov 2011

President Dermot Stewart welcomed twenty-nine members and one guest (Andrea Morelli, from the Rotary Club of Bologna) to the meeting, and reminded members that this was the 79th anniversary of the club's foundation.
Rotarian Bill McSeveney spoke after dinner on the interpretation of paintings, and invited audience participation with several pictures. He pointed out that everyone brings his own history to the understanding of any work of art, and blending this with the artist's own background and information about the technical side of the work allows him to build a story around it.
Rotarian Euan Barbour thanked Bill on behalf of the club.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 30th Nov 2011

Thirty-seven members and four guests attended the Special General Meeting, held in Watts Restaurant on 30th November.
Club President Dermot Stewart chaired the business meeting when members heard details of over forty organisations and charities which had benefited from the club’s fund raising activities throughout the year. Locally, contributions were made to Cupar Guides, Cupar Tuesday Cubs, Rotary Kids Day Out, Primary School Quiz, Eden Park Children’s Respite centre, Rotary Senior Citizens Day Out and Fife MS. Internationally, the club continued its Shelterbox work and sent contributions to the world-wide Rotary campaign to eradicate polio.
Dermot announced that the club had been left a significant bequest by the late Gavin Reekie (senior) who died earlier this year and was a keen Rotarian. Ideas were sought from members, particularly those who knew Gavin well, as to how his gift should be used.
At the close of the meeting, several members, particularly those who had business connections with Cupar, expressed their deep disappointment in the quality and quantity of Christmas lights provided by Fife Council. It was suggested that for next year, the club should consider working with other interested organisations towards forming a partnership with Fife Council to bring about an improved display.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 7th December 2011

David Wilson - Click for larger image
6th-Generation Farrier David Wilson

Club President Dermot Stewart chaired the meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 7th December.
It was attended by thirty-nine members and one guest. Two new members, James Johnston and Jon Richmond were welcomed into the club before guest speaker David Wilson gave an account of his career as a farrier/blacksmith.
Born in Kilmany, David is a 6th generation Wilson farrier, a tradition that began in 1813. At the age of 4, David could be found nailing shoes to the wooden smithy floor! Following the death of his father when he was 17, David moved to Ayton smithy and soon entered the world of competitive shoe making. To date he has thirteen gold medals for Clydesdale shoe making! In 1983 David was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to farriery. In 1985, David won the World Championships held in Canada and in 2012 will himself be judging the competition at the Calgary Stampede, the biggest event of its kind in the world.
His career has taken David all over the world but perhaps his most unusual task was to give Clydesdale shoeing demonstrations at the Budweiser HQ in America. Budweiser keep 150 breeding Clydesdale mares to ensure they can support the several “teams” that pull traditional wagons at promotional exhibitions throughout the USA.
The Wilson tradition continues with grandson Josh, the eighth generation Wilson farrier.

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