Archive of some Meeting Reports, as sent to the Press in 2014

Report for 9 June 2014 - Rotarians Hear of Emily's Strasbourg Success
Report for 12 May 2014 - Rotarians Speak of Nepal Education Effort
Report for 20 April 2014 - Rotarians Hail Egg Hunt Success - Easter Sunday
Report for 8 April 2014 - Rotarians set for Haddo Egg Hunt
Report for 1 April 2014 - Tarves Triumphant At Rotary Schools Quiz
Report for 31 March 2014 - Academy Pupils Explain Curriculum To Employers
Report for 17 March 2014 - Meldrum Rotarians Welcome Soenaid As Latest Member
Report for 13 March 2014 - Nepalese Vocational Training Team Preliminary Meeting
Report for 3 March 2104 - Meldrum Rotarians To Hold Community Quiz Night
Report for 10 February 2014 - Meldrum Rotarian in Driving Seat for "Children in Need"
Report for 13 January 2014 - Meldrum Rotarians hear about Charlie House

Click on the relevant link above to go directly to the report for that date.

For the Reports Archive for 2013 click here.
For the Reports Archive for 2012 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2011 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the first half of 2011 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2010 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the first half of 2010 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2009 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the first half of 2009 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2008 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the first half of 2008 click here.
For the Reports Archive from 2007 click here.

Young Musician of the Year Competition 2015 - Monday 5 October 2015

All of the competitors Competition Prize Winners

On Monday 5th October, the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum and Meldrum Academy’s Performing Arts Department jointly held the annual Young Musician competition for pupils in Primary 1 right up to 6th Secondary in the Assemble Hall. The audience enjoyed the musical evening with tunes from classical preludes and popular melodies. Ray Walker introduced the pupils, seven of whom played the piano, but there was a cello, an oboe, a flute, a guitar, a violin, a viola, a trombone, a baritone and a set of drums.

The judges, Justin Brook, Music Service Co-ordinator with Aberdeenshire Council and Dawn Lynch, Depute Rector of Inverurie Academy, both of them expert musicians in their own fields and Justin gave all the performers a verbal feedback which was very positive and encouraging. All 17 contestants received a certificate from President Elect Simon Kilkerr.

The winners of the 4 categories received an individual trophy to keep, and were:-

Primary 1-4 Linden Stewart from Rayne North who played “Make Way for the King" and "Apple Pie Waltz" on the piano
Primary 5-7 John McLaughlin from Rothienorman who played "Walking" and "Banjo Bill" on the guitar
S1-S3 Ruaraidh Williams from Meldrum Academy playing "Gavotte" and "Robot’s March" on the cello
S4- S6 Christopher Smith from Albyn School who played the oboe. His musical pieces were "Sonato in C Major Movements 1&2" and "Concertino Theme and Variations 1,2 & 3"

We all awaited the final winners who receive a shield for the year and an individual trophy to keep.

The Most Promising Young Musician of 2015 was announced as Rhiannon Pirie from Rothienorman who had played "Gospel Oak" and "Samba Reggae" on the drums.

The runner up for the Young Musician of 2015 was Ruaraidh Williams who had already won the S1-S3 group.

The Young Musician of 2015 was announced as Christopher Smith who lives in Udny Green, and he will go on to the Rotary District 1010 Competition in Perth in February 2016.

Justin summed up the evening by observing that he and Dawn go to many competitions, but this one in Oldmeldrum was “A warm friendly enthusiastic atmosphere helped by the audience, the organisation of the Rotary and Academy staff, and the talents of the young people in the community.”

 

Interact Tea Party - 27 June 2015

Pupils from Meldrum Academy's Interact Club, and the Eco Group, held a Tea Party in Oldmeldrum Town Hall to raise funds for the charity Wateraid and raise awareness of the rights of everyone to have clean drinking water. The pupils raised a total of £276.

Tae party visitors Cakes on offer

 

Presidential Handover - Meeting 22 June 2015

The 22nd June was handover night for Oldmeldrum Rotary, Sheena Clarke handed over the chain of office to the new President, Tom Gunn, and Simon Kilkerr became President Elect. We were joined for the evening by Richard Latimer, Assistant Governor District 1010
Presidential handover 2015

RotaryRide 2015 - 21 June 2015

RotaryRide 2015 was an event run as part of a nationwide Rotary initiative to promote awareness of prostate cancer, and raise funds for the Prostate Scotland charity. The Rotary Clubs of Inverurie, Kintore and Oldmeldrum combined to organise the local event in Kellands Park in Inverurie, to coincide with the Aberdeenshire Council run Inverurie Bike Ride.
Members from each of the clubs cycled on static cycles the distance between the different Club locations, and then on to the next Rotary club on the way north to John o' Groats.

David McClelland cycling from Oldmeldrum to Inverurie Club stands at the RotaryRide2015

Talk by Euroschola Candidate - Meeting 8 June 2015>

Stuart Massie with Pres. SheenaStuart Massie the Head Boy at Meldrum Academy was the speaker at the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum this week. As well as his academic achievements Stuart was also one of the successful applicants in this years Euroscola competition which is supported by the Club.
Euroscola brings together students from all over the European Union to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. There they take part in multilingual groups debating issues around the effects that European integration will have on their future.
Stuart told the meeting that the group had taken part in conducting surveys, usually in French about the benefits or otherwise of the European Union and of learning other languages. As well as spending time in the parliament building the students visited some of the other sights in Strasbourg and in the process learned more about its history including how it was affected during the war.
It wasn’t all work and Stuart said that that on the final night the Scottish students held a ceilidh and taught the French students some Scottish songs and how to do Scottish dancing.
Stuart thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to go to Strasbourg and take part in the Euroschola scheme for the benefits it has brought him in building confidence, honing his French language skills, meeting students from around the European Union and for making many new friends.

Presentation of Cheque to Rothienorman Hall - 2 June 2015

The Rothienorman Hall Committee were absolutely delighted to receive a cheque for £600 from Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum for their floorboard campaign. The residents of Rothienorman are great supporters of the Rotary Club's Santa Sleigh when it visits every December so Club members were delighted to be able to contribute to their plans to renovate the community hall.
Presentation of cheque to Rothienorman Hall Committee

Talk by Local Para-athlete - Meeting 11 May 2015

Lewis Clow and Pres. SheenaLewis Clow, who is just 19, only took up para-athletics around 18 months ago having previously been involved in a variety of sports including table tennis, cycling and his particular favourite football where he represented Scotland with the Cerebral Palsy Football team earning 16 caps. Since then Lewis has achieved many awards including both gold and bronze medals at events in Dubai at the same acquiring the qualifying standards for selection to Team Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Lewis spoke about his plans for the immediate future which includes taking part in the Cerebral Palsy World Games in August and has his eyes firmly set on going to the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016. When asked about funding opportunities Lewis explained that only those athletes at the very top of their disciplines received funding from GB Athletics and that currently he relies on donations, some sponsorship and the fundraising efforts of his family & friends.

A modest, hardworking young man who is an inspiration to young people. Through his own hard working efforts it can only be a matter of time till he achieves another ambition which is to be in the top two para-athletes in the UK.

 

Samba Drumming - 27 April 2015

Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum present their Samba Drumming Crew - a fun way to spend a Monday Meeting.

Samba Drumming

 

Meldrum Rotarians Host Primary Schools and Community Quizzes - 14 April 2015

PSQ 2015 winners, Rayne North SchoolLocal brain cells both young and more mature have been put to the test recently, as the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum tested the general knowledge of adults and local schoolchildren in two quizzes.

Pupils from Rayne North school will be going on to the next round of the 2015 Rotary Primary School Quiz, after emerging triumphant in their local heat. Meanwhile, representatives of the 'Cornfields' charity beat off some stiff competition from other local community groups, as they came out on top in the Rotary Club's annual 'Community Quiz'.

Some 20 teams from 11 primary schools tackled questions with enthusiasm and a strong desire to win, in front of an audience made up of parents, friends and teachers. In teams of four the pupils answered questions on rounds covering a range of topics from famous Scots, maths to music and films.

Quizmasters Hilary & Mick Gordon from Methlick presented the primary schools quiz, while Meldrum Rotarians checked the answers added the scores and judged the mascot competition. The team from Rayne North were clear winners with a score of 113 while Methlick and one of the teams from Meldrum Primary came joint second with scores of 108.

President of Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum Sheena Clarke presented each of the winners with a trophy to keep and the Annual Rotary Shield. The winners of the best mascot were judged to be one of the teams from Meldrum who impressed the judges with the waffle they had made themselves.

The team from Rayne North will go on to the next round on where they will be competing against the winning teams from the Rotary Clubs of Banff, Fraser burgh, Peterhead, Central Buchan, Huntly, Turriff, Ellon, Inverurie, Kintore & Alford. This round will also be held at Meldrum Academy on Wednesday 29th April starting at 6.45.

The winning team and runner up will then go on to the North of Scotland District Final which be held at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on Saturday 6th June. The winning team from will win £500, with 2nd and 3rd prizes of £300 and £200.

 

Haddo Egg Hunt - Easter Sunday.

Oldmeldrum Rotary Club President Sheena Clarke with Sponsors Robert and Ethel Chapman from Farmlay Eggs, and the Easter Bunny Lined up before the start of the Egg Race Egg Rollers briefing ...and they're off

An estimated 5,000 people enjoyed a glorious spring day at Haddo Country Park on Easter Sunday, at the annual Easter Egg Hunt organised by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.

Families from all across Aberdeenshire and further afield converged upon the country park, to take part in what is one of the largest free public events in the North East.

Boggy conditions underfoot in the field car park threatened for a time to make parking a challenge, but the team of marshals managed to ensure that in excess of 1,500 vehicles were able to come and go throughout the course of the day, with only a handful needing a helping push to get up the hill.

Once inside the park, families were able to enjoy the traditional Easter Egg Hunt in the grounds of Haddo House, as well as face painting and the egg rolling which took place down the 'Scots Mile'.

Speaking afterwards, Oldmeldrum Rotary Club President Sheena Clarke said the day had once again been a great success.

“We're thrilled that the day has been such a good one for everyone taking part. This is the largest event which our club runs throughout the year and it's just wonderful to see so many families coming along to enjoy themselves.

“The weather obviously played a part in the success of the day and we were fortunate that after a week of indifferent weather that we enjoyed the best weather of the year so far.

“A lot of work goes into putting on an event like this. There's too many people to thank individually, but in particular we'd like to thank our colleagues in Ellon Rotary Club who once again helped out, as well as Aberdeenshire Council, the National Trust for Scotland and the Haddo Estate for all their help and co-operation. We'd also like to thank each of our sponsors this year, particularly Robert and Ethel Chapman from Farmlay Eggs for their generous assistance.”

Tarves RotaKids in Tools Collection Plea

Tarves RotaKids with tools for AfricaA group of pupils from Tarves School has issued a plea for donations of unwanted tools as part of a project to aid development in rural Africa.

The pupils, who are members of Tarves RotaKids, are working to support the "Tools for Self-Reliance" initiative. The project takes unused or unwanted tools and refurbishes them, before they are shipped overseas in a bid to assist people to improve their circumstances through their own actions.
Once collected, the tools are sorted, repaired and sent to Africa. Training then takes place to support the recipients to gain technical, business and life skills, which enables them to create a sustainable livelihood.
As a result, people are able to earn an income and look after themselves and their families. Their improved standard of living means they are in many cases able to send their children to school for the first time.

Tarves Rotakids mentor Anne Forster, who organises RotaKids through her involvement in the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, said that that she hoped there would be a good response to the appeal.
"The sort of tools we are looking for are often sitting unused in garages, garden sheds or cupboards", she said. "Spades, shovels, joinery and woodwork tools, bike repair kits and electric sewing machines can all be given a new lease of life to help others improve their lives."

One beneficiary of the initiative, Mr Bangura from Sierra Leone said: "My God, when the tools arrived, the village danced for two days." Another beneficiary, who is part of the Community Youth Movement in Zambia said: "Since the training, I know how to use all of the tools. I'm a full carpenter now."

The Tarves RotaKids themselves say: "Please, please look for tools you no longer use. They could make a big difference to people in Africa who are not as well off as us us."
Anyone wishing to donate tools can either take them to Tarves School, or call RotaKids mentor Anne Forster 07816 790 553.

 

It's a Dog's Life for Meldrum Rotarians - Meeting 10 November 2014

Pres. Sheena with Diane Wood and Alison Mundie, and Bruagh and BenThe Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum played host to two very special visitors recently. Golden Retrievers Bruagh and Ben, pictured here with their owners Diane Wood and Alison Mundie, work as 'Therapets' - animals which visit local care homes and hospitals in order to allow patients and residents to benefit from the theraputic benefits of pets.

For more information on therapets, or on how to become a therapet volunteer, visit: www.canineconcernscotland.org.uk


Red Arrow Swoops on Meldrum Rotarians. - Meeting 13 October 2014

Pres. Sheena with David Bolsover and Tom GunnThe Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed David Bolsover as its most recent guest speaker.
David, who retired from the RAF in 2003, is a former Wing Commander of the Red Arrows, and served as Commander of the UK Harrier Force during the conflict in Kosovo. David began his career in the RAF flying Puma helicopters, before coming to Lossiemouth in 1984 to fly Buccanneers. He also piloted Tornado aircraft in both Gulf conflicts.

Since his retirement from the RAF, David has worked for Thales, training pilots to fly the Tornado GR4 aircraft in a 'synthetic' training environment through simulators at Lossiemouth and Marham.
After explaining a little about his past and his current role, David showed the club an edited simulation of a mission to support ground forces under heavy fire in Afghanistan, which showed the decisions which the air crews would have had to have made.
David explained the advantages which training pilots in the highly-realistic simulator could bring, both in terms of cost as well as effectiveness. "It puts air crews in the position of making decisions about deploying weapons before they are deployed to a battle zone, giving vital training in the rules of engagement"¯, he said.

Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum and Meldrum Academy Young Musician of the Year 2014.

Entrants for Young Musician 2014 Winners of Young Musician Competition 2014

The Young Musician of the Year 2014 competition got off to a great start on Monday evening when John McLaughlin entertained the audience by playing Vals on the guitar. John was followed by 17 other young musicians from Oldmeldrum and the surrounding areas. The extent of the young peoples' talents was heard on a range of other instruments including piano, violin and viola, cello, trombone, oboe, cornet and baritone horn. Playing music from classical to ragtime, the young musicians kept the audience of family and friends entertained for well over an hour.

The competition which is organised jointly between the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum and Meldrum Academy Performing Arts Department is now well established as an annual event in the area and welcomes both new competitors and others who have entered in previous years. On the night, Rotarians acknowledged that part of the enjoyment of the evening is seeing how previous entrants had grown in confidence and musical ability.

The judges for the evening, Music Instructors Pamela Cook and Douglas Watt had the very difficult challenge of judging, in 4 age categories, as well as for the most promising musician and overall winner.

After deliberation the judges announced the winners. From Primary 1 – P4 category John McLaughlin. P5 – P7 winner was Sophie Jackson who played Allegro and Largo on the piano. Sophie from Tarves was also a winner in last year’s competition. The judges acknowledged that judging in the older age categories became much more difficult because of the high standard of playing. In the S1 – S3 category the winner Christopher Smith delighted the audience playing Concerto for Oboe Mvts. 1, 2, 3 & 4. Christopher from Udny was last year's overall winner.

The winner of the "Most Promising Young Musician", Ruaraidh Williams was also in this age group, and he was delighted to receive the award for his beautiful rendition of Scherzo which he played on the cello.

Last year’s most promising young musician was Jessica Hay, and this year Jessica was judged to be the winner in both the S4 – S6 age group and overall winner of the Young Musician of the Year. Jessica from Pitmedden gave a rousing performance of the Maple Leaf Rag on the piano. Jessica will now go on to represent Oldmeldrum Rotary Club at the District Heat in Perth in Spring next year.

The judges were thanked for their time and the effort they made in giving the musicians some very constructive feedback. The evening ended with a well-deserved show of appreciation from the audience who had obviously enjoyed listening to the musical talents of some of our local young people.

Meldrum Rotarians Welcome New President. - Meeting 7 July 2014

New President Sheena Clarke with PP. Richard ThomsonThe new President of the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum has spoken of her desire to see the club reach out to all of the communities in its catchment area, as she begins her year of office.
Sheena Clarke, who lives in Oldmeldrum, made her remarks as the chain of office was passed on by outgoing Club President Richard Thomson at the club's recent handover ceremony.

In his remarks, Mr Thomson thanked the club in general and Sheena in particular for the support he had received throughout his year as President.

After thanking Richard for his time in office, Sheena set out some of her priorities for the year ahead, key amongst which is to ensure that the club reaches all of the communities which it serves.
"In some respects, I think it would be more accurate if we were called the 'Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum and District', she said. "Although we meet in Oldmeldrum, in reality we cover an area which stretches from Rothienorman and Methlick all the way across to Pitmedden and Newmachar."
"We're a very friendly and inclusive club, with a sizeable number of members who don't actually live in Oldmeldrum. What we all have in common is a shared desire to put something back into our local communities, as well as to enhance the lives of those around the world less fortunate than ourselves."
"We're always happy to welcome along anyone who might wish to become a member of the club, or who might be interested in finding out more about Rotary."

The club meets at 6.30 for 6.45pm on Monday evenings at the Redgarth Hotel in Oldmeldrum. For further details, please contact Club Secretary Alistair Flett on 01651 891620 or by email on amflett@hotmail.com

Rotarians Hear of Emily's Strasbourg Success

Emily Low with Pres. RichardA local school pupil has spoken of her experiences taking part in debates in the European Parliament, after she gained the opportunity to participate in a prestigious gathering of students from across the European Union.
Meldrum Academy pupil Emily Low was one of a number of delegates from Scotland who took part in the Rotary-supported 'Euroscola' programme, which saw students taking part in discussions and debate in the surroundings of the European Parliament complex in Strasbourg.

In a talk to Oldmeldrum Rotarians, Emily told how she had met with the other Scottish candidates on a Monday morning at Edinburgh Airport, before flying to Basel/Mulhouse. After travelling on to Strasbourg and having a walk around the city, the students then had to deliver an 'icebreaker' presentation in French in order to demonstrate their language skills.
The group began the Tuesday by conducting a street survey, where they asked local people a series of questions about Scotland, including what they thought haggis was, before delivering a presentation on the survey's findings in the evening.

On their day in the European Parliament, the participants were split into six groups. Each elected a "President" and a "Rapporteur", before holding a debate on a question which had been posed to the group. All groups then headed back to the debating chamber in order to report on their findings to the other participants and to vote on their respective conclusions.
"Taking part really developed my overall confidence"¯, said Emily. "Euroscola has been absolutely excellent at encouraging me to take opportunities. Public speaking, which was quite daunting for me before, is now much less so having spoken in front of 500 people."¯

Speaking afterwards, Club President Richard Thomson added: "Of all the youth projects which we support, I think Euroscola is the one which has the biggest impact on those who get the chance to attend."
"Everyone involved speaks of the great confidence boost it gives, and it really shows when you see the candidates after they return."
"This year, we had a superb candidate in Emily, and I'm sure that the experience will stand her in very good stead for the future."

Rotarians Speak of Nepal Education Efforts - Meeting 12 May 2014

Pres. Richard with Jenni Rees-Jenkins and Hilary and Mick GordonA team of educationalists, who travelled to rural Nepal last month in order to train teachers working in some of the poorest and most remote areas of the country, have spoken of their experiences to the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.
Meldrum Academy teacher Jenni Rees-Jenkins, together with retired teachers Mick and Hilary Gordon from Methlick, were part of a seven-strong Rotary sponsored Vocational Training Team, which aimed to improve the professional skills of teachers in rural Nepal.
Around 130 teachers from 30 different schools attended one of two, three-day workshops, which focused on developing leadership abilities in headteachers, as well as developing 'active learning' techniques in languages, science, numeracy and IT.

Group Team Leader Hilary Gordon explained some of the problems which local teachers face in trying to do their job.
"Children in rural Nepal do not attend school regularly, often because they are needed to help on the family farm"¯, she said. "In addition, school buildings are often very poorly equipped, with very limited resources, especially in science and IT."
"We made a point of making and using local items in our sessions. Often, this meant that we had to improvise, for example using plastic bottles to measure rain or as funnels for science lessons. However, it meant that there were no lessons which we carried out that the teachers couldn't do again for themselves."
"The children want to learn and the teachers want very much to gain the professional training they can use to help them"¯, she continued. "The commitment which the teachers showed was incredible; many had given up their holidays to take part, while some were walking for as many as three hours each morning in order to reach us."¯

Overall, the team estimate that some two thousand pupils across ten different communities will benefit directly as a result of knowledge gained by the teachers.
"We were only there for a relatively short time"¯, said Hilary. "However, if we've learned one thing ourselves from this experience, it's that a small amount of money and time can make a huge impact in somewhere like Nepal."¯

Rotarians Hail Egg Hunt Success - Easter Sunday, 20 April 2014

Activities at the Pheasantry Oldmeldrum Rotary Club team at the Reception tent
Finish of the Under 5's Egg Roll Race Start of the Adults Egg Roll Race

Families from all over the North East took advantage of fine weekend weather to take part in the traditional Egg Hunt at Haddo Country Park last Sunday.

Nearly four thousand people turned out at the park on Easter Sunday to take part in the Easter Egg Hunt, organised by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.
In addition to the Egg Hunt, which saw children on the lookout for elaborately decorated eggs, there was an egg rolling contest on Deer Hill, as well as facepainting and a children’s activity marquee.

Speaking afterwards, Oldmeldrum Rotary President Richard Thomson hailed the event as a success and offered his thanks to all who had taken part.
“Today was a great day out for all ages”, he said. “The weather was fantastic and it was wonderful to be able to see so many families coming along to take part".
“The egg hunt is the biggest event of our year and allows us to give something back to the community".
“We are grateful for the help we received from our friends in Ellon Rotary Club who assisted us throughout the day, as well as from everyone associated with Haddo, without whose cooperation the event wouldn’t be the success that it is.”
“We look forward to welcoming everybody back again next year.”

Competition in the traditional egg rolling contest was as keen as ever, with around 50-60 competitors taking part.
Results:
Under 5's - Lily Findlay
5-8's - Teigan Blackhall
8-13's - Kitty Burton
Adolescents - Farquhar McDougall
Adults - Elle McIntosh
Free Range - Imogen Begg

Oldmeldrum Rotarians would like to thank the following individuals and companies for financial sponsorship, Lord Aberdeen, Lawrence of Kemnay, Wood Group Kenny, Meadows Veterinary Centre, Presly Pest Control Ltd, and S. French, Methlick.

Grateful thanks are also extended for the help and support from Doreen and her egg hiders from Tarves, St Andrews’ Ambulance Service, Grampian Police, Aberdeenshire Council, Haddo Estate and Haddo Visitor Services Officer, Methlick Scouts, Meldrum Academy face painters, Meldrum Academy Easter Bunny (Aaron Duff), Beaton Hall, Methlick and Ellon Rotary Club.

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9 June 2014

Rotarians Hear of Emily's Strasbourg Success

Emily Low with Pres. RichardA local school pupil has spoken of her experiences taking part in debates in the European Parliament, after she gained the opportunity to participate in a prestigious gathering of students from across the European Union.
Meldrum Academy pupil Emily Low was one of a number of delegates from Scotland who took part in the Rotary-supported 'Euroscola' programme, which saw students taking part in discussions and debate in the surroundings of the European Parliament complex in Strasbourg.

In a talk to Oldmeldrum Rotarians, Emily told how she had met with the other Scottish candidates on a Monday morning at Edinburgh Airport, before flying to Basel/Mulhouse. After travelling on to Strasbourg and having a walk around the city, the students then had to deliver an 'icebreaker' presentation in French in order to demonstrate their language skills.
The group began the Tuesday by conducting a street survey, where they asked local people a series of questions about Scotland, including what they thought haggis was, before delivering a presentation on the survey's findings in the evening.

On their day in the European Parliament, the participants were split into six groups. Each elected a "President" and a "Rapporteur", before holding a debate on a question which had been posed to the group. All groups then headed back to the debating chamber in order to report on their findings to the other participants and to vote on their respective conclusions.
"Taking part really developed my overall confidence"¯, said Emily. "Euroscola has been absolutely excellent at encouraging me to take opportunities. Public speaking, which was quite daunting for me before, is now much less so having spoken in front of 500 people."¯

Speaking afterwards, Club President Richard Thomson added: "Of all the youth projects which we support, I think Euroscola is the one which has the biggest impact on those who get the chance to attend."
"Everyone involved speaks of the great confidence boost it gives, and it really shows when you see the candidates after they return."
"This year, we had a superb candidate in Emily, and I'm sure that the experience will stand her in very good stead for the future."

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12 May 2014

Rotarians Speak of Nepal Education Efforts - Meeting 12 May 2014

Pres. Richard with Jenni Rees-Jenkins and Hilary and Mick GordonA team of educationalists, who travelled to rural Nepal last month in order to train teachers working in some of the poorest and most remote areas of the country, have spoken of their experiences to the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.
Meldrum Academy teacher Jenni Rees-Jenkins, together with retired teachers Mick and Hilary Gordon from Methlick, were part of a seven-strong Rotary sponsored Vocational Training Team, which aimed to improve the professional skills of teachers in rural Nepal.
Around 130 teachers from 30 different schools attended one of two, three-day workshops, which focused on developing leadership abilities in headteachers, as well as developing 'active learning' techniques in languages, science, numeracy and IT.

Group Team Leader Hilary Gordon explained some of the problems which local teachers face in trying to do their job.
"Children in rural Nepal do not attend school regularly, often because they are needed to help on the family farm"¯, she said. "In addition, school buildings are often very poorly equipped, with very limited resources, especially in science and IT."
"We made a point of making and using local items in our sessions. Often, this meant that we had to improvise, for example using plastic bottles to measure rain or as funnels for science lessons. However, it meant that there were no lessons which we carried out that the teachers couldn't do again for themselves."
"The children want to learn and the teachers want very much to gain the professional training they can use to help them"¯, she continued. "The commitment which the teachers showed was incredible; many had given up their holidays to take part, while some were walking for as many as three hours each morning in order to reach us."¯

Overall, the team estimate that some two thousand pupils across ten different communities will benefit directly as a result of knowledge gained by the teachers.
"We were only there for a relatively short time"¯, said Hilary. "However, if we've learned one thing ourselves from this experience, it's that a small amount of money and time can make a huge impact in somewhere like Nepal."¯

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20 April 2014

Rotarians Hail Egg Hunt Success - Easter Sunday, 20 April 2014

Activities at the Pheasantry Oldmeldrum Rotary Club team at the Reception tent
Finish of the Under 5's Egg Roll Race Start of the Adults Egg Roll Race

Families from all over the North East took advantage of fine weekend weather to take part in the traditional Egg Hunt at Haddo Country Park last Sunday.

Nearly four thousand people turned out at the park on Easter Sunday to take part in the Easter Egg Hunt, organised by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.
In addition to the Egg Hunt, which saw children on the lookout for elaborately decorated eggs, there was an egg rolling contest on Deer Hill, as well as facepainting and a children’s activity marquee.

Speaking afterwards, Oldmeldrum Rotary President Richard Thomson hailed the event as a success and offered his thanks to all who had taken part.
“Today was a great day out for all ages”, he said. “The weather was fantastic and it was wonderful to be able to see so many families coming along to take part".
“The egg hunt is the biggest event of our year and allows us to give something back to the community".
“We are grateful for the help we received from our friends in Ellon Rotary Club who assisted us throughout the day, as well as from everyone associated with Haddo, without whose cooperation the event wouldn’t be the success that it is.”
“We look forward to welcoming everybody back again next year.”

Competition in the traditional egg rolling contest was as keen as ever, with around 50-60 competitors taking part.
Results:
Under 5's - Lily Findlay
5-8's - Teigan Blackhall
8-13's - Kitty Burton
Adolescents - Farquhar McDougall
Adults - Elle McIntosh
Free Range - Imogen Begg

Oldmeldrum Rotarians would like to thank the following individuals and companies for financial sponsorship, Lord Aberdeen, Lawrence of Kemnay, Wood Group Kenny, Meadows Veterinary Centre, Presly Pest Control Ltd, and S. French, Methlick.

Grateful thanks are also extended for the help and support from Doreen and her egg hiders from Tarves, St Andrews’ Ambulance Service, Grampian Police, Aberdeenshire Council, Haddo Estate and Haddo Visitor Services Officer, Methlick Scouts, Meldrum Academy face painters, Meldrum Academy Easter Bunny (Aaron Duff), Beaton Hall, Methlick and Ellon Rotary Club.

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8 April 2014

Rotarians set for Haddo Egg Hunt - Press Release, 8 April 2014

The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum is gearing up for its annual Easter Egg Hunt, with Rotarians hoping that this year’s event will be better than ever.
The egg hunt, which takes place on Sunday 20 April in the grounds of Haddo Country Park, has become something of a family institution across the North East.
With the event traditionally attracting hundreds of youngsters and their parents, it is also one of the biggest free public events taking place anywhere in the North East of Scotland.

Thousands of brightly painted eggs will be hidden on the footpaths and under trees for children to find. Although children are free to keep the eggs, they can also be exchanged for chocolate ones at the reception tent. The Easter Bunny will also be there to help children find eggs.
“The Haddo Egg Hunt is one of the highlights of our year”, said the event’s organiser, Oldmeldrum Rotarian Owen Ball. “We always receive tremendous support from everyone associated with Haddo to put on the event, and it’s always a pleasure to put on an event which people from all over the North East seem to enjoy so much.”
In addition to the Egg Hunt, there will also be the excitement of the annual egg rolling competition to look forward to. Here, children can roll, or more usually throw their eggs down the hill, with the first egg making it to the bottom of the hill winning its owner a chocolate egg. As in previous years, there will be a wide range of categories in which children of different ages will be able to compete.

The Haddo Egg Hunt takes place from 10am until 3pm. Although entry and parking is free, donations help to cover event costs, with any surplus supporting Rotary charities at home and overseas.

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1 April 2014

Tarves Triumphant At Rotary Schools Quiz - Tuesday 1 April 2014

Tarves A team, PSQ heat winners 2014A team of pupils from Tarves School have progressed to the next round of the Rotary Primary Schools Quiz, after topping the scoreboard in their local heat.

Some 23 teams from primary schools in and around the Oldmeldrum area took part in the quiz at Meldrum Academy, organised by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.
This was a record number of entries for the local heat of the quiz and with an enthusiastic travelling support, the school’s Assembly Hall was full to capacity. The Quiz consisted of 10 rounds of 6 questions, covering a wide range of topics including geography, literature, science, history, famous people, current affairs and music.

Quizmasters for the evening were Meldrum Rotarian Hilary Gordon, together with husband Mick. A team of 14 Rotarians were also on hand to check the answers and add up the scores of all the teams taking part.
Barthol Chapel “B” & Rothienorman “B” were equal runners up with a score of 99.
However, the night belonged to Tarves “A” who triumphed with a score of 104.

President Richard Thomson presented each of the contestants with their certificates, before handing over individual trophies to the members of the winning team, along with the Rotary Club Annual team shield.
Members of the team from Old Rayne were each presented with a small gift for having the best lucky mascot.
Following the prizegiving, Oldmeldrum Rotarians hosted light refreshment for the visitors.

Tarves ”A” now go forward to the next round the Area Heat where they will be competing against the winning teams from the Rotary clubs of Banff, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Central Buchan, Huntly, Turriff, Ellon, Inverurie, Kintore & Alford.
This event will be held at Meldrum Academy on Saturday 17th May. The winning team & runner up will then go forward to the North of Scotland District Final which will be held in Aberdeen at the Beach Ballroom on Saturday 14th June.
The winning team from the District Final will receive £500, with the 2nd and 3rd place teams winning £300 and £200 respectively.

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31 March 2014

Academy Pupils Explain Curriculum To Employers - Monday 31 March 2014

Local employers have had the chance to learn about the new Curriculum for Excellence and changes to the school exam system, thanks to a group of pupils from Meldrum Academy.
The pupils, all from S3 and S4, delivered their presentation to representatives of local businesses and employers at an evening organised in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.

Pupils explained how the new curriculum helped to develop their skills and outlined how the various subjects did this. They also spoke of how they applied these skills across different curriculum areas using 'capacity building courses'.
The S4 pupils further explained how the National 4 and 5 qualifications operated through internal and external assessment and how they were able to progress to Highers and Advanced Highers. Afterwards, the pupils and employers enjoyed a buffet supper, which gave the opportunity to network as well as to ask further questions.

"The purpose of the gathering is to update the businesses on the new curriculum and qualifications"¯, Depute Head Teacher Liz Prosser said afterwards.
She went on to outline to employers that the school would appreciate their support in coming along to talk to pupils about their line of work, as well as in having pupils come to their place of work and taking part in work experience activities.

Speaking afterwards, Oldmeldrum Rotarian Ray Walker said that the evening had been a very successful one.
"I think everyone who came along tonight will agree that this has been a good way of helping local employers to understand the recent changes to qualifications and the school curriculum"¯, she said.
"Hopefully, events like this one can become a regular way of bringing together the school, Rotary and the wider business community together".
"We are indebted to the Meldrum Academy S4 pupils, Vickey Kotts, Sophie Manson, Ellis Munton and Maddy Reid, and also the S3 pupils, Ronan Adam, Calum Bridges, Rachel Harvie, Jessica Hay and Morven Reid for their excellent contributions."¯

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17 March 2014

Meldrum Rotarians Welcome Soenaid As Latest Member - Meeting 17 March 2014

Soenaid Coutts with Pres. Richard and Andrew McCartneyThe Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed Soenaid Coutts to its ranks as the club's latest member at a ceremony last Monday.

Soenaid, who was accompanied by her husband, works in sales for Oldmeldrum based Grampian Steel Services.
She was introduced to Rotarians by Andrew McCartney, who is one of the Club's founder members.

Speaking afterwards, Club President Richard Thomson said how pleased the club was to welcome in another new member.
"We're delighted to welcome Soenaid as the latest member, not just of Oldmeldrum Rotary Club, but also as a member of one of the largest charitable and service organisations in the world today.
"Rotary is a very successful organisation, which gives the opportunity for friendship and service in communities at home and abroad, as well as allowing you to be part of something much bigger than yourself.
"We welcome enquiries from anyone who would like to get involved in Rotary or who would simply like a little bit more information about who we are and what we do.
"Soenaid will be an outstanding member of our club and we very much look forward to having her play a full part in all that we do."

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13 March 2014

Nepalese Vocational Training Team Preliminary Meeting - 13 March 2014

Jenni, John and Hilary"Three members of the Nepalese Vocational Training Team (Jenni, John and Hilary) met this week at Meldrum Academy in advance of their visit. The group, which is due to leave Scotland on 2 April, will be working with teachers and head teachers in rural Nepal to develop local leadership and management skills, as well as to share best teaching practice in science, active learning and computing."

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3 March 2014

Meldrum Rotarians To Hold Community Quiz Night - Monday 3 March 2104

Oldmeldrum Rotary Club are holding a Community Group quiz on Monday 3 March 2014 in Meldrum Academy at 7.30 pm.

The Quiz is open to teams from any of the local community groups. The cost is £10 for a team of 4, with a £150 First Prize for the winning group and £50 for the second-placed team. Experienced quiz presenters Hilary and Mick Gordon will be setting and presenting the quiz. Light refreshments will be served after the quiz.

Previous years events have been a lot of fun and have provided the opportunity for local groups to let others in the community know about their events and activities.

If you would like to take part, or want more information, get in touch with Sheena Clarke on 01651 873034, e-mail sheenaw@btinternet.com

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10 February 2014

Meldrum Rotarian in Driving Seat for "Children in Need"

Tom and Cherie being interviewed by Chris EvansA North-East couple have spoken of spending a dream weekend driving exotic sports cars and mixing with some of the most famous names in entertainment, after bidding successfully in a charity auction for 'Children in Need'.

Tom and Cherie Gunn were amongst the bidders who won the chance to drive a 'magnificent seven' fleet of cars - including a vintage 1961 Ferrari California – following the auction on BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans' Breakfast Show last year.
Tom, a member of the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, 'retired' just over a year ago after selling his Aberdeen-based global marine navigation services business. He told club members how he and wife Cherie – both self-confessed 'petrol heads' – had driven to the South of England from their Banffshire home in order to meet up with 12 other couples who between them, had bid in excess of £1.5m for the opportunity.

The group enjoyed breakfast at Evans' Berkshire mansion while he presented his morning radio show, before setting off to Ascot and a private airfield owned by Pink Floyd drummer Mick Mason. There, the group had the opportunity to view his private collection of rare cars, before travelling to the South Coast and enjoying an evening in the company of McLaren Formula 1 boss Ron Dennis.
The following day, the group drove to the famous Thruxton racing circuit, where they had the chance to drive some other vintage sports cars around the track. Later, the group travelled on to Clifton Hall – a former home of Lord and Lady Astor – where they enjoyed a cabaret with singer Gary Barlow.
“Most of the people taking part came from similar backgrounds in that they were entrepreneurs who had sold their businesses and were looking to give something back”, said Tom. “It was an incredible few days spent driving fantastic cars in the company of some really interesting people. We made some good friends and we've all kept in regular contact since.”

The photo shows Cherie Gunn being interviewed by Chris Evans (in the red hat with the microphone) while husband Tom looks on.

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13 January 2014

Meldrum Rotarians hear about Charlie House - Meeting 13 January 2014

Tarcy and SheenaThe Rotary Club of Oyldmeldrum has welcomed Tracy Johnstone, a founder member of a local group set up to help provide activities to support children with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions, as a guest speaker.

Tracy told club members about her own situation when her son was born with severe disabilities and she found that there was little in the way of support for her and her family in the Grampian area. The nearest care and support facility is over 100 miles away, which isn’t always easy for families to go to, and can be isolating for the child, their siblings and other family members. Tracy also explained that travelling long distances with their children and all the necessary life sustaining equipment can be quite impractical.

Tracy spoke about the level of need for families in Grampian, identifying that there were more than 40 children who had a life shortening condition, and nearly 90 children and young people who were living with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Along with a number of other families who found themselves without adequate support for them and the children they set up the local charity, Charlie House.

A year ago,Tracy & the Board of Trustees began an ambitious fundraising project to raise the £8 million necessary to build a local care facility similar to ones elsewhere in Scotland. A site has been identified at a hospital in Aberdeen, and plans and detailed costings are being prepared to complete the build and to fully equip Charlie House. This specialist care centre will provide a home-from-home environment where the children will be cared for in a stimulating setting, and where they can make friends and be helped to achieve their full potential. Charlie House will offer much needed day care, planned & emergency respite, a hydrotherapy pool and a parents suite to allow families to stay together at times of special need.
The Trustees aim to have Charlie House open by 2017 and local groups and individuals have already begun to provide financial support through donations and sponsorship.

For more information about Charlie House visit www.charliehouse.org.uk or www.Facebook.com/CharlieHouseAppeal.

 

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