Archive of some Meeting Reports, as sent to the Press in the second half of 2008

Report for 29 December 2008 - Year End Thoughts
Report for 15 December 2008 - Xmas Party
Report for 8 December 2008 - Work of a Parliamentary Officer
Report for 7 December 2008 - Fun Run and Walk Spectacular - Haddo House
Report for 1 December 2008 - Royal National Institution for the Blind
Report for 24 November 2008 - Business Meeting
Report for 17 November 2008 - Holiday in Nepal
Report for 10 November 2008 - Age Discrimination in Practice
Report for 3 November 2008 - National Piping Centre
Report for 27 October 2008 - Business Meeting
Report for 20 October 2008 - FairTrade in Ellon
Report for 13 October 2008 - Membership Talk, and Gavel Competition
Report for 6 October 2008 - Experiences at RYLA
Report for 29 September 2008 - Visit by District Governor David Rankin
Report for 27 September 2008 - "William Forsyth Community Garden" opened
Report for 22 September 2008 - Business Meeting
Report for 15 September 2008 - "Homecoming Scotland 2009"
Report for 8 September 2008 - Andrew Cowie Construction
Report for 1 September 2008 - "Schools 4 all" in Africa
Report for 25 August 2008 - Business Meeting
Report for 18 August 2008 - Offsetting our Carbon Footprint
Report for 11 August 2008 - "Big Country" Talk
Report for 4 August 2008 - Rotary's PolioPlus Programme - Meeting 4 August 2008
Report for 28 July 2008 - Business Meeting and Girl's RYLA Report
Report for 21 July 2008 - Speakers from TESCOs
Report for 14 July 2008 - Visit to Xmas tree Plantation
Report for 7 July 2008 - Outing to Hoodles Playbarn and Gavel Success
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 first half of 2008 click here.
For the Reports Archive from 2007 click here.

29 December 2008

Year End Thoughts - 29 December 2008

Santa and his ElvesWhat a busy, but enjoyable festive season for the members of the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.
We've chatted to hundreds of people as we sold raffle tickets in the Bon Accord Centre, and heard many interesting stories as people handed over money hoping to win a car, but also happy to raise money for CLAN and Rotary Charities.
On the fashion scene, we've dressed as elves as we toured our local communities with Santa and his sleigh collecting a total of £2946.93.
We've dressed as Santas taking part in a fun run, or, for some of us, a fun walk, at Haddo and raised over £2000 for the Polio Plus scheme which aims to eradicate this killer disease from the world. All the money we have raised will be returned to good causes, locally, nationally, or internationally.
Socially we enjoyed our Christmas Party where we enjoyed a delicious meal at Morris' Hotel, pitted our wits with quizzes, tested our co-ordination, and sung our hearts out with Christmas Carols.
Also we are all delighted that Honorary Member John Paton has been deservedly awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

If you would like to learn more about Rotary in general or the Oldmeldrum Club in particular, then phone President Anne Forster on 07816790553, or come along on a Monday evening to the Redgarth Hotel about 6.30 where a warm reception will be given to you from the welcoming team at the front door. For £10 you will get a 2 course meal, an interesting speaker, warm fellowship and a chance to win the weekly raffle!
If you are technically minded there's lots of information on our website,

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15 December 2008

Xmas Party - 15 December 2008

Denis Emslie receiving his Paul Harris AwardPresident Anne Forster welcomed 50 members, partners and guests to the annual Christmas Party in Morris’ Hotel, Oldmeldrum. Before enjoying a delicious meal, one of our younger members, Nicola was surprised by a birthday cake and after the meal.

Denis Emslie one of our founder members was surprised by being awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. Denis who has been a stalwart, enthusiastic member of Rotary was loudly applauded as he received his badge and Fellowship Certificate.

The evening was then handed over to Ray who catered for all nationalities from a Doric Quiz to a Mexican Hat Dance. Everyone enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere as members prepared for the busy Christmas Season collection.

The Santa Fun Run or, for some the Santa Fun Walk, round Haddo Country Park had proved very successful for a first attempt. Entrants were encouraged to get sponsorship and half of their money went to the Polio Plus Charity but the other half could be donated to the Charity of the entrant’s choice. One runner raised £1000, giving £500 to Polio Plus and the other £500 went to his preferred cancer charity.

The Santa Sleigh had already been round the countryside and in the run up to Christmas Santa and his Elves were lighting up the lives of the many children while raising money for Charity. There will be more about amounts in the next report. Meanwhile to all of you and yours have a wonderful festive season.

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8 December 2008

Work of a Parliamentary Officer - 8 December 2008

Anne Forster and Richard ThomasPresident Anne Forster welcomed members to the meeting on Mon 8th December. She reported that several members had attended Frazerborough Rotary Club’s Chartership dinner.
Ray Walker reminded members of the Christmas party on the 15th and to remember to bring a secret Santa gift.
Martin Belshaw reiterated the logistics for the Santa Sleigh runs over the next fortnight. Maurice Clarke requested articles for Squeeky Wheel.
Norman Brammer gave the results of his survey of members in respect of taking over the organisation of the Ythan Cycle ride. It was proposed and accepted that the club would do so.
Lara Anderson thanked everyone who assisted and partipated in the Fun Run/Walk at Haddo on Sunday 7th December, she estimated that £2,000 had been raised for our charity: PolioPlus. In response Anne Forster congratulated Lara on organising such a successful event and hoped it would become an annual event.
Andrew McCartney thanked members who attended the Meldrum switching-on of light ceremony with the Santa Sleigh.

The speaker for the evening was Richard Thomas who is a Parliamentary Officer for Alex Salmond. He is a keen fiddler and previously worked for Scottish Widows.
Having worked for the SNP in London, he moved to Ellon in the summer to work within the Constituency. Alex Salmond as an MSP, MP and First Minister has extensive demands on his time, and Richard’s position is to ensure that Alex’s time is managed effectively, and also to ensure that his actions are highlighted and publicised, in order for people to be aware of what Alex does and can achieve for his Constituency.
Richard’s role predominantly is to deal with the requirements and needs of the constituents, regardless of their political affiliations, and to utilise his skills in other peoples’ service.
As a prominent politician Alex can often achieve resolution when other avenues have proved fruitless, and Richard’s aim is to help Alex discharge these responsibilities.

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7 December 2008

Fun Run and Walk Spectacular - Haddo House, 7 December 2008

In conjunction with The Running Shop, Aberdeen, Oldmeldrum Rotary Club organised a very successful 5 Km Fun Run and / or Walk Spectacular on Sunday 7th December 2008, in the grounds of Haddo House Country Park.

It had been very cold the previous night, and it was still icy in places on the route, but some 70 odd competitiors braved the conditions and took part on the day. All seemed to enjoy their run or walk in the park, and well over £2000 was raised for PolioPlus and other charities nominated by the competitors.

Santa Run CompetitorsBelow are the results:-

1st Runner - Dave Scott - 18mins, 22secs
2nd Runner - Veronique Oldham - 18mins, 23secs
3rd Runner - Ian Diack - 19 MIns, 51 Secs

1st Walker - Katherine Horsell - 48 Mins, 16Secs
2nd Walker - Helen Basford - 48 Mins, 17 Secs
3rd Walker - Michelle McCombie - 48 Mins, 18 Secs

First Child - Chris Barkley - 29 Mins, 27 Secs

Excellent fun was had by all, dogs in Santa Suits, mince pies and mulled wine, with Christmas Trees as prizes.

Congratulations to Stuart Sutherland on raising £1000 which will be split between CLIC Sargent and the Rotary's nominated charity, PolioPlus, and also on completing his first ever 5K Run in 23 Mins, 53 Secs.

Our thanks to Haddo House and all out Sponsors for making this a successful event that can only grow in years to come.

STV were there with their camera, and an item about the Fun Run appeared on STV North Tonight on Monday 8th. Dec.

Santa Run Start Just after the start
On the run Through the Doolies Nearly home
Up the hill Beating his Dad Knackered

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1 December 2008

Royal National Institution for the Blind - 1 December 2008

President Anne Forster opened the weekly meeting by welcoming members and six guests. Two of the guests were the speakers for the evening.
Martin Belshaw introduced, Liz Redpath and Ruth Morrell, who are both Employment Advisors for the RNIB (Royal National Institution for the Blind) in Aberdeenshire. They told us that there were eight thousand registered blind people in Scotland and six thousand of them were unemployed. They explained to us that to be registered blind includes people who are partially sighted and who may be able to be employed by firms once certain adjustments are made.
Liz and Ruth's support falls into two main categories. Firstly helping the prospective employee identify the barriers to accessing the work places, and secondly to contact employers and raise awareness of sight issues encouraging them to make adjustments, and to suggest or provide resources which will help. This project was initially a 2 year pilot funded by EU (European Union), but is now part of the RNIB's 5 year strategy.
Owen Ball gave the Vote of Thanks congratulating Liz and Ruth their enthusiastic presentation and their obvious willingness to motivate and encourage their clients. He spoke for all the members when he observed that it was good to note that EU funding was going to a good cause!

Rotary "Young Chef of the Year" competition

On Friday 28th November, the local first round of the Rotary Young Chef of the Year competition was held in Meldrum Academy.
The challenge was to provide a 2 course “Healthy Eating” meal.
A worthy winner was Craig Rochester, a 5 th year student at the Academy. The Head Chef at Meldrum Arms, Craig Melvin and Shona Wilson, from Meldrum and Bourtie Parish Church judged the competition. The judges were very impressed by Craig's entry of Halibut, fresh vegetables and chive mash, followed by Apple in puff pastry with a toffee sauce.
Both judges said that it was difficult to differentiate the second and third places, but awarded the second place to Sherene Clark for her creamy chicken with apple and onion on a bed of mash, and a lemon cheesecake with a ginger base. Andrew Smith was awarded the third prize for his savoury mince with cannelloni and kidney beans rolled into pancakes, followed by a fresh fruit crème brulee.
Anne Forster, President of the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum presented the certificates to the entrants and promised support and encouragement to Craig for the next round, due to take place on 1st March 2009 at Dundee Technical College.

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24 November 2008

Business Meeting - 24th November 2008

This evening's meeting was a business meeting so there was no speaker.
President Anne Forster was pleased to announce that Ray Walker had been nominated for Junior Vice President and Ann Stark as Secretary for the next year, and they accepted. Anne was pleased to convey member Lara Anderson's success as part of the Scotland Rotary Curling tem in Canada . Scotland won by 547 to 242, the Bob Mackintosh Transatlantic Rotary Curling Quaich, and the Duddington Trophy 43 to 38. The Club officially approved the Accounts of the Club and its Charitable Trust for the year.
It was agreed that Norman Brammer for Foundation and International, Willie Sinclair for Community, Vocation and Youth, and Treasurer Alistair Flett would produce and distribute a projected income and expenditure for 2008-9.
Norman reporting for Foundation and International was pleased to announce that to date he had received 120 shoeboxes. There will be 4 members participating in the Santa Run, and he urged other members to volunteer as marshals for the event. It was discussed and agreed that in light of recent disasters in the Congo and Pakistan , that the Club would provide the £490 to purchase a Shelter box.
Willie for Community, Youth and Vocational proposed that once again the Club would sponsor 2 RYLA candidates at £420 each. It was also discussed and agreed that £200 would be donated to the Meldrum Academy Caledonian Award and £100 towards the Academy rugby trip.
Ray reminded everyone about the Christmas meal on 15 th December, and that she required menu preferences in advance.

The Santa Sleigh routes for the next two weeks are finalised: Tues. 9th Rothienorman, Wed. 10 th Tarves; Thur. 11th Methlick; Fri. 12th Daviot; Tues. 16th Oldmeldrum 1; Wed. 17th Oldmeldrum 2; Thur. 18th Newmachar.

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17 November 2008

Holiday in Nepal - 17 November 2008

Alistair Flett and Anne ForsterPresident Anne Forster welcomed several guests to the 17th November meeting. one from the Rotary Club of Skipton, 3 members from Inverurie Rotary Club, and a personal guest.
Andrew McCartney reported on how well member Lara Anderson was doing as part of the Rotary Curling team visiting Canada. Denis Emslie urged members to sign up for the final vacant slots manning the car raffle stand in the Bon-Accord centre, and Alistair Flett reminded members that the money should be handed in tonight. Norman Brammer reminded members that the Shoeboxes should be returned by next Monday, and that 15 marshals were needed for the Santa Fun run and urged members to volunteer their services. Martin Belshaw mooted the possibility of adding another time/venue to the Santa Sleigh outings by calling at Oldmeldrum Primary School on 2nd December if it was feasible. Harold Craik from Inverurie Club came to appraise members of the potential to host Canadian visitors who would be over to play golf in Scotland, and who would be in our area 31st May to 2nd June, with a reciprocal visit for hosts to Canada later in 2009.

The speaker for the evening was Alistair Flett, who showed a very interesting presentation on his and Aileen’s trekking holiday to Nepal. Alastair contextualised the talk by providing background information on Nepal. It is a country of 23 million people whose main occupation is subsistence farming, and hence they were dependant on tourism and foreign aid.

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10 November 2008

Age Discrimination in Practice - 10 November 2009

Stableford winner Anne ForsterPresident Anne Forster welcomed members to the meeting and informed members that she had taken part in the charity golf day organised by the Rotary Club of St Andrews Kilrymont played over Kingsbarns golf links on Monday, 3rd November 2008. The money raised, approximately £4,000 will be utilised to promote sport for disabled children. She reported that despite a short delay due to frost, the participating 104 golfers played in glorious sunshine and wind free conditions.
Altogether 28 Rotary Clubs from 7 Districts were represented, with Rotarians travelled from as far as Bridgnorth in the south, Buckie to the north and Kirkcudbright in the west. They competed for the Chesterhills Claret Jug which is a competition played between teams representing North of Scotland, South of Scotland and England on a match play basis. Anne was pleased to report that the North of Scotland team, ably lead by District 1010 Governor Elect Bill McFarlane-Smith (RC of Dundee), and which included her, emerged victorious. Anne also individually won a Stableford competition prize

Andrew McCartney reported that the proposed Rotary Club of Mintlaw hoped to appoint Office-bearers next week. Members were notified that 12 Canadian Rotarians and partners would be visiting the area May- June next year and host Rotarians were required. Treasurer Alastair Flett reminded members that the car money and raffle tickets had to be returned by next Monday. Anne Langford offered a method of ensuring your Christmas baking requirements would be met through distributing Fly-Cup order forms.

The speaker was immediate Past President Robin Falconer on the subject of Age Discrimination. Initially he produced the 29 pages that he had prepared on the legislation and litigation surrounding this topic, but thankfully for the members he gave an abridged but insightful précis of the topic.
He reminded members that age discrimination is now illegal alongside discrimination on gender, race disability sexual orientation etc. Age-discrimination as with any discrimination can be direct or indirect and UK and European legislation should provide protection under the law. However age-discrimination throws up challenges; one of the arguments is to whether we have a State Retirement age or a State Pensionable age, and additionally there are issues surrounding the enforceability of any Company's mandatory retirement policy.
At present test cases on the grounds of age-discrimination are wending their way through the Courts, and Robin concluded by saying that until definitive judgements in these are made, the back-log of cases cannot be successfully resolved.

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3 November 2008

National Piping Centre - 3 November 2008

Senior Vice-President Hilary Gordon welcomed Mary Benton from Meldrum Academy to the meeting on 3rd November.
She announced that the new District Governor was Ian McDonald from the Forres Club. Hilary also informed members that nominations for next years vacant posts of Junior Vice-President and Secretary should be received by 4th November.
Norman Brammer reminded members that shoeboxes have to be returned by 24th November, he would receive and distribute the ‘Adopt-a-mine’ Christmas puddings on 12th December, and that volunteers were required to marshal the Santa fun run on 7th December.
Douglas Cowe presented a cheque for £50 to the Club.
Mary Benton updated members on forthcoming events at the Academy; on Saturday 8th November as part of Remembrance Day commemoration there would be a display of pupils’ work along with a demonstration by the Meldrum and Bourtie Heritage Society in the Library. Also during the assembly on the 12th January there would be a RYLA (Rotary Young Leaders Award) presentation to pupils.

Megan Canning of thr National Piping Centre with V.P. Hilary and Chris. FalconerThe speaker for the evening was Megan Canning from the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, who gave an excellent talk on the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPBS). Originally from America, Megan played the pipes, which she admitted was a rarity where she lived!
Megan was a enthusiastic champion of NYPBS which is a non-marching, non-competing pipe band for 10-25 year olds. Approximately 900 students are taught in a month, either in the Senior Band or the Development Band for beginners/intermediates.
A feature of the NYPBS is that students are involved in the process, they choose what they want to play rather than be given set-pieces. The participants themselves are encouraged to arrange and compose music to perform. Additionally live performing skills and public speaking as well as music workshops are available to prepare participants, as the NYPBS performs in top venues throughout Scotland and the rest of the world.
The remit is to use music as a catalyst for positive change for young people, who then take their skills and experience back into their communities. However, Megan warned that piping would only remain part of Scottish culture if young people took part in and engaged with national traditional music, and that’s what she aims to encourage and foster. Find out more about the National Piping Centre at

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27 October 2008

Business Meeting - 27 October 2008

President Anne Forster welcomed members on Monday 's business meeting, so there was no speaker in attendance.

The Christmas party is to be on Monday 15th December. An informal Burns supper is to be held on the 26th January. Members were asked to keep their diaries clear for the 10th Charter dinner on 4th September 2009.
A District Simplified Grant application for £650 would be made to District on behalf of the Meldrum Eco Group, in return the Club would ask for assistance with the William Forsyth garden. It was agreed that the £600 allocated to the Garden opening day costs would be paid. It was also requested that a long-term plan in respect of the garden’s future financial arrangements and increased community involvement be drawn up and presented to the Club.
The Rotary Primary School Quiz arrangements were discussed; Club final 14th March, Zone final 9th May, District final 6th June is to be held at Meldrum Academy, which clashes with Taste of Grampian. It was agreed to give £100 to Tarves Playgroup for purchase of display screens and cushions. Denis Emslie agreed to be lead person on the Clan car raffle.

The village rotation dates for the Christmas Santa Sleigh were announced. Saturday 29th November at Inverurie Garden Centre. In December; Sunday 7th at Haddo Fun Run & Olmeldrum Square, Tuesday 9th Rothienorman, Wednesday 10th Tarves, Thursday 11th Methlick, Thursday 12th Daviot, Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th Olmeldrum, Thursday 18th Newmachar.

Members were reminded of the forthcoming Santa Fun Run on Sunday 7th December at Haddo, in aid of the Rotary PolioPlus campaign. Lara Anderson is the lead person. Members were informed that details and sponsorship forms were now available on the Club website, at, or participants could sign up on Aberdeen Running shop site at

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20 October 2008

FairTrade in Ellon - 20 October 2008

President Anne Forster welcomed Ellon Rotarians Bill McLeod and Martin Forster to the meeting on 20th October. Anne informed members that the Curling team had won its last match. There is to be a meeting at the Ellon Club about the arrangements for the 2009 Birmingham Conference. Hilary Gordon also mentioned the RIBI Conference was to be held in Edinburgh in April 2009 and urged members to attend if they could. Andrew McCartney thanked those who helped plant 7,400 bulbs on Saturday and invited members to attend the Amenities Group fund-raising dance on the 31 st October. Treasurer Alastair Flett reminded members that the Rotary Car raffle money had to be given in by November 24 th .

The speaker for the evening was Martin Forster, Chair of the Ellon Fairtrade Steering Group.
Martin explained the history and background of Fairtrade from its origins in Fairly-traded coffee in Holland in 1988, through to the establishment of the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation in 1997, and the Fairtrade Certification Mark in 2002.
The Fairtrade ethos is all about local sustainability, better prices and decent working conditions for the producers. Commodity fluctuations can have a catastrophic impact on the livelihoods of third world farmers, and Fairtrade addresses this. Through paying above the market price, producers have more control and can improve their circumstances. Members were aware of the trade in coffee and tea, but heard that the fastest expansion in Fairly-traded products were cotton, flowers and wine. Obviously the public are embracing ethically traded goods, as the amount spent on goods rose from £17 million in 1998 to £493 million in 2007.
Martin then explained how Ellon became a Fair-Trade town in 2006. They had to achieve 5 goals; the local Council had to pass a resolution, local shops/outlets had to stock a range of at least 2 products, Fairtrade products had to be used in local workplaces and organisations, the process had to attract media coverage and popular support, and a Steering Group had to be organised.
In conclusion Martin commented that achieving Fairtrade status had a positive impact on Ellon.

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13 October 2008

Membership Talk, and Gavel Competition - 13 October 2008

At our meeting of the 13th September, Senior Vice President Hilary Gordon welcomed as guests several members from the Aboyne and Upper Deeside Rotary Club; President Mike Powell, Ian Murray, John Taylor, Andrew Brown, Gordon Riddler, John Forbes, Stuart Hall and Peter Sowrey, all who were attending the meeting to compete in the post-meeting Gavel competition heat. She showed members the Quaich that the Club had won jointly with the Inverurie Club, which had just been received. Norman English presented the club with a cheque for £50 from the recent Bytes evening. Willie Sinclair broached the idea of the club hosting the Primary Schools quiz, this is to be discussed at Council. In his capacity as member of the Community Garden committee he also requested that members assist in the planting of bulbs on Saturday morning. Norman Brammer notified members that the shoeboxes would arrive next week.
Oldmeldrum and Aboyne Gavel team membersHilary was wearing several hats as she was not only Chair for the evening, but also the speaker. She gave a brief, but relevant talk on membership. She reminded members that to receive the Presidential Citation the club should increase membership, and that increased expansion was good for the club but that growth should be undertaken gently. She suggested that Club and District leaflets could be utilised to recruit new Rotarians. She reiterated the 20 Points of Rotarian Commitment and emphasised above all the ‘Service above Self'. There is a proposal that the Club plan Roadshows to attract new members.

Following the meeting, the Gavel competition commenced, which was closely fought but friendly. There was intense concentration in the Connect 4 and Dominoes games, and there were several sharp intakes of breath as the Jenga towers listed and titled before finally succumbing to gravity. In the Pictionary rounds, neither team had a Gerald Scarfe or Bill Tidy on hand, thus much hilarity ensued with the teams trying to guess what their team-mate was trying to depict. With each round the competition swung between the Clubs. After the final total of points, adjudicator Denis Elmslie declared the games a dead heat with equal points, so the match went to a play-off. It was elected to play a deciding round of Connect 4 with Hans Andersen and David McClelland of Oldmeldrum emerging the victors.

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6 October 2008

Experiences at RYLA - 6 October 2008

At the meeting of 6th September, President Anne Forster welcomed Ellon Rotarians Roderick Bruce and Bob Black, and guests, Louis Smith and Blair Smith Senior. Hilary Gordon reminded members about the Rotary shoeboxes scheme, and Norman Brammer announced the last call for the Christmas puddings in aid of mine clearance. David McClelland updated members on the Gavel competition; Meldrum have a bye from the most recent scheduled match, but on Monday 14th we host the match against Aboyne, after the meeting.

Blair Smith and Katie Bruce with President AnneDouglas Cowe then introduced our speakers for the evening; Katie Bruce and Blair Smith who were the Meldrum Rotary Young Leadership Awards (RYLA) candidates, and were visiting the club to tell members of their experiences.
The vagaries of the Scottish summer meant that whilst the boys' week was basked in sunshine, the girls' week had terrible wet weather, apart from one day, thus curtailing the activities they could undertake.
The boys therefore got to gorge walk, orienteer and construct and utilise an overnight ‘bivvy' out of polythene sheets, which Blair commented were not big enough to cover all his team. He ended up sleeping under the stars.
That notwithstanding, Katie assured us she still had a frenetic time. On their one fine day, the girls undertook kayaking and canoeing, which was her favourite activity.
Blair and Katie presented a very professional PowerPoint presentation illustrated with photographs of the activities. Just listening to the list made members feel exhausted! Katie was the lead person on the session where they had to mountain bike to a raft-building session, build and race rafts against the clock, and then bike back in the pouring rain. Blair especially enjoyed his climbing, belaying and abseiling (or controlled falling) session, being the only member to reach the top of the highest climb. In the Abernethy Challenge, the participants had to ‘defuse' bombs through solving physical and mentally demanding tasks.
The focus for the RYLA weeks was to encourage attendees to develop leadership and teamwork skills, and to that end they had a range of motivational speakers visit the camps. Both Katie and Blair thoroughly enjoyed their RYLA week, and would thoroughly recommend it.

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29 September 2008

Visit by District Governor David Rankin - 29 September 2008

D.G. David Rankin with Anne Forster, Hilary Gordon and FionaMonday 29th September was a partner's night at Oldmeldrum Rotary. President Anne Forster welcomed Martin Forster and Mick Gordon from Ellon Rotary Club and numerous Rotarians' partners, plus District Governor David Rankin who is in the process of visiting all 86 clubs in his district of 1010 and is currently on visit number 64.
Anne thanked everyone for making the William Forsyth Community garden opening on Saturday a success, and commented that feedback from the guests was that it was a wonderful occasion. Rob Rothnie invited members to a showing of a ‘Fair Trade' film about coffee in Tarves on Thursday. Martin Belshaw on behalf of Denise thanked the Club for the loan of equipment for the recent Bytes fundraising event.

District Governor David then shared his vision and passion for Rotary. He wants to make his district number one in Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI), as well as attract new members to Rotary. Every Rotary year brings new challenges to enable Rotarians to serve their communities and the wider world. Receiving a Presidential Citation is analogous to passing an MOT, and an achievement award tells Rotary International (RI) and RIBI that the Club is in tune with modern Rotary ideals and that their efforts are focussed in the right direction.
District 1010 has an enviable reputation in Rotary; last year it was the number one area for membership growth, 50 Clubs received the Presidential Citation and there was a 24% growth in Foundation giving; however David wants his area to strive even further. There will always crises for Rotarians to respond to; the effects of war, famine and natural disasters, plus the fact that 30,000 children a year die each year through avoidable causes.
He wants to “make dreams real” (this years Rotary theme) for the children of the world. Polio as an endemic disease is very close to eradication and it is hoped that this can be achieved through the Rotary PolioPlus scheme. Additionally David was pleased that 60 of his District 1010 clubs had taken up the ‘Schools 4 all' challenge and accordingly had been allocated a school consisting of 1,200-2,000 severely disabled children who have never previously received any educational provision. He concluded that he is proud of “what we have done, we are doing and what we will do”.

The meeting then descended into hilarity, as those present took part in a session of “Call my Bluff” style entertainment, devised by Ray Walker and compered by Senior Vice President Hilary Gordon. Groups had to decide which were the correct definitions of diverse words, from three equally improbable or incomprehensible explanations. Most teams resorted to guessing which the correct answers were. However participants eventually discovered what a ‘Deipnosophist' and ‘Tchotche' were, and hoped luckily that no-one present suffered from ‘Logorrhea' or practiced ‘Malversation'!

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27 September 2008

"William Forsyth Community Garden" opened Saturday 27 September 2008.

The official opening of the Oldmeldrum Community garden took place on Saturday 27th September under a glorious blue sky. Luckily the promised rain did not materialise, and attendees were able to keep off the chills from the slight breeze through consuming the hot drinks, scones and pancakes which had been generously produced and served by a host of willing volunteers from numerous Meldrum community groups.

Those attending were welcomed at the entrance by Rotarians and their journey was enhanced by piper Peter Maclean who gallantly entertained those assembled until the speeches began.

President Anne Forster commenced proceedings by welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending the event. She then introduced Andrew McCartney, a key player in the creation of the garden, who gave an overview of how the garden was initially conceived as a centenary Rotary project, and subsequently encompassed wider community involvement.

He then introduced Jim McColl of Beechgrove Garden , who after providing biographical details of William Forsyth, for whom the garden was named, proceeded to cut a yellow ribbon and declare the garden well and truly open.

Local Minister Hugh O'Brien then gave a blessing, and Anne rounded off the ceremony by presenting Peter and Jim with bottles of local whisky and thanked all those who helped out with the day and everyone for attending. She reminded everyone that the garden was for the whole community, and they should "use it, look after it and treasure it".

Jim McColl cutting tape

An item about the Garden Opening appeared on that evening's STV "North Tonight" programme. To view a copy of this video clip, click the following link :- Garden Opening Video. Our thanks to STV for making this video clip available to us.

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22 September 2008

Business Meeting - 22 September 2008

President Anne Forster opened the monthly business meeting with a welcome to members, who were reminded of the 5th Monday programme which would be a visit from the District Governor, and an amusing “Call my Bluff” spot for everyone to take part.

Convenors’ reports had already been circulated and future dates were finalised. Lara Anderson gave information on an innovative new fundraiser she is organising at Haddo on 7th December. Watch out for Santas running in the Santa Fun Run. There were thanks for Phil Duncan who had been part of the organising committee for the successful dance at Lochter. Oldmeldrum Rotarians joined up with Rotarians from Ellon, Kintore and Inverurie Clubs to dance to “Skin Deep”, eat a delicious supper and generally have a good time. Finally members were delighted to hear that at least a hundred people would be gathering at 10 o’clock on Saturday to acknowledge the opening of the William Forsyth Community Garden.

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15 September 2008

"Homecoming Scotland 2009" - 15 September 2008

Senior Vice-President Hilary Gordon conducted the meeting of 15th September. The Church Roup takes place on Saturday and members were asked if they could assist with car parking duties. On a balmy warm September evening Martin Belshaw reminded members that Santa Sleigh duties commenced on December 7th. David Mclleland reported on our first Gavel challenge game against St Machar Rotary Club, which unfortunately we lost. Phil Duncan thanked those who helped marshal and participated in Sundays sponsored walk. The Garden official opening on Saturday 27th September was flagged up again.

Hilary and other members who attended gave a report on the District Conference held over the weekend at Aviemore. They all remarked what an excellent Conference it was, the GSE (Group Study Exchange) were mentioned in particular, on how good their presentation had been. President Anne Forster won the ladies scratch golf tournament. Oldmeldrum Rotary Club was presented with a number of awards during the Conference. We received the PR trophy again; the Gavel competition trophy and we shared the Quaich with Inverurie Rotary for our Vocational work. We also received a Presidential Citation and were on the list as one of the clubs that had donated the highest amount per capita to Foundation Charity.

The speaker for the evening was Andrew Hill on ‘Homecoming Scotland 2009’. This was originally instigated by the Scottish Executive to re-launch the brand ‘Scotland’ world-wide utilising the 250th anniversary of the birth of Burns. There were 2 target audiences; Blood (or ancestral) Scots who either were born in Scotland or has ancestral link. The intention was to reach out to the Scottish Diaspora, and also Heart Scots; those who had visited or worked or were educated in Scotland and had developed an affinity with the country.

The organisers were consciously aware of the vast cultural reservoir in the North-East of Scotland The idea was to capitalise on existing networks; whisky, golf, rugby, football, Highland Games, Clan Gatherings, Societies including the Burns Society and NE Clan Associations, University Alumni, the offshore oil industries, and engage with them and from that create a platform and programme of themed events. Andrew gave a detailed presentation of the upcoming flagship signature events; Burns supper, the May Whisky- fest on Speyside, the Offshore Europe event, especially events during the NE Clan fortnight in September, the October Doric festival, reaching a zenith with the St Andrews day celebrations. These included several premieres at Haddo House, including the Scottish premiere of Ae Fond Kiss’ a Burns opera and the world premieres of ‘Macroberts Reply’ and ‘Morboddo the Opera’. He recommended we visit the website- www.homecomingscotland2009 for more details. He advised that if Rotary wanted to get involved with the Homecoming, local sources of funding were available.

Club Members were reminded that it would be Opening of the Community Garden Saturday 27th September at 10 am for 10.30.

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8 September 2008

Andrew Cowie Construction - 8 September 2008

Floral display in churchAnne Forster welcomed Alan Butler a Rotarian visiting from Bude Rotary club to our meeting on the 8th September. Anne reported that Lara Anderson and herself came second in the recent curling competition. Martin Belshaw indicated that Santa Sleigh operations would be weeks commencing 8th and 15th December. Willie Sinclair thanked everyone for their commitment to the garden project and reminded everyone of the opening on the 27th.Norman Brammer updated us on the Schools 4 Africa project; because 55 clubs in the district have committed to the project we have been given the largest school. Anne Stark informed members that there was an upcoming Friendship exchange to New Zealand between 12-27th February 2009.

The speaker for the evening was Andy Cowie, who enlightened us in respect of his business Andrew Cowie Construction company based in Oldmeldrum. His business is predominately focused on concreting enterprises. He has many major clients on his books such as new builds for Tesco and Stagecoach as well as many local businesses. A recent project has been the new green- initiative bus depot in Insch, which operates on a green heating initiative and utilised recycled water. Andy described the complexities of the concrete process which often entailed working a 24 hour system, as once floors were laid they have to be completed before they go off. This is often a thorny logistical problem with completion issues when there are delays in the process, and disruption due to the concrete taking longer than expected to harden and occasionally plant and equipment failure. Andy explained that of the most important factors in the success of his company is his dedicated and loyal workforce.

The photo above is of one of our members, Lara Anderson's, floral display depicting Rotary and its PolioPlus Scheme, which was an entry in the recent Meldrum & Bourtie Church flower display.

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1 September 2008

"Schools 4 all" in Africa - 1 September 2008

Anne Forster and Norman BrammerPresident Anne Forster welcomed Wendy Jessamine, Medrum Academy School Liaison Officer as a guest for the evening. Wendy thanked the club for their assistance with last year’s Caledonian Awards, and invited members to the ‘Weakest Link’ evening on 17th September. Helen Milne reported that the Hut (Zone 98) had made over £600 at their quiz night. Phil Duncan reminded members of the sponsored walk on 14th September and appealed for marshals to assist with the smooth running of the event; promising members that they didn’t have to walk the whole way, just to their designated station! Anne Shirran reported that drop leaflets advertising the Garden opening were printed, and a distribution rota would be organised week commencing 8th September. Norman Brammer reminded everyone about the terrible human cost that the recent floods in India had wrought, and proposed and received approval that a Shelter box and an Aqua box should be purchased in response to the disaster.

Continuing on the humanitarian theme, Norman Brammer was the speaker for the evening, and his topic was Leonard Cheshire Disability scheme in partnership with Rotary; ‘Schools 4 all in Africa’. This builds on the tenets of the Leonard Cheshire Disability campaigns for better treatment for disabled people and Rotary’s concern about ensuring optimal educational provision for all. Essentially it aims to ensure that every disabled child in Africa has the opportunity to attend school, as Rotary considers that through education lives can be transformed and dependency reduced. The premise is not just to provide funding for teachers and convert schools to ensure they are accessible for those with disabilities, but also to attempt to change attitudes towards disabled children. The scheme is already progressing, but it is hoped that with Rotary assistance it will grow faster. The plan to make 20 schools in Africa disability-accessible and assist 1,000 children, at an approximate cost for District 1010, of £20,000.

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25 August 2008

Business Meeting - 25 August 2008

On 25th August, there was a business meeting so therefore no speaker. There were several items brought to the attention of members; on Sat 30th August there will be a pub quiz night in Tarves in aid of The Hut (previously Zone 98), a cause that Oldmeldrum Rotary supports and members were urged to get together a team. Lara Anderson will be submitting a floral art display at the Oldmeldrum / Bourtie flower festival to be held in Meldrum Church over the weekend, and members were urged to attend to view the displays. Martin Belshaw has received communication from the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) in respect of an Aberdeenshire initiative to enable blind and partially-sighted individuals return to work, and they would appreciate Rotary input in respect of mock interviews. This is to be considered by the relevant committee. Anne Stark informed members that Ellon Rotary would be hosting the Peace Scholars on 17th Sept and that Oldmeldrum members were cordially invited to attend.

Presenting a cheque to Dawn Adams of the Newmachar PlaygroupWillie Sinclair for Vocation Community & Youth mentioned that thanks had been received for the cheque for £100 to the Rothienorman pre-school playgroup for upgrading computer provision, and also for the £100 donation towards the upgrading of Udny Tennis club courts. Willie and Douglas Cowe are to attend Newmachar playgroup on Tues 26th to hand over a cheque for equipment. It was approved that requested £20 donation to Meldrum Ammenities Group towards the hanging baskets be forwarded.

Hilary Gordon for Club Service and Membership informed members that as 29th Sept was a fifth Monday there would be a partner’s night with a ‘call my bluff’ quiz. David Mclelland brought the club up to date with the state of play regarding the next seasons Gavel competition. The play-off rounds are due to commence in 3 weeks time and David urged members to get involved. As last years winners Oldmeldrum will host the final and a club budget of £250 is available for incidental costs. President Anne Forster has been in touch with the Dyce Club with a view to forming a joint Curling Team. Anne will also be participating in the Sandwalk on 7th Sept.

Norman Brammer for Foundation & International reported that the Ythan cycle Challenge has been provisionally set for 30th May 2009. Hilary Gordon proposed that the club adopt a donations plan, where funding is allocated on an annual basis, with allowance for later unallocated requests. After discussion it was decided to defer any decision until a later date.

The majority of the meeting was taken up with discussion of the Community Garden opening on 27th Sept. Denis Emslie gave the Club an overview of the background of the garden project and after commenting on how proud the Club should be in how far the garden has come in order that it could be officially opened, he brought us up to speed on the current situation. It is all systems go in respect of planning for the big day. An attendees list is being collated by Christine Falconer, and invitations and a leaflet for a village-drop are being prepared ready for circulation. A board thanking sponsors is being organised. It is anticipated that the stonework, arch and refuse bins will be in situ for the opening day. The minutia of the actual event in respect the agenda was discussed. Ray Walker agreed to head up the catering committee. It was proposed and agreed that a budget of £600 be allocated to the Garden Committee. The next item on the agenda was the name of the garden. It was proposed that it should be called the William Forsyth garden in honour of the famous Meldrum botanist. Anne Forster thanked the Garden Committee for all their hard work, and was convinced that it would be a successful day.

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18 August 2008

Offsetting our Carbon Footprint- Meeting 18 August 2008

Anne Forster and Martin BelshawAt the meeting on 18th August President Anne Forster welcomed Harry Burnet and Jim Smith from the Kintore Rotary Club, and Martin Forster from the Ellon Rotary Club. Jim took the opportunity to let the members know about the forthcoming Dinner in aid of ALEC at Thainstone on 4th October. Phil Duncan reminded members of the Amazon Hope sponsored walk on the 14th Sept and the joint club dinner dance on 20th Sept. Norman Brammer gave the first indication of the passage of time when he commended the 2009 Rotary calendars and the Rotary Christmas puddings in aid of mine clearance to members and said he was prepared to take orders for them.

The speaker for the evening was Martin Belshaw, who gave his much anticipated response to a query raised at a previous meeting: how many trees would be required to offset members’ carbon emissions. His aim was to establish the grammes per kilometre tree equivalence. Martin had undertaken thorough research, but his talk did not comprise dry facts but was peppered with amusing non-sequiteurs such as gas produced by pigs is 17% more potent than carbon dioxide. His formula, which he admitted that he had to make certain assumptions in respect of the amount of carbon captured to wood, the time from seed to timber estimated at 25 years, the acreage and harvest rate, the volume of cars on the road driven averaged at 20,000 miles per year producing an average of 150 grammes per kilometre of carbon dioxide would mean that the off-set value would be 120 trees per car per year.

Being Martin, he didn’t stop there, but raised further relevant factors such as Christmas trees were not the most efficient carbon capturers; it would be better to cover the globe with sugar canes and grasses which have a much better carbon uptake. He went onto paint a picture of a brave new alternative world with the end of the dependence on a fossil-fuel economy, where all-electric cars bypassed the need to carbon off-set, where new engineered technologies such as synthetic leaves which potentially could absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide, and the possibility of re-injecting the carbon back into the ground. Having given the members much food for thought, Martin ended his talk with his usual witticism; given that the government raises its revenue from oil-based product taxation, if the populace switched to electric vehicles they would in all probability be no better off financially as the government would have to tax that propulsion-medium similarly.

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11 August 2008

"Big Country" Talk - Meeting 11 August 2008

Owen Ball and Anne ForsterAt our meeting of August 11th , President Anne Forster welcomed as visitors Ian and Moira Ferguson from the Portobello Rotary Club. Ian is Assistant Governor for the 1020 zone. Norman English, one of our “Friends in Rotary” came along to tell members about his forthcoming Accordion Festival on 19th October. Preparations are underway for the official opening of the Community Garden and Andrew McCartney reminded members of the impending date and entreated as many as possible to turn out to assist with the dispersal of the quarry dust on the paths at the weekend. The PR committee requested members to contact them with names and addresses of individuals to be invited to the opening event.

The speaker for the evening was our member Owen Ball on their visit to the west coast of America, starting from Las Vegas and ending in San Francisco with visits to old Trading Posts, the very first Motel and Brodie, an original gold-rush town. We have come to expect a stunning visual experience from Owen and once again he didn’t disappoint. His photographs depicted just how vast the ‘Big Country’ region is, from the dramatic scale of the Grand Canyon, through to Monument Valley which did look exactly like Wild West film scenery, and to the spectacular Horseshoe Lake and Yosemite Park’s stunning waterfalls. We also had photographic proof that they saw a bear, albeit the rear-end only as it lumbered away from the highway!

On Saturday Anne Forster welcomed members to her home for her Olympic-themed at home barbeque. A lot of effort and preparation had gone into organising the event; unfortunately the weather was unkind forcing everyone indoors. However the rain did not put a dampener on the fun and fellowship enjoyed by everyone there. Despite having to feed and seat everyone inside, the Forster and Gordon team swung into action and members were wined and dined in style. The improving weather later in the afternoon allowed participating members to search for the fairies’ home at the end of the garden and some genteel but competitive croquet. On Monday Anne Langford on behalf of the club, thanked Anne for hosting such an enjoyable event.

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4 August 2008

Rotary's PolioPlus Programme - Meeting 4 August 2008

It was a warm summer evening at the Redgarth last Monday when President Anne Forster welcomed members and visitors to our weekly meeting.

One of our members, Lara Anderson, is the Rotary PolioPlus Coordinator for 1010 District. Lara reminded us of the Rotary promise made in 1985 to eradicate polio from the human race. Many countries since then have been helped to eliminate this killer disease and remain polio free.
In 2008 there are only 4 countries that require further support. These are India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afganistan. Lara voiced the concern that in the UK the sugar lump vaccine has been so effective that many of the younger generation will not remember the callipers or the iron lung, and therefore may not be aware of the need to help the children of these countries to be free from the threat of polio.
On July 1st the formal launch of Rotary’s new PolioPlus fundraising effort began. Rotary has committed to raise a hundred million dollars by 31st December 2010. The Bill and Miranda Gates Foundation Challenge Grant has pledged to match that funding which will make two hundred million dollars available.
The World Health Organisation has appealed that an urgent injection of additional funding is required to reach the eradication goal.

Rotary International is ready for the challenge. All Rotarians in this area will be supporting this project and watch out for many fund raising activities in the next three years. This money will provide direct support to provide oral polio vaccine to children in isolated locations where it is most needed.
Norman Brammer gave the vote of thanks to Lara for her presentation and acknowledged that for all who remember the distress and disability of this disease will want this project to be a success so that by the end of 2010 the world will be cleared of polio.

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28 July 2008

Business Meeting - 28 July 2008

The meeting on the 28 th July was a business meeting, so there was no speaker in attendance. Convenors gave their reports and flagged up points of interest.
Hilary Gordon of Club Service & Membership reminded members that the Annual Dance will be on 20 th September at Lochter.
PR -The Rotary car raffle tickets will be on sale in the Bon Accord Centre between 14 th November and 24 th December. Members were asked which dates they preferred to man the stand.
ALEC - Kintore Rotary plans to hold a fund raising dinner for the ALEC caravan and would like support from other clubs. The annual Sand Walk is the 7 th September.
Norman Brammer for Foundation & International indicated that his committee was exploring the possibility of greater involvement in local charity ‘bike rides'.
Willie Sinclair for Community, Vocation and Youth plan to focus on our charity can collections, a rota has been drafted, and potentially plan to update the current labels. Rothinorman pre-school requested assistance with equipment and it was decided to donate £100. Udny Tennis club require money to upgrade the tennis courts. It was agreed to donate £100 and offer them the use of our fund-raising equipment for events to raise money for the courts.
Willie also reminded members that the date for the opening of the Community Garden was still potentially 27 th September, and that volunteers were required to ensure this was on track.
In AOB President Anne Forster informed members that an Oldmeldrum e-mail account had been set up where items of interest would be e-mailed and recommended members to investigate and hopefully use it.

Experiences of RYLA Camp 2008
Saturday 5th July to Saturday 12 th July

74 girls, 8 counsellors and team leader Hilary Gordon attended camp RYLA at the Abernethy Centre in Nethybridge.

Rotary Youth leadership Awards (RYLA) is a programme for young people which, was officially adopted by Rotary International in 1971: This camp being the 21st for girls in District 1010. The objective of the camp RYLA project can be expressed by the 6Cs - Commitment, communication, character, competition, confidence, courage, all of which are basic requirements for strong, imaginative, involved leadership. The girls had been selected by their local Rotary Club because they had shown leadership qualities. Katie Bruce represented Oldmeldrum and Heather Kennedy represented Inverurie. The RYLA week is designed to develop the leadership qualities by providing an intensive and challenging programme, with all girls taking the lead at some point during the week.

On the assault courseThe girls from across District 1010 met for the first time as a group at 7.30pm on the Saturday evening. This was their introduction to each other, to the 8 counsellors, (Cat Skinner, Maureen Holmes, Alison Nicol, Kim Ross, Lorraine Teviotdale, Katrina Beedie, Katie Arthur and Murdette Price-Davies) (1 counsellor being new to RYLA this year) the Camp leader (Hilary) and to the Abernethy staff.

Each morning for an hour following breakfast we had a speaker who held a prominent position in the community and who had been successful in their own field of expertise. They talked about their experiences with particular reference to leadership. These sessions were stimulating with the girls asking relevant and sometimes probing questions. Our speakers were: District 1010 Governor, David Rankin; Barney Mackie from Positive People; Cath Chorley “Living a Purpose full Life”; Alex Elder “Policing in Paradise”; and Suzanne Foo “Rotaract – an opportunity for 18-30 year olds”; Len Taylor from Aberdeen Football Club “Leading with dignity, courtesy and respect”; Janet Lowe “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” .

At 10am following the speaker, the girls, counsellors and Abernethy staff set off for the various activities, returning around 5.30 with time to get ready for the main meal at 6pm. Activities included: Hill walking; Abernethy Challenge, swimming competition and sports competition; Gorge walk then challenge afternoon; Rock Climbing and Abseiling; mountain biking and orienteering. All instruction for the day time activities was given by fully qualified members of staff of the Abernethy Trust who were motivating, enthusiastic and very supportive to the girls and counsellors.

In the evening the events were: a softball competition, a debate, problem solving activity (design a banner to represent RYLA), a business game by Robin Cuthbert and a quiz.

On Tuesday 10 th July the day is spent within the centre with teams participating in the Abernethy Challenge, an indoor sports competition and scavenger hunt (because of the inclement weather) followed by the swimming competition. We were delighted that DG David Rankin as well as some Rotarians from a few clubs were able to join us for the day.

The final evening started with all groups presenting a 5 minute debrief to the assembly – the good points, as well as advice on possible changes to the programme. The banners were then displayed and described by one member of each group. The prize giving was held: trophies for the team with the most points accumulated from events.

Winner: team 6. Booby prize to: team 8
Winner of banner; team 1

Emma Price with Ian Geekie ShieldThe Ian Geekie Shield, presented by the Banchory Ternan Club for Endeavour, was awarded to Emma Price from the Claverhouse Club who was a member of group 4. Her peers comments nominating Emma: “She was always willing to try anything, and is extremely enthusiastic, motivating everyone. She was ready to ‘take one for the team'. She persevered and was an excellent leader. She never moaned or complained.”

The de-brief was rounded off with a viewing of the DVD which was taken during the week by Abernethy staff. Each group, the counsellors and the staff of Abernethy trust, performed a song representing the week's experience. The songs were brilliant and very funny. We then went outside for a BBQ

Saturday morning arrived and it was time for farewells, swapping of addresses and some tears. Friendships were formed that should last forever.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable, frequently very wet and tiring week. Abernethy Centre is a tremendous setting with excellent facilities and staff. I wish to thank the counsellors, Abernethy staff, in particular Jonny who looked after us really well for the week, and all the speakers for a brilliant week. Thanks too must go to Arthur Taylor, the RYLA co-ordinator for the organisation of the successful camp.

Hilary Gordon

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21 July 2008

Speakers from TESCOs - Meeting 21 July 2008

At the meeting on 21st July President Anne Forster welcomed 4 visiting Rotarians from the Peebles club. Anne was pleased to announce that the £180 raised by her retirement from work event would be utilised for setting up a local Rotakids club. In response to a matter raised on our recent outing to the tree plantation, Martin Belshaw updated us on his quest to discover the quantity of trees required to offset our vehicle carbon emissions.

Pres. Anne, Steve Massie and Sarah RennieThe speakers for the evening were Sarah Rennie, Personnel Manager and Steve Massie, Trading Manager from Tesco's Danestone store. After giving us a brief history of how Jack Cohen started Tesco, they enlightened us in respect of Tesco's current position of 1,380 stores in the UK ranging in size from Metro to Extra stores with a combined total of 25.2 million square footage, and a global presence in Europe, Asia and the United States . Sarah herself was involved in the setting up of the ‘Fresh and Easy' stores in the USA . They were keen to stress Tesco's green credentials. The Tesco express train between the Daventry and Livingstone distribution centres means there are 5 million fewer lorries on the roads each year. The aim in respect of their stores is to produce 50% fewer emissions in 2012 than they did in 2006, reduce packaging by 20% and increase the usage of battery-powered delivery vehicles.

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14 July 2008

Visit to Xmas tree Plantation - Meeting 14 July 2008

Anne & Hans at Xmas tree plantationAt the last meeting Immediate Past President Robin was overjoyed to receive a Rotary Presidential Citation, from Andrew McCartney Assistant Governor of Zone 3. These Citations are presented to clubs which successfully fulfil the Rotarian criteria requirements during the Presidents year, and are highly prized.

After the meal at the Redgarth, members pooled cars and travelled in a convoy to a Christmas tree plantation near Chapel of Garioch. Once there, club member Hans Anderson gave an overview of the cultivation and management of Northern Fir and Nordmann Fir and explained the complex arrangements required to ensure that there was a sufficient supply of trees and foliage for decorations at Christmas.

Several Rotary members were privileged to be invited to attend the Meldrum Academy Award ceremony. Oldmeldrum Rotarians have very strong links with the Academy, sponsoring the Young Musician and Creative Writing competitions. At the ceremony they witnessed the presentation of the “Andrew Sutherland” Salver which has been given to the Academy by the Rotary Club in recognition of Andrew Sutherland's tenure as Head teacher of the Academy. This will be engraved each year with the names of the incoming head boy and head girl.

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7 July 2008

Outing to Hoodles Playbarn - Meeting 7 July 2008

Finger painting at HoodlesLast week's meeting was a partners night. An outing to Hoodles Playbarn and coffee shop at Oldmeldrum was well attended by members, partners and children. They were made most welcome by the staff and shown round the extensive facilities, both for adults and children. As it was out of hours members were permitted to experience the activities on offer. Several members succumbed to temptation and regressed to their childhood and enjoyed the slides and labyrinths of the Playbarn followed by a finger-painting session. The evening was rounded off by a meal at the Redgarth.

Gavel Success

Oldmeldrum and Alloa Gavel teamsWithin the Rotary 1010 district, about 80 Rotary clubs compete in an inter-club indoor games competition called the Gavel. Having reached the semi-final of the competition for the second year running, the Oldmeldrum team travelled to Dunfermline to take on the Alloa team in the final. The previous years winners traditionally host the final, and the Dunfermline Rotarians were excellent hosts. The competition was intense but friendly. Although the games were not Oldmeldrum Rotarians strongest; pool, table-football, dominoes and putting, they won by 21 points to 11. Thus, the Gavel trophy has been awarded to Oldmeldrum for 2007-8, and they will play host to the finals next year.


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