Notes on all meetings in 2013Go... Back (2012)... Last Six Meetings (most recent first)... Forward (2014)
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 9th January 2013
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 16th January 2013
Thirty-eight members met in Watts Restaurant on 16th January under the Chairmanship of President Rennie Ritchie. Speaker for the evening was club member Jennifer Martin.
Jennifer gave an illustrated talk on the businesses she had set up and the difficulties and challenges she overcame. JEM Computers was set up in 1986 and offers comprehensive hardware and software service to business and home users alike. Interestingly, whilst Microsoft was the main software platform for years, more and more customers are requesting Apple products.
The second business venture Jennifer described was the "Busy Bees" nursery. Jennifer now has five nurseries, two in Cupar (including Elmwood campus), one in Kirkcaldy, one in Newport, and one in Montrose. In total the nurseries are licensed for over 200 children and employ some 50 staff. The biggest challenge in the nursery business is constant training of staff due to strict licence requirements. Jennifer's most recent venture is "Drive and Store" where customers can rent secure containers for storage. This is a growing business with more than 40 containers available for a wide selection of items from business use to household furniture.
The vote of thanks was given by Alastair Andrew.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 23rd January 2013
|Sara Isaac and Poosie Nancy Pipe In The Haggis||Brian Bayne - An' cut ye up wi' ready slicht||Poosie Nancy with the haggis, ready slicht||Guest Speaker - The Immortal Memory - Craig Rodger|
The meeting on the 23rd January was held at Watts Restaurant, and took the form of a Burns Supper, with President Rennie Ritchie in the chair. The Selkirk Grace was given by Past President John Hendry, and the haggis was piped in by Sara Isaac, and presented by Rotarian Doreen Gray as Poosie Nancy. The Address to the Haggis was delivered by Past President Brian Bayne in his usual dramatic form.
The Club was privileged to have Craig Rodger (President of the Cupar Burns Club) to give the toast to The Immortal Memory, and the Vote of Thanks was given by Past President Bill Nicoll.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 30th January 2013
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 6th February 2013
Thirty-nine Cupar members were joined by eight visitors from Kirkcaldy Rotary Club at the meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 6th February under the Chairmanship of President Rennie Ritchie.
Speaker for the evening was club member Euan Barbour, an enthusiastic leader in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Euan's subject was aircrew brevet badges. This is a badge worn on the left breast above any medals and indicates the particular skill of the wearer. For example a pilot wears "RAF" in a wreath surmounted by a crown, with a wing on each side (pilots brevets are often referred to as wings). Weapons Systems Officers are awarded a similar brevet with a single wing. Euan tested his audience by setting them a quiz on the letters used on brevet badges, some of which are no longer used due to advances in technology e.g. Radio Operator, Observer and Navigator.
The vote of thanks was given by Bill McSeveney.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 13th February 2013
Thirty-eight members attended the meeting held in Watts on 13th February with Club President Rennie Ritchie in the chair.
Pat McInally broke with normal practice of providing a speaker and instead showed a short video clip entitled "Yes You Can". This was a very moving story of a child in the USA, Richard Hoyt, who had been born without the ability to move or speak. When he was 12 years old he managed to communicate to his parents for the first time with the aid of a computer. To his father's astonishment Richard indicated that he wanted to take part in a Triathlon! This entails swimming one mile, cycling twenty four miles and running six miles! His father, a retired army officer started training with Richard and eventually, after 36 years competed in a Triathlon, finishing only 30mins behind the world record. Richard was towed in an inflatable boat, transferred into a special seat in front of his father's bicycle before being pushed is a special wheelchair for the last leg. Interviewed later, his father said he would not have been able to perform so well on his own. He was doing it for his son.
The vote of thanks was given by Peter Southcott.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 20th February 2013
|VSO Volunteers Anne and Hamish Tait||Isla Lumsden (Kilmaron School) and Carole Provan (Adamson Hospital League of Friends)|
Thirty-eight members and four guests attended the meeting held in Watts on 20th February with Club President Rennie Ritchie in the chair.
New member, Maurice Shepherd was welcomed into the club. Maurice has a background in chemistry, including lecturing at St Andrews University before becoming Managing Director of W&R Chambers, the publishing house.
Cheques for £800, the proceeds from the recent Ruff Diamonds event in the Corn Exchange were presented to Kilmaron School and also to Friends of Adamson Hospital.
The guest speakers were Hamish and Anne Tait from St Andrews who spoke of their experiences in Cameroon with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Hamish is a retired doctor whose skills were rather hindered by the lack of sophisticated equipment available. For example a child with a broken leg was put into traction using bandages looped over the bed-end to a sack of sand! The simple hospital was built around a courtyard where trees tried to afford some shade from the heat which could reach 50⁰C. Communication was another major issue in Hamish's main task which was to work with Aids victims.
Anne, a retired teacher was asked to train teachers in 4 primary schools, many of whom have barely finished primary school themselves. Only 11% of children in the villages attend schools which are badly resourced. One had 6 books between 350 children. News of the pair's work soon reached home in St Andrews where fund raising allowed the building of an extra classroom. Hamish and Anne hope to revisit the same area of Cameroon later this year.
Colin Mackenzie gave the club's vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 27th February 2013
|Honorary Member Jackie Taylor and President Rennie Ritchie with the Topi and the Karuwa|
President Rennie Ritchie welcomed thirty-six members and honorary members Jackie Taylor and Ronnie Law to the meeting.
The recent HeartStart tutorial session set up for members raised £100 which has been donated to the HeartStart charity.
St Columba's Primary School hosted the club for presentations of the Shelterbox to nine separate groups of pupils. The Shelterbox charity was founded by Rotarian Tom Henderson in Cornwall, and each box provides a disaster relief tent for a family, along with essential tools and equipment, kept ready for rapid deployment to disaster areas anywhere in the world.
After dinner, Jackie Taylor reported on the progress of the club's three projects in Nepal. The first, supplying water using solar-powered pumps to the village of Aarkhala, saves women and children a one and a half hour daily chore carrying water up hundreds of feet, and has been extended to providing a primary school for classes 1 and 2. This saves a two hour walk each way for these small children. The Bagnus project also supplies drinking water to a village, now handed over to a local water committee, and the 3rd at Mashyam has helped with a water supply and text-books for a school which previously had no water supply, even for flushing toilets. Jackie stressed that the local people are very resourceful and independent, and make maximum sustainable use of the investments we make, which are small in Western terms.
Jackie had brought back two local products from the people of the Palpa district, which she presented to President Rennie. A Topi is a traditional hat, worn with pride by Nepalis, and the Karuwa is a traditional brass water-bottle, which was specially made and engraved as a gift to the club.
Ian Copland thanked Jackie for her presentation on behalf of the club.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 6th March 2013
Forty-one members and one guest attended the meeting held in Watts on 6th March with Club President Rennie Ritchie in the chair.
Speaker for the evening was Laura Heinrichs, an Ambassadorial student sponsored by the Rotary Club of Velbert, near Dusseldorf, and renowned worldwide for the production of locks and fittings.
Rotary's Ambassadorial Scholarship programme promotes international understanding and friendly relations among people from different parts of the world. Since 1947, over 41,000 men and women have benefitted from the programme.
Laura is a post-graduate student at St.Andrews University studying Business Administration. Born in Switzerland, Laura spent time in Canada and Costa Rica working on community projects. She also spent time in Greece working on the commercial aspects of German construction company Hochtief, who coincidentally are working some 30 miles away constructing the new Forth Road Bridge. Laura also gave us an insider's view on the somewhat controversial German Chancellor, Angela Merkel who was a respected Physicist before taking up politics.
Brian Bayne thanked Laura for a competent and interesting presentation.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 13th March 2013
|David Davies with training defibrillator|
Thirty-seven members and one guest attended the meeting held in Watts on 13th March with Club President Rennie Ritchie in the chair.
Speaker for the evening was David Davies, First-Aid co-ordinator for the Howe of Fife Rugby Club. David's illustrated and at times humorous talk was entitled "From Magic Sponge to Defibrillator". When David started out in sports first-aid, the bucket and sponge were the tools of choice, the same water being used for all those required to be revived or have cuts cleaned. These days are gone and the club, assisted by Cupar Rotary has recently purchased a defibrillator. With over four hundred players from junior to senior and two hundred spectators for a match there is a high chance that someone could suffer an arrest at the Duffus.
David, who has a nationally recognised qualification to teach sports first-aid has trained first-aiders in its use and went on to demonstrate how easy it is for anyone to use the life-saving equipment in an emergency.
The talk was well received and the club's vote of thanks was given by George Bett.
No Meeting on Wednesday 20th March 2013
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 27th March 2013
|Matt Barnes from the Marine Conservation Society|
Twenty-nine members and two guests attended the meeting held in Watts on 27th March with Club President Rennie Ritchie in the chair.
Dr Hamish Tait of "Heartstart" was presented with a £100 donation, raised at a CPR training session which he led.
The speaker for the evening was Matt Barnes of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) who enthralled his audience with a presentation of the pollution and damage we all cause to the world's oceans. Two examples being the death of turtles due to mistaking plastic shopping bags for jellyfish and the poor water quality to be found in all but four of Fife's beaches due to sewage. We can all help to reduce the pollution, a first step being not to use plastic shopping bags which are supplied by the hundreds of millions! Wales and Ireland are already charging 5p for each bag, part of which goes to MRC but Scotland and England have yet to bring forward legislation. MCS is also concerned with sustainability of fish stock and publishes a Good Fish Guide, indicating which fish we should avoid eating. The success of Matt's presentation could be judged by the number of questions raised at the end of the meeting!
Ian Copland gave the official vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 3rd April 2013
|David Anderson from the Kingarrock Hickory Golf Course|
Thirty-seven members and one guest attended the meeting of Cupar Rotary club held in Watts on 3rd April.
Club President Rennie Ritchie welcomed guest speaker David Anderson of the Kingarrock Hickory Golf course, Hill of Tarvit. David gave a detailed history of the golf course, established by the Sharp family who came from Dundee to Hill of Tarvit in 1904. Frederick and his son Hugh enjoyed playing golf and were members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. The death of Hugh in the Castlecary Rail disaster of 1937 and the onset of war resulted in the ploughing up of the golf course and returning it to farmland. It was 70 years later that David Anderson invested time and money to reinstates the golf course exactly as it was when last played. We can be sure of this as George Thomson, who had played the course as a young man was consulted by the course architect, Peter McEvoy, OBE.
George, 96 years old and blind was able to recall every detail of the course which allowed McEvoy to mimic exactly the original course. David is dedicated to replicating the Sharp golf experience. Original hickory clubs are used to hit golf balls of the same characteristics as the Sharps would play. David even bought up a huge supply of the original "Reddy" tees, first patented in 1925 by New Jersey dentist Dr William Lowell. Today, no artificial fertilisers or chemicals are used on the course. For example, ash from fallen wood is mixed with soil from mole hills and fresh sand to form the green dressings. David also hopes at some time to reintroduce horse drawn mowers to cut the fairways. Indeed the Links Trust is closely monitoring David's sustainable methods of course management for possible use at St Andrews.
Ian Donaldson gave the club's official vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 10th April 2013
Thirty-four members were joined by one guest at the meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 10th April under the Chairmanship of President Rennie Ritchie.
Speaker for the evening was Bob Phaff of St. Andrews Brewing Co. Bob first developed an interest in brewing at the age of fourteen. His best friend's dad was a master brewer in Sheffield and Bob was fascinated to learn how many different flavours could be obtained from only the four ingredients of water, malt, yeast and hops. Bob had worked for the big wine and beer retailers but always had a desire to start his own brewery. That opportunity came to fruition when he moved to St. Andrews and with much help from Fife Council who had built small business start-up units in Glenrothes.
Very much a one-man band, Bob carries out all the operations himself from brewing, bottling, labelling and finally delivery to his growing customer base. Bob also sells directly to the public at the popular farmers' markets. Such is the success of St. Andrews Brewing Co., that Bob hopes to move into larger premises in St. Andrews later this year. His ambition is not to be a large brewer but to open a brew-pub where customers at the front would drink beers brewed at the rear of the same premises, a common sight in the USA where Bob worked for a time.
John Morrow gave the Club's vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 17th April 2013
The meeting on 17th April was an "Open" evening where people who are interested in joining Rotary could meet with members and learn what Rotary is all about.
Jim Houston from Leven Rotary club who will become District Governor in June gave a short presentation highlighting some of the schemes that Rotary is involved with. Internationally, Rotary provides "Shelter Boxes" to all parts of the world struck by disaster from Haiti to Pakistan. Each box contains a tent capable of housing ten people, a water purification device, solid fuel cooker, cooking utensils and basic hand tools. A tent had been erected in Watts restaurant and drew lots of attention.
Perhaps the biggest international scheme is the eradication of polio. Polio now only exists in 3 countries around the world thanks to Rotary International and it is hoped that it will be eradicated completely in a few years. More locally, working in the community, Cupar Rotary has provided schools with computer equipment, arranged days out for disadvantaged kids and worked to restore Tarvit pond. Many other schemes have been funded relating to clean water supplies in communities of Africa and Nepal.
Visitors looked surprised to learn that each Christmas, the Cupar Rotary "choir" brings a little cheer to people in the local hospital and care homes singing carols. President Rennie Ritchie thanked the visitors for attending and expressed the hope that some might wish to join the club.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 24th April 2013
Thirty-four members attended the meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 24th April under the chairmanship of club president Rennie Ritchie.
The meeting was the club's AGM, with the club's various committee chairmen reporting back to the club on the year's activities and current status.
The club also received the good news of the receipt of £2,600 from Rotarian Vince Fusaro, this comprising £400 donated by customers of Luvians and £2,200 from whisky-tasting events run by Vince at St. Andrews University.
One of the treasurer's reports gives a good summation of the local, national and international bodies that received support from the club during 2012-13.
Local groups benefiting included Fife Young Carers, Cupar Scouts, Howe of Fife Rugby Club, Cupar pre-school playgroup, Cupar Amateur Musical Society, Adamson Hospital, Cupar Children's Gala, Age Concern Cupar, Bell Baxter and Kilmaron School.
National charity donations were given to Children in Need and Autism Scotland. International charities donated to were Freedom from Fistula, a charity that helps women in Africa with childbirth issues, and the Palpa Trust, a charity that assists with drinking water projects in rural Nepal.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 8th May 2013
President Rennie Ritchie chaired the meeting at Watts Restaurant, with thirty-two Rotarians present.
The speaker was President-Elect Willie Nicoll, who had toured Canada in January as part of the 61-man Scottish curling team which went to win back the Strathcona Cup. The competition is run as three separate tours, East, West and Central, and Willie was the captain of the East Team.
The Cup is named after Lord Strathcona, who was born Donald Smith in Forres in 1820, and left for Canada at the age of 18 to join the Hudson's Bay Company, rising to be its Chief Commissioner by 1870. A regular curling competition between Scotland, Canada and the USA had been started by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1902, and when the Canadian team paid its first visit to Scotland in 1909 he presented a magnificent silver trophy to commemorate the visit and celebrate his Presidency of the Club. The splendidly-decorated cup is worth some £250,000 in today's money for the silver alone, so even if it is won by the Canadian team, it remains under lock and key in Scotland!
Although he had made many philanthropic donations in his lifetime, Lord Strathcona left an estate worth $5.5 million on his death in 1914.
The 2013 tour was a hectic mix of travel and hospitality, with lavish banquets most evenings. Despite this, each member of the Scottish team managed to squeeze in 28 games during the tour, winning by an aggregate score 2876 to 2621 shots - a margin of 255.
Rotarian Michael Hendry thanked Willie on behalf of the club.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 15th May 2013
Thirty-six members and one guest attended the meeting of Cupar Rotary club held in Watts on 15th May chaired by Club President, Rennie Ritchie.
Vice-President Peter McKinnon announced that the Golf Day had provided a healthy profit of around one thousand pounds to be used for local and international projects.
Guest speaker was Derek Abbott from the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust whose talk was entitled "Invasive Aliens". This was a fascinating illustrated talk on the thousand or so animal and plant species introduced into Scotland over the centuries. Not all are invasive but one example given was the American Mink, a ferocious predator which eats birds, voles and mice. It is responsible for virtually wiping out water voles in Fife. Others include the Signal crayfish which can be found in the Eden and surprisingly scorpions which are common in London docklands and thought to have been hidden in loads of imported stone. The grey squirrel is another alien and carries the parapox virus which is wiping out the native reds and capable of infecting cattle. Invasive plants include the Japanese Knotweed which can grow through roads and Rhododendron, imported from the Himalayas.
The club's vote of thanks was given by Tracy Jordan.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 22th May 2013
Thirty-nine members and one guest attended the meeting of Cupar Rotary club held in Watts on 22nd May chaired by Club President, Rennie Ritchie.
The guest speaker was Elspeth Smith who gave an insight into her hobby of hand bell ringing. Surprisingly, hand bells have been around for thousands of years, evidenced by rock art in Egypt and China. They were not however used as musical instruments until relatively recently. Rather than practice in a cold tower and to the annoyance of neighbours, bell ringers would practice with the quieter hand bells in the local public house! Elspeth's hand bells are American and made from a casting of bell metal which is then turned on a lathe to create the correct note. The clapper inside the bell can only move in one direction thus giving the bell ringer more control. As the highly polished bells are easily tarnished by fingers, she brought a second set of coloured bells which were handed out to "volunteers". Using a colour chart, corresponding to the bell colours, Elspeth was eventually able to extract a tune from the beginner ringers!
Doreen Gray thanked Elspeth on behalf of the club.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 29th May 2013
Thirty-eight members and one guest attended the meeting of Cupar Rotary club held in Watts on 29th May chaired by Club President, Rennie Ritchie.
Member Eric Young was pleased to announce to the meeting that after an exceptional fund raising event by the pupils and parents of St Columba's school, over £4000 had been raised for the Shelter Box scheme. With match funding from the club, a total of fourteen shelter boxes had been purchased to provide emergency disaster relief throughout the world.
Guest speaker was Rev. Jan Steyn of Cupar St John's and Dairsie United Parish Church. Born in South Africa, Jan gave an illustrated talk on the history and culture of the country which is five times the size of the UK. He described his country as beautiful, complex, challenging and changing. Jan then gave a short history taking us from the first European settlement in 1652, through the Boer war in 1903, the formation of the Republic in 1961 then first democratic elections in 1994. When it became obvious that white domination was unsustainable, most people feared civil war and it is Nelson Mandela who is credited with preventing this. Asked why he chose Scotland, Jan answered that having spent his youth praying for rain on a farm in the drier Orange Free State, he wanted a country where he could pray for people!
James Johnston gave the formal vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 5th June 2013
Thirty-six members were present at the Club Assembly held in Watts Restaurant on 5th June.
President Rennie Ritchie welcomed two guests to the meeting: Grace Morris, Assistant Governor of District 1010, and Helen Smith, President of Stonehaven Rotary Club. Committee heads sought members' approval for the various events and plans for the coming year. Funding contributions were also approved for several local causes.
The meeting ended after Grace Morris expressed pleasure with the plans being put forward.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 12th June 2013
|Retired Grampian Television Announcer, Jimmy Spankie|
Thirty-five members and two guests attended the meeting held in Watts restaurant on 12th June.
President Rennie Ritchie was in the chair and welcomed St Andrews Rotarian Jimmy Spankie who was the guest speaker. Jimmy, a former Grampian and Scottish TV announcer and presenter gave an insight into the complexity of televised interviews. He recalled doing interviews on Union Street, Aberdeen to gauge opinion on a proposed increase in turnstile prices at Pittodrie football ground. Stopping one young man, he asked "Would you pay 5/- to get into Pittodrie on a Saturday afternoon?" Without hesitation the young man replied "Yes... I'm the centre forward".
Bill Low gave the club's official vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 19th June 2013
|Chartered Accountant turned Brewer - John Reade|
President Rennie Ritchie took the Chair for the last time before next week's Presidential Hand-over to Willie Nicoll, and welcomed thirty-three Rotarians to the meeting.
Guest Speaker John Reade was introduced by Past President Dermot Stewart. Having switched his occupation from Chartered Accountant to Brewer, he entitled his talk "Beer Advertising - a Social History".
Beer has been brewed since at least the fifth millennium BC, and until the Industrial Revolution it was a domestic product, generally made by the women of the household. Nonetheless, surpluses seem to have been sold, as the Bread and Ale Assize of King David I of Scotland specified the prices that could be charged for ale as the price of grain fluctuated.
Houses where ale was being brewed would display an ale-wand outside, and this custom gradually led to more elaborate pub-signs, especially when larger commercial breweries started up. Individual pubs would advertise using their own signs, but as the development of the railways made it easier for a pub to buy in beer from the big city breweries than to make it themselves, the manufacturers started advertising their own brands. In the 1700s, Cupar supported 78 maltmen and brewers in numerous premises throughout the town, but by 1820 only five breweries were left.
John presented a selection of advertisements, including early examples which made claims about the health-giving properties of beer - even one recommending that it should be given to infants in their feeding bottles! Successive regulations have limited the claims brewers can make, and advertisers have to be much more subtle in delivering their message.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 26th June 2013
|President Elect Peter McKinnon, President Willie Nicoll, Immediate Past President Rennie Ritchie|
Thirty-four members attended the meeting held in Watts Restaurant on 26th June. President Rennie Ritchie called the meeting to order and expressed his appreciation of members' support in fundraising and work in the community during his year in office. He then passed the regalia of office to incoming President Willie Nicol.
In summarising the club's achievements during Rennie's term in office, Willie highlighted the exceptional fundraising event by the pupils and parents of St Columba's School when over £4000 had been raised for the "ShelterBox" scheme. With matching funding from the club, a total of fourteen ShelterBoxes had been purchased to provide emergency disaster relief throughout the world. It was also announced that grant aid of £2500 had been received for the club's Uganda water project.
Willie is looking forward to the support of members in taking on the challenges in the year ahead.
(Photo courtesy of Dave Scott, Links Media)
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 3rd July 2013
The weekly meeting was held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 3rd July with 33 members in attendance. President Willie Nicoll was in the Chair. Alastair Andrew introduced our Guest Speaker for the evening, Sophie Eastwood from the Fife Red Squirrel Group. Sophie is Fife Red Squirrel Project Officer which is funded by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, she has been in her 3 year post since April 2011.
The Fife Red Squirrel Group exists to promote red squirrel conservation in Fife, working with schools and at events etc.
The future of the red squirrel has become critical due to the deadly squirrel poxvirus carried by American grey squirrels. It first crossed the border in 2005 and is on the move north and has now reached the central belt which is the worst case scenario for the future of our red squirrels in Scotland. Until a vaccine is found the only way to protect red squirrels is by removing grey squirrels, which are also forestry pests.
There are 121,000 red squirrels and 200,000 grey squirrels in Scotland. Four Project Regions to help protect red squirrels:- Southern, North-East, Tayside and Argyll and Trossachs.
Eric Young gave the vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 10th July 2013
President Willie Nicoll welcomed the 38 Rotarians who attended the meeting of Cupar Rotary Club at Watts Restaurant on 10th July and introduced our speaker, club member Rev Jim Campbell. His subject was "The Scots Tongue and Poets: Is Scots a real dialect or just bad English?" As always, his talk was well-informed and highly entertaining.
He described Scots language as expressive, musical and rich. It is also a cosmopolitan language with, with words ovarlapping those in the Low Countries, France and Scandinavia (e.g. stoorie cloot = duster). The Scottish education system has had a rather conflicted attitude to it, expecting pupils to embrace it on Burns Day but chastising them for not speaking "proper English" at other times, an attitude dating back to the aftermath of the '45 rebellion. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful medium for poetry and song.
Jim read from poems both recent and long past, comic, emotional, narrative and descriptive. He described how the Scots landed gentry, as well as commoners, were bilingual in Scots and English before sending children to English public schools became the norm for them, quoting from the works of Lady Nairne and Violet Jacobs. He reserved especial praise for the works of Robert Fergusson, a young, 18th Century Edinburgh poet who wrote in both Scots and English and whose work heavily influenced Robert Burns.
The club's vote of thanks was given by Brian Bayne.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 17th July 2013
|Florence Germain, representing EAPPI (see text)|
Thirty members attended the Club's weekly meeting at Watts
Restaurant on the 17th July with President Willie Nicol in the Chair.
The speaker for the evening was Florence Germain from the organisation Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). EAPPI's purpose is to witness, monitor and report events in the West Bank and to offer protection through non-violent presence.
Florence spoke passionately of her recent 3-month trip to the West Bank where she stayed in a village close to the town of Nablus. Very close to the village is an Israeli settlement (which is legal according to Israeli Law but not according to International Law) and several Israeli civilian outposts (which are illegal in both Israeli and International Law). The Palestinian villagers suffer from harassment from some of the Israelis, for example attempting to travel on the main road to Nablus will result in cars and vans being stoned. Part of Florence's tasks during her stay was to walk along this road with a group of villagers in an attempt to "re-open" the road for the Palestinians - at one barrier during this walk the group were attacked with tear-gas canisters.
The children of the village are restricted as to where they can roam. Also the farmers have restricted access to their fields, where they sometimes suffer damage to crops e.g. olive trees are destroyed. Florence also showed us a photo of a visit to the village by two young Israeli men who asked if they could swim in the village's water reservoir, other villages have had their water polluted by such visits.
Florence ended her talk by describing some of the other restrictions placed upon the Palestinians such as the physical barrier which is mostly set well within the West Bank, the restriction on the days on which a farmer can sow and reap crops and the scarcity of building permits that are issued and the resultant demolitions when homes are built without an official permit.
Peter Southcott proposed the vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 24th July 2013
The weekly meeting was held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 24th July with 29 members and 2 visitors in attendance. President-Elect, Peter McKinnon was in the chair.
Margaret Beetlestone introduced our Guest Speaker for the evening, Gary Brown assisted by his wife Allison. Gary and Allison gave an illustrated talk on their cycling holiday through Indochina and Angkor. They joined a group which was organised through a travel company named Exodus.
In Cambodia they visited rubber plantations where workers collect sap from the trees at night (called tapping), it is then mixed with water and acid and made into latex sheets which are then exported. Angkor Wat Complex (City of Temples) is largest religious site in the world. One of the temples, Ta Prohm was built in the 12th century, it is shrouded in dense jungle, the Banyan trees spread their gigantic roots over stones, walls etc., trunks twisting among stone pillars. A scene from "Tomb Raider" was filmed at this temple.
Near to Siem Reap is Skuon(Spider Village) - deep fried spiders are a delicacy here, picture shown of someone eating a fried tarantula.
On the outskirts of Phnom Penh there was a high school which was renamed S21 and turned into a torture and execution centre, the classrooms were made into cells. Out of the thousands of people who entered only seven came out. Today S21 Prison is known as the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide, pictures of the museum too gruesome to be shown. Prisoners were taken from their cells to the "Killing Fields" at Choeung Ek, tortured , executed and dumped in pits. The site is now a tourist attraction and a monument of skulls and clothing can be seen emerging from the ground.
They stayed in a "homestay" on the Mekong Delta run by the two sons of a Viet Cong soldier. The Delta has a floating market on it and paddy fields nearby. The rice from the fields is laid out at the sides of the roads to dry.
Saigon, largest city in Vietnam with mopeds everywhere, even on the pavements. The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels, they cover 3 levels and run for more than 75 miles. Work by the Viet Cong commenced in 1948 as a means of shelter from the French air attacks during the Indochina conflict. The network provided vital access over the large rural area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City. Over the following two decades the tunnels became a complex underground city including hospitals, defences and living quarters, which meant that many of the local people could still live underground. They were originally narrow but some areas have been widened to allow tourists to explore. To protect from outside intruders booby traps were laid throughout the complex.
Bruce Rollo gave an appreciative vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 31st July 2013
President Willie Nicoll welcomed 36 members to Cupar Rotary Club's meeting at Watt's Restaurant on 31/07/13.
The speaker was Cupar Rotarian Grant McLeish whose subject was the Murray River in New South Wales. Grant had been visiting relatives in Australia and had spent time in Renmark which is one of the townships on the Murray river. It is the 3rd longest navigable river in the world, travelling 2,500 km from Canberra to south of Adelaide and the agriculture and the residents of the communities along its course are utterly dependent on it. Of the 7.5 million homes in Australia, 1.5 million get their water from the Murray. The Renmark Irrigation Company was established in 1893. There is a vast network of pipes and licensed pumping stations, dams and reservoirs.
Depending on the availability of water in any one season, farmers are advised which crops they should grow. For instance, it takes about 750 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of wheat, twice that amount to produce a kilo of rice and up to 100,000 litres of water to produce a kilo of beef. The Murray has quite high salinity for almost half its length. Thus all the homes on that stretch of river have filtration units and bottled water is widely used for drinking and culinary purposes. The Murray also serves as a transport route and playground with house-boats, old fashioned paddle steamers and water-sports common sights.
Grant finished his fascinating presentation with a DVD, set to music, displaying some of the beautiful beaches and scenery of the area.
Sandy Mitchell gave the club's vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 7th August 2013
|Rotarian Euan Barbour and Wing Commander (rtd) George Roberts|
President Willie Nicoll welcomed 36 members and one guest, the speaker, George Roberts, to the evening meeting at Watts Restaurant on 07/08/13.
President Willie congratulated the club members for their efforts at the Coffee Morning on 03/08/13, which raised over £1,350 for local and international good causes. He also informed the club of the recipients of this year's Charity Choice. Alzheimer's Scotland chosen by John Henry, Macmillan Cancer Support chosen by Donald Fisher and Kilmaron School chosen by Maurice Shepherd will each receive £475.50p.
Euan Barbour introduced the speaker, Wing Commander (Rtd) George Roberts. His subject was The Open Skies Treaty and his involvement in it from 2003 -2005. The Treaty was signed in March 1992, initially by 25 countries with others being ratified at later dates. Its purpose was the use of aerial observation to help promote peace, stability, security, openness, better understanding and confidence via co-operative working and cultural exchanges. The area of application is from Vancouver to Vladivostok.
He explained that each country has a quota of flights which they can take over the other countries and that the conditions for those flights are very carefully defined. The types of aircraft, the equipment on board, the height at which they can fly, the resolution of photographs taken, etc, are all tightly controlled. The country being observed is involved at all stages and has access to the surveillance information gathered. Part of the week during which the flights take place is given over to meeting one's opposite number and to cultural exchange, activities which are as important in maintaining peaceful relations as the surveillance flights themselves. George finished his illustrated talk with photographs of military planes, much to the delight of the "plane-spotters" in the audience.
The club's vote of thanks was proposed by Bill McSeveney.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 14th August 2013
President Willie Nicoll welcomed 39 members to the meeting. He reminded members about two impending Club events i.e. the Summer Games on 18th August and the Himalayas Putting on the 20th August.
Our speaker was Cupar Rotarian Ian Copland who gave an illustrated talk about his recent visit to the USA, featuring especially cultural aspects of New York City. He started with the cloisters at the Museum of New York in North Manhattan which was built in the 1930's and mainly financed by John D Rockefeller. He continued with photos of many cultural icons, including the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum, the New York Public Library, Times Square, Grand Central Station and the Botanic Gardens, accompanied by snippets of history and anecdotes relevant to each.
Ian also looked at varied examples of current culture e.g. a mass outdoor yoga session in Bryant Square Park, buskers and chess hustlers in Union Square, a hot dog eating competition and the People's Library which was started 2 years ago by the Occupy Wall Street movement. After taking us briefly through the USA's early days with the immigrants at Ellis Island and realistic reconstructions at the Jamestown Settlement visitor centre in Virginia, Ian finished at the Smithsonian Museum and the Capitol in Washington.
The Club's vote of thanks for an entertaining and informative evening was given by Roy Marsden.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 21st August 2013
|North Fife Rotarian Martin Hepworth|
President Willie Nicoll welcomed 35 members and our speaker, Dr Martin Hepworth.
Dermot Stewart told the Club how successful the Summer Games had been on the 18th August and warmly thanked Brian and Mary Bayne for their hospitality and their excellent organisation of the event. He also described the entertaining visit to the Himalayas putting green in St Andrews for the Club's Annual Putting Competition. He thanked Sandy Mitchell for arranging for the competitors to have dinner in the New Club after the event and announced that the winner of this year's Cup was Rennie Ritchie.
Brian Bayne introduced his speaker, Dr Martin Hepworth. Martin was a frontier doctor in Ontario before settling down to be a GP in Newport-on-Tay. He is now retired and as well as being a member of North Fife Rotary Club he has many hobbies including photography, reading and walking. His subject was the Rotary International Group Friendship Exchange scheme. Martin facilitates this for our Rotary District. The goal of the scheme is to foster friendship. It involves members of one Club visiting another Club, either for a weekend, if the clubs are local, or for a fortnight for a full International Exchange. In the case of the longer Exchange, members would visit 4 or 5 clubs staying 3 nights with each. The visiting Team usually consists of 12 people, often 6 couples. Visitors are responsible for their own expenses. Hosts are responsible for providing a programme of activities and transport between host Clubs.
Martin's job is to ensure that our Teams going away to visit and our Clubs hosting visitors are properly prepared. The visiting Teams are asked to choose a leader and a treasurer, to prepare a Team presentation, to choose a Team uniform, to think of appropriate gifts for their hosts and ensure that they are equipped to deal with any variety of social situations, from attending civic receptions to attending club meetings. The host Clubs must provide 6 hosts for their 12 visitors, pick their guests up from the airport or previous host, hand them on to their next hosts and devise a programme for the visit, including a Club meeting or sponsored event. The most important priority is to enjoy oneself. Martin enthusiastically described visits to Sweden, New Zealand and Canada by Clubs from our District. Visits are usually reciprocated and sometimes repeated. Friendships are made with members of the other Clubs and are strengthened within the visiting Team to the extent that reunions are not uncommon.
The Club's vote of thanks was given by Jennifer Martin.
Before leaving, Martin invited Cupar members to attend North Fife Rotary's fund-raising event "Take 3 Girls", to be held in the Blyth Hall, Newport-on-Tay on 21/09/13. President Willie reminded Cupar members to book their places soon at the District Conference and the District Council Meeting.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 28th August 2013
|Speaker Jack McKeown and President Willie Nicoll|
On 28th August the Rotary Club of Cupar's President's Reception was held at The Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood Golf Club.
Our host, President Willie Nicoll, welcomed Cupar Rotarians and their guests before introducing his own guests: Grace Morris, Assistant District Governor, and her husband Ken; June McLaren, president of Inner Wheel, Cupar; Peter Whyte, President of the Rotary Club of Howe of Fife; and finally our speaker, Jack McKeown, motoring editor of The Courier.
An evening of good fellowship and good food ensued, topped buy Jack McKeown's account of his experiences as a motoring correspondent, liberally sprinkled with entertaining anecdotes.
Rennie Ritchie gave the Club's vote of thanks to Jack, to the staff at Fairways and to our host, President Willie Nicoll.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 4th September 2013
|Rotary District 1010 Webmaster Peter Leyland|
33 members attended the evening meeting of Cupar Rotary Club at Watts Restaurant on 04/09/13. President Willie Nicoll, in the chair, welcomed two guests, Fiona Wells of the Rotary Club of St Andrews Kilrymont and Peter Leyland of the Rotary Club of Dundee who was our speaker for the night.
Peter is webmaster for the District 1010 website and gave a presentation of the benefits to our Club of adopting it. The website provides a template for use by all the Clubs in the District, with improved, secure communication, access to other Clubs' information and calendars and a modern, corporate look. Pat Mitchell gave the Club's vote of thanks.
Maurice Shepherd reported that money donated to Kilmaron School - his Charity Choice this year - is to be put towards equipment for a Snoezelen Room in the school.
Brain Bayne reported on the Elmwood Freshers' Week event which he and President Willie had attended. There had been much interest in their presentations around Shelter Box and Mary's Meals, two of the charities supported by our International Committee. It was heartening to hear that some of the attendees were already aware of Shelter Box following Cupar Rotary Club's successful fund-raising collaboration with St Columba's Primary School earlier this year. In addition, Brian was gratified to be approached by two people who had benefited from grants made by our Club to Fife Young Carers and to Cupar Youth Cafe, who told him how helpful the donations had been.
Alistair Andrew reported that Cupar Rotary Club's Young Photographer Competition is now underway. It is open to anyone aged 7-17 years. All local schools have received information about how their pupils/students can enter. The information is also available on our website at www.rotarycupar.org/youngphotographer/index.html.
Doreen Gray conducted the bottle draw. This month's bottle of single malt whisky was won by Jon Richmond.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 18th September 2013
|RYLA Students Freena Garcia and Adam Knox, with President Willie Nicoll|
President Willie Nicoll was in the chair for the evening meeting of 18/09/03 held at Watt's Restaurant. He welcomed 36 members and 5 guests. These were Tina Wang, Steven Yang and Shirley Ouyang from Elmwood College and our speakers Freena Garcia and Adam Knox from Bell Baxter High School.
Eric Young informed the Club that he is taking a Shelter Box to Kilmaron School on 23rd & 24th September for the pupils to experience. He also thanked former president Graham Findlay and his wife, Dorothy, for donating a Shelter Box.
Pat Mitchell announced that tickets for the Ruff Diamonds event in the Corn Exchange on 19th November are now available for purchase.
As the previous week had been a Scatter Week, greetings were brought to Cupar from the members of Aberdeen, Anstruther, Arbroath, Brechin, Howe of Fife, Leven, North Fife, Pitlochry, St Andrews Charleston and St Andrews Kilrymont Rotary Clubs and from those at a meeting on a cruise ship in the North West passage.
Bill McSeveney introduced our speakers, RYLA award winners Freena Garcia and Adam Knox. Freena and Adam had been chosen to go on a Leadership course at Abernethy Outdoor Centre. Activities included gorge walking, hill walking, diving, mountain biking, canoeing and games. They learned about the importance of team work and made good friends with other participants. Both spoke enthusiastically about their week away which they thoroughly enjoyed while acquiring confidence and leadership skills.
President Willie presented them with their certificates of achievement.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 25th September 2013
35 members attended the evening meeting of Cupar Rotary Club at Watts Restaurant on 25/09/13. President Elect Peter McKinnon was in the chair.
Pat Mitchell reminded the club that tickets for the Ruff Diamonds charity concert on Saturday 19th October are now available from Luvians, Scotts and Thomas Young Jeweller as well as at the door on the night.
Brian Bayne thanked all those who helped erect and dismantle the Shelter Box tent and contents at Kilmaron School earlier in the week. Pupils, parents and staff were able to experience what Shelter Box offers to those unfortunate people world-wide who are affected by emergencies which make them homeless. Kilmaron School hope to be able to raise enough funds to buy a Shelter Box and then track its use on the internet. We will take the Shelter Box to visit Balmullo Primary School in the Spring of next year.
Doreen Gray conducted the bottle draw. It was won this month by Roy Marsden.
Our speaker was rotarian Peter Haselhurst who educated and entertained us with a political quiz. There were 20 serving Prime Ministers in the 20th Century and Peter compiled 20 questions, one about each PM. We were asked to identify them which proved surprisingly difficult. When he gave us the answers he added anecdotes and interesting details of information about each of the politicians. He spared our blushes by not asking us to read out our scores at the end!
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 2nd October 2013
34 members and one honorary member, Ronnie Law, attended the Business Meeting of Cupar Rotary Club at Watts Restaurant on the evening of 02/10/13. President Willie Nicoll was in the chair. Committee heads were available to elaborate on the various reports, which had been previously circulated, and to answer any questions arising.
The International Committee continues to be very active with water projects in developing countries, Shelter Box, Mary's Meals, Shoe Boxes, Books Abroad, First Steps Nepal and the Nyumbani project among those with which Cupar Rotary is involved. At home, connections with international students at Elmwood College and Rotary's Friendship Exchange programme are on-going.
The Community Services Committee continue to organise Rotary Members to become involved in hands-on projects locally. These include maintenance of the Wishing Well, clearing and maintaining Tarvit Pond, the Christmas Tree project, helping with Bell Baxter's Eco Week, Christmas Carol concerts for the elderly, Burns Day concert at Kilmaron School, the Kids Day Out, the Outing for the elderly and the Scotways Rights of Way project. Other events are under discussion.
Fund-raising for the following year, organised by the Ways and Means Committee, includes the imminent Ruff Diamonds gig, Hilda Scott's fashion show to be held next April and the annual Golf Event. Other events are in the pipeline.
The Youth and Vocational Committee are running a local Young Photographer Competition, with the aim of joining the national RIBI Young Photographer Competition next year. The Rotary Youth Leadership Award scheme continues. Rotarians are being encouraged to get involved in Mock Interviews to help students prepare for moving away successfully on from school or college. The ever popular Rotary Primary School quiz continues.
The Sports Committee reported on an entertaining year with successful Summer Games, 10 pin bowling, 2 golf tournaments and a putting tournament in addition to the winter gavel competitions. Next year promises to be fun too.
The Foundation, Membership and Communications Committees have also been busy and are making steady progress. The Club Treasurer reported that the Club's finances are satisfactory.
The Club approved the release of charity funds as follows:- £100 to Cupar Soccer 7s; £250 to Tay FM's Cash for Coats Appeal; £250 to St Andrews First Aid; £1,200 for the purchase of 2 Shelter Boxes, desperately needed in the current Syrian crisis.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 9th October 2013
The evening meeting of Cupar Rotary Club was held at Watts Restaurant on 09/10/13. 34 members attended. President Willie Nicoll was in the chair.
Peter Haselhurst informed the Club that the Foundation meals had been organised and that a fee of £20 per head for the Foundation Charity would be payable.
President Willie reported that the Club is now registered as a supporter of the Cupar Food Bank. He also fed back information on his and Colin McKenzie's visit to Anstruther Rotary Club last week. They had talked about our fund-raising efforts for Shelter Box, particularly the very successful collaboration with St Columba's Primary school which resulted in the purchase of 14 Boxes. Anstruther Rotary had erected a Shelter Box tent on the quay in the town on the previous Saturday, generating considerable local interest. They planned to take it to the local Primary School. Cupar Rotary wish their Anstruther counterparts well in their fund-raising efforts.
Our speaker for our meeting was Michael Hendry. He presented a very moving and powerful video about Mary's Meals, a charity which feeds almost 800,000 starving children across the world every day. Their vision is that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education and that all those who have more than they need share it with those who lack even the most basic things. The headquarters is based in the Highlands of Scotland and the charity evolved from Scottish International Relief, started by Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow to relieve the suffering of those caught up in the Bosnian conflict in 1992. It costs an average of £8.00 per annum to provide one meal per day, per child. Local people are involved in supplying the food and in volunteering in its distribution, helping the local economy, empowering them in improving their situation and giving them a stake in the charity's work.
Mary's Meals is one of the beneficiaries from Cupar Rotary's Ruff Diamonds gig in the Corn Exchange on Saturday 19th October.
Peter Nimmo gave the Club's vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 16th October 2013
|Flight Lieutenant (retd) Roy Macintyre|
President Willie Nicoll welcomed forty-two members and eleven guests to the meeting at Watts Restaurant on the 16th of October.
After dinner, James Johnston introduced his guest speaker, retired RAF Flight Lieutenant Roy Macintyre. Originally from Stirling, Roy served in the RAF for 23 years, and has been described as one of their greatest ever fighter pilots, clocking up 4565 hours in the Tornado alone, with many hours spent in other planes besides. He served in both Gulf Wars, and in the Falklands, and he illustrated his talk with numerous images taken with normal and infra-red cameras in the second Gulf War. He was based in a desert airfield in Saudi Arabia, along with the USAF, and was involved in the policing of the no-fly zone in Southern Iraq before the war itself started, when sorties to Baghdad began. Because of the distances involved, these involved a ten-hour round trip, with mid-air refuelling over the desert, and six hours over enemy territory.
By the time he got back to base, he had the surreal experience of seeing the effects of his night's work being broadcast on television - this was the first war with such an immediate news-feed to the world at large, and with such a huge reliance on electronic surveillance and communication. Since leaving the RAF Roy has had the opportunity to fly the Typhoon, but is more usually to be seen in a propeller driven aeroplane as Chief Flying Instructor with the Edinburgh and St Andrews University Air Squadron at Leuchars.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Graham Pirie.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 23rd October 2013
|John Dein, past draughtsman at the Caledon Shipyard|
There were thirty-four Members and two guests at the meeting on the 23rd October, with President Willie Nicoll in the chair. Final figures for the Ruff Diamonds function at the Corn Exchange on the 19th are still awaited, but at least £1000 has been raised for the nominated charities, Mary's Meals and German Shepherd Rescue.
Earlier this year, the children at St Columba's School raised enough money to buy seven Shelterboxes. The club matched this with another seven, and we've just heard that all fourteen were deployed in North Korea to help the 26,000 homeless victims of a recent typhoon.
After dinner, Bill Low introduced his guest, John Dein. Although it later transpired that John is a member of the Dundee Rotary Cluib, they had first met through a common misfortune - they're both supporters of Dundee United!
John's talk, entitled "Caledon at Work", went through the history of the Caledon Shipyard in Dundee, which was founded in 1874 by WB Thompson, who had previously started up a business building parts for ships in 1866. John had started work in the 1950s as a draughtsman and eventually left to found JayDee Heating and Electrical in 1973. Caledon had merged with Henry Robb of Leith in 1968 to form Robb Caledon, but operations in Dundee ceased in 1981, and in Leith in 1983.
John presented a series of images showing all the trades involved in ship-building in those days, draughtsmen, pattern-makers, blacksmiths, pipe-benders, coppersmiths, riveters, "hauders-ln", drillers, electricians, cabinet-makers, and so on, and included the essential tea-boys! The tradesmen were all proud of their skills, but jealously guarded their territories, and the restrictive practices that came along with this contributed to the eventual destruction of the Scottish shipbuilding industry as a world-leader.
Rotarian Jon Richmond thanked John on the Club's behalf.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 30th October 2013
Thirty-five members and one guest were welcomed to the meeting by President Willie Nicoll, and the after-dinner speaker was Rotarian (and Funeral Director) Tracy Jordan.
Tracy's talk was entitled "A Green Way To Go", and she described the way attitudes to burial, cremation and other methods of the disposal of the deceased have changed in Britain over the last 150 years.
Ultimately, our bodies will all break down into simpler chemical components after we die, and burial, entombment and burial at sea have been used over the centuries in the UK to provide for a natural, but usually time-consuming process. Other cultures have favoured cremation, but it wasn't until 1874 that the Cremation Society of England was founded by Henry Thomson, who had visited Italy and saw the process being demonstrated.
In 1884, Dr William Price, who claimed to be an Archdruid, cremated his own son - he was prosecuted for doing so, but he was acquitted, and by 1886 there were ten cremations in England, in 1888 twenty-eight, and now about 70% of UK citizens are opting for cremation.
All of these processes consume resources, either in terms of land taken out of use, or fuel used in the incineration, and two alternative methods are currently being worked on. Strong alkaline solutions can be used, along with high pressure steam, to break down body tissues over two or three hours, leaving a small residue, and consuming about one third of the energy required for cremation. Alternatively, the remains can be frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius to make them so brittle they can be easily crushed to a granular material.
There will probably be a slow shift to one or other of these methods as they become more familiar, but Tracy felt that the public would eventually be more amenable to freezing than to cremation or chemical methods.
Past President Rennie Ritchie congratulated Tracy on a fascinating talk, and thanked her on behalf of the club.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 6th November 2013
Thirty-six members and one guest were welcomed by President Willie Nicoll. Unfortunately, the scheduled speakers were unable to attend, but Canon Pat McInally stepped up to fill the gap with a report on his guest, Father Joy Nedumparambil, a priest from Bangalore, in India's state of Karnataka.
Father Joy is a member of the Salesian order, and has worked in Bangalore since he was a young priest. He is the Director of BREADS (The Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society) whose primary aims are to raise families out of poverty by education and training. This is done in part by rescuing young children from child labour and feeding, accommodating and educating them for a year in one of ten rescue centres. Many families are so poor that they send their children out to work from the age of five, completing the vicious circle of poor education and poverty - in a country with 43% of the population under 18 years old, around 28 million children don't attend school, and the problem is only going to get worse as India's population overtakes China's in 2050. Last year, BREADS rescued 10,000 children from child labour, and will be following their progress into adult life.
Our club has recently supported Mary's Meals, a charity which also provides food and education for impoverished children, and is currently setting up a project in Karnataka, and Canon Pat has facilitated a meeting between Father Joy and Mary's Meals during his stay.
Bruce Rollo congratulated Canon Pat for stepping into the breach, and thanked him on our behalf.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 13th November 2013
The speakers at Cupar Rotary Club's meeting on Wednesday 13th November
were Sergeant Alan Mowbray and Lieutenant Rupert Nurick of the Royal Scots
Dragoon Guards. This regiment, currently based in Germany, is to be
stationed at Leuchars from 2015.
The regiment traces its origins to 1678 with the formation of the Royal Scots Greys. It has a distinguished history with Waterloo and Balaklava amongst its battle honours. Originally a cavalry regiment the regiment is currently part of the Army's 7th Armoured Brigade. The regiment in its current form was created in 1971 with the amalgamation of the Royal Scots Greys with the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards).
One of the regiment's greatest heroes was Ensign Ewart who captured a French regimental Eagle standard at the battle of Waterloo. This standard is still held at the regiment's museum in Edinburgh Castle despite requests from the French for its return.
More recent postings have been to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently the regiment has two squadrons in Afghanistan with one of their tasks being to assist in the training of Afghan National Army officers.
Sergeant Mowbray is a piper and he told us of their recording successes with their most famous single being 1972's Amazing Grace. More recently the regiment's pipes and drums won the 2008 Classical Brit "Album of the Year" award with "Spirit of the Glen : Journey".
We also learned of the regiment's own charity "Caring for Courage", which is a charity fund caring for the families of those killed or injured in action.
The pair finished off their talk with details of the regiment's sporting prowess especially in rugby - the club has a player (LCpl Rokoduguni) playing for Bath and the regiment's rugby sevens team, as well as being Army champions, has recently defeated the French national team.
There will be around 400 members of the regiment based at Leuchars with the total number at the base, including REME and other support staff, being around 1,000.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 20th November 2013
38 members attended the Cupar Rotary Club's meeting on Wednesday 20th
November under the chairmanship of Peter McKinnon, the club's
The speaker for the evening was Janet Lowe, a member of the Dunfermline Carnegie Rotary Club. Janet is North-East Scotland officer of the Rotary Foundation, Rotary's own charitable organisation. Each individual club contributes to the funds of Foundation and can apply for a grant for a particular project that the individual club wants to support.
Cupar Rotary has recently been awarded a grant for its own international project in Uganda (this being the provision of a water pump and basic distribution system from an existing borehole).
Grants approved for other Rotary clubs in North East Scotland include money for Sand Dams in Kenya, early education in Nepal and the training of midwives in Malawi, as well as projects within the North East of Scotland. Closer to home a grant provided the funding for the training in Dundee of an Ethiopian student in International Water Law.
One of Rotary Foundation's main aims is to assist in the worldwide eradication of Polio. Janet informed us that in 1988 there were c. 350,000 cases worldwide, whereas in 2012 there were just 223. However in 2013 the numbers have gone up to over 300 mainly due to an outbreak in the Horn of Africa and more recently some cases in Syria. In both these areas the immunisation of children is being interrupted by the civil wars taking place in both Somalia and Syria.
Bill Gates, the former head of the technology company Microsoft, supports Rotary's End Polio Now campaign. Janet informed the club that he has promised to donate two dollars for every dollar raised by Rotary over the next 5 years up to a maximum of 35 million dollars per year.
Rotarian Maurice Shepherd proposed the club's vote of thanks.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 27th November 2013
President Willie Nicoll welcomed 33 members to the Special General Meeting on the 27th November.
Committee Chairmen spoke to their reports, which had been circulated before the meeting.
The club's application for support in funding its Water Project has been successful, with £2500 awarded from District funds.
Donations totalling £800 to various local causes were approved by members, as was a donation of £180 to purchase tickets for the Cupar Amateur Musical Society's for the forthcoming production of Guys and Dolls.
Also approved was the purchase of a Shelterbox for the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.
Evening Meeting held at the Age Concern Centre on Wednesday 4th December 2013
This week's meeting was a Wine-Tasting, hosted by Past President Vince Fusaro, with the proceed going to Mary's Meals. There was no formal business.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 11th December 2013
|Harry Field and Alex Tarvit - Smart Energy Advisers for Scottish Hydro|
Thirty-eight members and two guests were welcomed by President Willie Nicoll to the meeting at Watts Restaurant. Last week's meeting had been replaced by a Wine Tasting hosted at the Age Concern Centre by Past President Vince Fusaro - final figures weren't to hand, but approximately £750 had been raised for Mary's Meals, the charity which runs school feeding projects in areas where poverty and hunger prevent children from attending school. Because the food is bought nearby it is not expensive but benefits the local economy - each £25 wine-tasting ticket purchased last week would provide for a child to be fed for about two years.
After dinner, Peter McKinnon introduced Harry Field and Alex Tarvit, who are Smart Energy Advisers for Scottish Hydro and its parent company, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). Following a hefty £10.4 million fine imposed for mis-selling by the energy watchdog Ofgem, SSE decided to abandon doorstep sales, and to concentrate on providing impartial advice to consumers. It has set up a network of fully trained Smart Energy Advisers who will have a high profile in the community and visit (by appointment only) to advise householders on safe and economical energy use. They discussed the benefits arising from insulation and from modest reductions in thermostat settings, the use of carbon monoxide and fire detectors, and the advice they can give on an individual basis about grants available for the vulnerable.
President Willie eventually had to call a halt to the lively question-and-answer session following the talk, and many Rotarians signed up for an assessment of their homes. Past President Dermot Stewart thanked Harry and Alex on behalf of the Club.
Evening Meeting held at the Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 18th December 2013
This was the club's Christmas Dinner, with no formal business or guest speaker. Entertainment was provided by President Willie Nicoll on the trombone, and by the Sandy Mitchell Singers (aka the Rotary Carol "Choir"), with hand-bell ringers ably conducted by Pat Mitchell.
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Thanks to Roger Siddle of the Carnforth Rotary Club for his revolving Rotary wheel.