Archive of some Meeting Reports, as sent to the Press in the first half of 2009

Report for 29 June 2009 - Presidential Handover
Report for 15 June 2009 - Technology Challenge and Club Assembly
Report for 8 June 2009 - History of "Indian Peter"
Report for 1 June 2009 - Work of the Orskov Foundation
Report for 25 May 2009 - Business Meeting
Report for 18 May 2009 - Meldrum Academy "Oilsim"Team
Report for 11 May 2009 - Around the World in about 80 Days
Report for 9 May 2009 - Primary School Quiz - Zone Finals
Report for 4 May 2009 - Kayaking the N.E. Scotland Coast
Report for 27 April 2009 - Business Meeting and Club AGM
Report for 20 April 2009 - Rejuvenation Project, St Fergus
Report for 13 April 2009 - Rotary P.R., and Haddo Egg Hunt 2009
Report for 6 April 2009 - Work of an Archaeologist
Report for 23 March 2009 - Talk by Local Restaurateur, and Meldrum pupils successes
Report for 16 March 2009 - Business Meeting
Report for 9 March 2009 - Newfoundland
Report for 2 March 2009 - Changes to Rotary Foundation
Report for 23 February 2009 - Rotary Chef 2009, and Business Meeting
Report for 16 February 2009 - Offshore Russia Oil Exploration
Report for 9 February 2009 - FairTrade trip to Peru
Report for 2 February 2009 - Garden Grows a New Member
Report for 26 January 2009 - Burns' Supper Night
Report for 19 January 2009 - Meldrum Rugby goes to Orkney
Report for 12 January 2009 - Single Report for Home Selling
Report for 5 January 2009 - A Look Forward
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 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.

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29 June 2009

Presidential Handover - Meeting 29 June 2009

Anne Forster handing over to incoming President Hilary Gordon and SVP Phil DuncanOldmeldrum Rotary Club was delighted to welcome members and their partners to their meeting last week to mark the club's Presidential handover.
With little formal business to progress, the greater part of the meeting was given over to hearing the reflections of those who had attended the recent Rotary International Conference in Birmingham.
Outgoing President Anne Forster reported on the sheer scale and impact of the conference, which had seen over 25,000 delegates from 150 countries converge on England,s second city, with some 200 exhibitors taking stands at the conference venue. The conference had an "East meets West" theme, which was appropriate given that outgoing RI President Dong Kurn Lee from South Korea was handing over to a Scottish President – John Kenny of the Grangemouth club.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had been present in order to receive an award in recognition for his support in the fight against polio. Meanwhile, actress Mia Farrow and primatologist Jane Goodall had also spoken.
Elsewhere, Ray Walker reported on the solar cooking initiative, which was designed to help remote developing communities without power and which would help reduce deforestation for firewood. All speakers agreed that the overall effect of the conference had been "inspirational".

President Anne used her valedictory address to thank club members for their support, particularly those who had served as committee conveners and on council. Her time in post had, she said, been a "lot of fun", describing the club organized Santa Fun Run and recent Ythan Cycle Run as being particular highlights.
She then produced the speaking notes she had used when incoming President Hilary Gordon had first been introduced to the club, which had highlighted Hilary's "energy, enthusiasm and ideas", along with the prophetic observation that she would go on to "make a big contribution to the club".
With that, the Presidential chain of office was passed on for the coming year.

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15 June 2009

Technology Challenge and Club Assembly - Meeting 15 June 2009

President Anne Forster welcomed Ewen Hatchwell, Assistant Governor of Zone 4, and visitors from Rayne North school to the meeting.
She welcomed back members Hans Anderson and Suzanna Nielsen from their wedding in Denmark, and the Club endorsed this with their congratulations.

Technology Challenge WinnersThe usual format of the meeting was slightly changed as a report regarding the annual Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum sponsored Schools Technology Challenge which took place on 3rd June was given.
The event was organised by Ian Jackson, Head of Technical Subjects at Meldrum Academy and was judged by Rotarian, Martin Belshaw, Systems Manager, of Capelrig, Process Control, Instrumentation & Electrical Engineers, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen and assisted by President Anne Forster and member Willie Sinclair.
There were 6 schools taking part this year: Meldrum, Rothienorman, Logie Durno, Rayne North, Pitmedden and Old Rayne. The judges considered they had a difficult job in selecting winners, as this was one of the most difficult to judge in recent times; the schools seem to have got the hang of what is required and fielded very competent teams.
The 1st Prize of £125 and a Science Dictionary went to Rayne North, 2nd Prize of £75 and dictionary to Rothienorman and 3rd Prize of £50 and dictionary to Old Rayne. The winning team accompanied by parents and teacher Celia Glasgow therefore kindly attended this meeting to show members their winning rig, and eloquently explained how they achieved it, and the problems they encountered.
Martin Belshaw gave an overview of the competition itself, and the challenges the pupils faced, and commented that one of the aims of the competition was to potentially discover the next generation of Edisons and Brunels! There were six main criteria for marking the construction of the floating oil rig platform, superstructure, one-man vehicle and lifting apparatus which were: technical, cost, inovation, aesthetics, quality and effectiveness of display, performance as a team plus the presentation to the judges following demonstration of the rig meeting technical specification in the test tank and the team being able to "winch" a man (represented by an egg) onto the platform from the sea below. All teams passed this test, and it was therefore a closely fought contest and the judges had a difficult task deciding the winners. The Club members welcomed the chance to see one of the technology challenge constructions and remarked on how impressed with the skills and ingenuity the team had shown, and thanked the team for attending the meeting.

The business meeting then followed. Treasurer Alistair Flett reminded members of the next years subscription rate, Convenors had previously provided their reports and had nothing further to report apart from Norman Brammer for International and Foundation who considered that it should be noted that the Club has donated over £5,000 to charity during the past year. It was agreed that new banners should be ordered as stocks were depleted in anticipation of the Rotary International Convention in Birmingham.

Ewen Hatchwell then convened the Club Assembly.
President for 2009-10, Hilary Gordon, building on this year’s Rotary theme of “the future of Rotary is in your hands” gave her vision for the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum for the coming year. Her main targets were; continue to support the Polio eradication programme, advance the public image of Rotary, increase Oldmeldrum Rotary’s capacity to provide service and emphasise our vocational service commitment, expand the membership, and optimise the leadership talents within the Club.
Phil Duncan the incoming Club Administration and Membership Convenor enumerated his aims: to facilitate efficient yet enjoyable running of the club, retain and recruit members, encourage attendance at both Club and wider Rotary events, arrange social events and foster contact with our Friends of Rotary.
Anne Forster then followed for the new Membership sub-committee, her objectives are to increase the Club membership and maximise retention of existing members and commence the leadership programme and achieve an even closer working relationship between members and Committees.
Hans Anderson incoming Convenor for Vocational Community and Youth aims to improve on our already successful activities, continue to support all areas of the community, retain the level of fundraising and continue working towards the formation of Rotakids.
Suzanna Nielsen incoming Foundation and International Convenor also aims to maintain donation and fundraising levels, foster associations with local charities with an international focus, support District 1010 projects, strengthen international interaction and knowledge within Oldmeldrum Rotary club through supporting our usual projects and through supporting the Rotary Club of Elgin water and literacy project in Nepal.
Christine Falconer incoming Communications and Public Relations Convenor gave her objectives; raise the profile of the club, promote and publicise events, maintain the club diary, increase liaison between the PR and other committees and utilise IT developments to achieve these aims.

Ewen then gave his response. He congratulated the Club on what they were doing and the range of events undertaken and commended the members enthusiasm, and was delighted to say that “the future of Rotary is in your hands”. His advice to the Club was to undertake these goals and objectives and at the same time to enjoy Rotary. Anne Forster then thanked Ewen for his feedback, and then went on to thank the members for their support during her year as President. She concluded that the enthusiasm from the incoming Convenors promised a positive forthcoming year for the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum.

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8 June 2009

History of "Indian Peter" - Meeting 8 June 2009

Anne Forster, Hugh and Valerie O'BrienPresident Anne Forster was able to welcome a number of visitors to last week's meeting of the Oldmeldrum Rotary Club. Most poignantly, the club was delighted to have the Reverend Hugh o'Brien and his wife Valerie in attendance, in order that he could receive the club's 'Community Service Award'.
After spending 8 years in the area, Hugh and Valerie are due to leave shortly to take up a new challenge in Perth. However, before their big move southwards, the club wished to mark the close relationship it has enjoyed with them, and the contribution they have made to the community since arriving in 2001.
Willie Sinclair led the dedication, reminding members of the friendship and fellowship cultivated by Rev o'Brien not just through Rotary and Kirk connections, but also through the Meldrum Musical Society; the young person's Holiday Club; his role as school chaplain; his role in producing 'welcome' packs for those moving into the new houses constructed in Meldrum in recent years; as well as his regular hospital visits to parishioners in need of support

Following the presentation, guest speaker Iain McLeod from the Rotary Club of Portlethan gave a talk on Aberdeenshire legend, 'Indian Peter'.
Born Peter Williamson in Aboyne in 1730, Peter was the son of a ploughman, who sent him to Aberdeen aged 10 to further his education and enhance his chances in life.
Ian McLeod and Anne ForsterAs a thriving sea port, the city was open to a number of malign influences, including the slave trade into which many unfortunate local youngsters found themselves kidnapped and tithed. This unsavoury trade was supported at the highest level in Aberdonian society, with such prominent merchants as Alexander McDonald and Bonnie John Burnet involved. Even Alexander Cushnie, a dean and the city's Procurator Fiscal was implicated in the trade.
After being sold as a slave in Virginia, the young Peter was eventually granted his freedom and attempted to make a life for himself and his new family. However, during the colonial wars, he found himself imprisoned and released several times before making his way back to Britain.
Publishing a memoir which told of his sale into slavery, Peter gathered the funds required to return to Aberdeen. He was quite a spectacle, in his Indian dress and became a huge attraction wherever he went. However, his tales brought a hostile reception from the Aberdeen city fathers embroiled in the slave trade, and he was eventually imprisoned and fined for the 'crimes' of libel and vagrancy.
After his release, Peter headed for Edinburgh, where he established a coffee shop serving the lawyers at the Court of Session. His influence grew and after others spoke out on their experiences of the slave trade, he was able to win damages from the Aberdonian slave dealers. He died in 1799 after an eventful life, which included the establishment of Edinburgh's first penny post service. He was laid to rest in his Indian clothes, in the grounds of Edinburgh's Old Calton Cemetery.

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1 June 2009

Work of the Orskov Foundation - Meeting 1 June 2009

Dr. Bob Orskov, Anne Forster and Grant DavidsonPresident Anne Forster welcomed members to the meeting. She was delighted to have attended the ALEC 10th anniversary celebrations.
David McClelland announced that we would be hosting the final of the Gavel competition between Dyce, Buckie and Carse of Stirling clubs and hopefully it can be arranged before the end of July.
Willie Sinclair informed members that the Taste of Grampian duties rota had been e-mailed to volunteers. The Daviot PTA event has been rescheduled to September, so volunteers will be requested closer to the date.
Phil Duncan requested that despite December being a long way off, members choose a proposed date for the Panto visit.
For International, Norman Brammer reported that District 1010 had not been selected for the pilot ‘future vision’. He then was pleased to report the success of the Ythan Cycle Run the previous Saturday. It was a glorious day (except for the wind), and 56 entrants and children, including 5 family groups took part, and he hopes that once the sponsorship money is received a significant amount of money will have been raised for charity. President Anne then thanked Robin Falconer of Employment Solutions Consultancy for his sponsorship of the event.

The speakers for the evening were Grant Davidson from the Macaulay Institute and Rotarian Bob Orskov, who came to enlighten members about the work of the Orskov Foundation. Their philosophy is ‘poverty alleviation through agricultural education’.
Towards this aim since 2005 they have already sponsored 12 students from developing countries. They are also involved in 19 community projects working in developing countries with local agricultural Universities and NGO’s with livestock projects which are most suitable for that particular area. The projects have no specific geographical focus or restriction, but must be appropriate projects for their locality and usually aimed at the women within the communities.
The formula is a revolving fund which is managed by the community, where recipients repay the investment by donating livestock offspring back to the scheme to be redistributed to further beneficiaries, thus assisting the wider community. Thus members were shown goat projects in Malawi, Indonesia, Nepal, Kenya and Ghana, bees in Uganda, pigs in Cameroon, cattle in Vietnam, chickens in Malawi, ducks in Indonesia whose scheme has so far produced over 8,000 eggs, and farming of giant rats in Democratic Republic of Congo, and farming grasscutters (also giant rat-like creatures) in Ghana.
Bob also enthusiastically informed members of Westhill Rotary Club’s involvement with developing countries projects including a goat project in Indonesia which commenced with 160 and now has over 2,000. Bob commented that “free gifts don’t work, but a gift with commitment works” and urged Oldmeldrum Rotary Club to participate in these projects.

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25 May 2009

Business Meeting - 25 May 2009

Oldmeldrum Rotary Club President Anne Forster presented Robin Falconer with a crystal glass at last week's club meeting, for his part in the success in the Rotary Curling competition earlier in the year. The Oldmeldrum and Dyce Rotary clubs, which compete as a single team, last season took second spot in the top league of Aberdeen and District Rotary Curling Club.
The celebrations continued as Douglas Cowe was congratulated by club members on the birth of his new granddaughter.

As this was a business meeting, there was no guest speaker. Lara Anderson reported on having attended a committee meeting to prepare for the forthcoming RIBI conference in Birmingham. She also informed the meeting of her involvement in the organisational meetings for the upcoming St Machar flower show.
Norman Brammer announced some of the final details for the Ythan Cylcle Run, held to raise funds for the Embangweni Hospital, Malawi, as well as for the CHAS hospice. In his role as convener of the International Committee, he reminded club members of the commitment given at the AGM to increase donations to international charities by 50%.
Meanwhile, on matters more local, it was agreed to donate £50 to help support the golf tournament in aid of funds for the Newmachar Villiage Hall.
For the Club Service and Membership Committee, Phil Duncan discussed arrangements for the club’s ‘Handover Evening’, where the new office holders, including President Elect Hilary Gordon, will assume their responsibilities formally.
Before the newly nominated club committees met together for the first time, Ray Walker led a discussion on participation at the Haddo ‘Homecoming’ Heritage Fair on 15 November. The club agreed that it would organise a display based around William Forsyth and the commemorative Oldmeldrum Community Garden, as well as on the Scottish ancestry of the Rotary founder, Paul Harris.
The meeting finished with the club raffle which was won, perhaps appropriately, by Douglas Cowe, who was given a prize of a bottle of wine with which to wet the new arrival’s head.

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18 May 2009

Meldrum Academy "Oilsim" Team - Meeting 18 May 2009

Meldrum Academy Oilsim TeamPresident Anne Forster welcomed Ellon Rotarian Forbes Hamilton as a guest to the meeting.
Anne mentioned that a group of the members had enjoyed a visit to Inverurie Rotary Club last Tuesday to hand over the jointly-held Quaich.
Norman Brammer reminded members of the imminent cycle run on 30th May and repeated his request for more marshals. More volunteers are required to set up Taste of Grampian on the Friday night, and members were reminded that the tombola prize labelling session organised by Andrew and Margaret McCartney was on Tuesday evening.

The speakers for the evening were the winning Oil Simulation International Competition team from Meldrum Academy; James Sellar, Lorna McMillan, Peter Hollstein and Ellyn Oliver supported by their teacher David Farquhar.
Meldrum Academy fielded five teams in the UK heats of this competition and it says a great deal that out of 29 teams they came 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 10th!
The format of the competition is that they have to simulate the strategic operations of an oil company within a single day. The teams are given $200 million (virtual unfortunately) and a map of the North Sea and they have to decide where they think oil might be located. The teams then bid for the squares they consider most advantageous and then receive 3-d graphics of their sectors, Additionally before operations commenced they had to obtain a 20% stake in another team and persuade other teams to take a 20% stake in your teams undertakings. Subsequently they purchased equipment and commenced drilling in the hope of striking oil or gas. Return on their investment was the crucial factor in winning; they had a 1,500% return, something the real oil companies would envy!
Having won the UK heat the pupils progressed to the International Competition held in London. The format was the same however they were up against the best teams from all the participating countries and although the team were winning for most of the day, they were beaten into a creditable second place by the team from Iceland. The organisers have invited the pupils to become invigilators and facilitators in future competitions. The team considered that entering the competition utilised and enhanced their team working and communication skills.

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11 May 2009

Around the World in about 80 Days - Meeting 11 May 2009

Rob Rothnie and Anne ForsterPresident Anne welcomed as guests Simon Liddiard and Ellon Rotarian Steven Burnett.
Following on from the District 1010 Assembly held in Glenrothes, she informed members that RI President Elect John Kenny’s speech was now available on YouTube.
Three Rotary Clubs are to join the annual car raffle this year; Turriff, Fraserburgh and Central Buchan.
She mentioned that a Heritage Homecoming Fair is to be held at Haddo on 15th November and wondered whether the Club wanted to have a promotional stall.
She congratulated the Club on the success of all their recent events. There was a consensus regarding the success of the Primary School Quiz hosted by the Club the previous Saturday. It was a close fought contest which led to a tie-break to decide the overall heat winners who were Portsoy, and runners-up Gordon, who both progress to the final.
Norman Brammer reminder members of the sponsored cycle run on 30th May and requested more volunteers to marshal the event.
Andrew McCartney reminded members to bring their tombola donations for the Taste of Grampian. Rob Rothnie requested permission to use the Club tabards at the Formartine Fair Trade day.
Following on from the interest shown regarding the Polio eradication programme, Lara Anderson our Polio-Plus Co-ordinator announced that RIBI were organising a trip to India on 8th November to assist with the mass-immunisation programme. There will be approximately 100 places for volunteers and she wondered whether any Club members would like to attend.

The speaker for the evening was member Rob Rothnie who presented his ‘World Tour’, which didn’t originally start out as a world tour! The idea of visiting Brisbane just grew and grew… and more countries were added to the itinerary.
He them proceeded to give the members a whistle stop visual presentation of the places visited, and some of the unusual sights. We saw the contradiction of a ski-slope in Dubai despite it being 40 degrees in the shade, an elephant camp in Changmai where the elephants played football and painted pictures, the serpent whisky on sale in Laos and heard how the New Zealand geysers erupt on time with the addition of soap! We also saw the processes of silk production, marvelled at the Summer Palace in Bangkok, the refinement of Raffles in Singapore and the Surfers Paradise in Australia.

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9 May 2009

Rotary Primary School Quiz - Zone Finals - 9 May 2009

Gordon School PSQ Runners-upA nail-biting occasion took place in Meldrum Academy on Saturday 9th May as the Rotary Primary School Zone finals, hosted by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, took place.

The eight school teams: Alford, Fyvie, Gordon, Kintore, Meldrum, Pitmedden, Portsoy and Strathburn plus a six-person Reserves team, were well matched and it was a close fought and high scoring contest. Each team was sponsored by their local Rotary Club, having won their local heat. The winner and the runners-up of this Zone Final competition progress to the Rotary District 1010 finals on 6th June, also being held at Meldrum Academy.

The teams faced diverse questions rounds ranging across subject areas of music, science, geography and maths, and they vied and jockeyed for position with each round.
At the completion of the final round the highest scoring team were the Reserves with 108; of course the Reserves had 6 people and were under less pressure as they had been aware from the start that they could not win, as only teams wholly representing a single school can progress to the final.

Portsoy Team, PSQ WinnersThus Portsoy and Gordon who were joint second with 106 points were declared winners. Although both teams progress, an arithmetic tie-break question; "If I had one coin of every denomination in UK currency how much would I have in my pocket?", resulted in Portsoy being declared the Zone finalists.

Zone 3 Assistant Governor Andrew McCartney presented certificates to all the participants and praised them all for their achievements, and wished the two teams well in the final. He also thanked Rotarians Hilary and Mick Gordon for organising the questions and conducting the quiz which was obviously enjoyed by the participants and the audience.

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4 May 2009

Kayaking the N.E. Scotland Coast - Meeting 4 May 2009

Donald Thomson and Anne ForsterPresident Anne Forster welcomed members to the meeting on 4th May.
She reminded members of the Central Buchan Charter dinner on 5th June. Unfortunately the Club did not win the Rodney Huggins Environmental award for the William Forsythe Garden. However, he was pleased to announce that member Hilary Gordon will be the District Literary Specialist next year.
Willie Sinclair notified members that we had received an invitation from Udny Tennis Club to the official opening of the refurbished courts at Pitmedden on the 10th May. He reminded everyone of the Primary School Quiz Zone heat at Meldrum Academy on Saturday, asked for volunteer helpers for Thursday at Westbank, and also requested donations for the tombola for Taste of Grampian. He was pleased to announce that we had 2 candidates for RYLA.
The National Trust for Scotland are holding an antiques valuation day at Haddo on Saturday 9th May.
Rob Rothnie reminded members of the Formartine Fair Trade day at Udny Green on 17th May.
Simon Kilkerr has been asked by the Daviot PTA whether the Club would assist with the school social barbeque on 27th June.

The speaker for the evening was Donald Thomson, on kayaking the Aberdeenshire coast.
Donald has been actively involved in kayaking for 40 years, and when he was 18 years old he was the youngest kayaking coach. He belongs to the North East Kayaking Society.
He took us on a pictorial route around the coast from Stonehaven to Boddam, as viewed from a kayak, a view which most of us would not have seen from that perspective. We marvelled at Dunnottar Castle, Slains Castle and Colliston from the sea view, and the rock climbers at Cove. Donald explained that you could get closer than normal to wildlife in a kayak, and proceeded to show us the swirling masses of Guillemots near the nature reserve, and commented that that they were seeing more dolphins than previously.
Despite the Aberdeenshire weather the members get our regularly, although some of the waves looked quite scary! The club members also venture up the Moray coast and go on weekend/overnight trips which entails taking everything you need in your kayak. A great way of transporting your belongings unless you capsize!

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27 April 2009

Business Meeting and Club AGM - Meeting 27 April 2009

President Anne Forster welcomed guest Tom Gunn to our business meeting and AGM.
Anne was pleased to present to member Hans Anderson an engraved Quaich from the Club as a wedding gift for himself and fellow member Suzanne Nielsen. Hans thanked everyone and invited the club members to a celebration in August.
Anne, Hilary Gordon and Andrew McCartney had attended the RIBI conference in Edinburgh, where the marketing levy had been agreed.
Willie Sinclair brought up the issue of Club tabards, and it was agreed that we purchase more.
In the absence of Norman Brammer, Sheena Watson reminded members of the sponsored cycle run on May 30th and asked members to publicise the event as much as possible.
In response to the Ellon Rotary Club’s request for a contribution towards their International Event to be held in Birmingham at the RI Conference, at which attending Oldmeldrum Rotarians will be assisting, it was proposed and agreed that the money should be given provided the Club has sufficient funds at present.
Members were reminded about the Club handover event in the Redgarth on June 29th.
As Rotary Environment day is the same day as Taste of Grampian the Club felt unable to organise a separate event, however Hilary Gordon has aged to produce an environmental quiz which will be available on the day.

As it was the AGM as well as a business meeting, Council Minutes and the Annual Reports had been distributed in advance in order to expedite the meeting as swiftly as possible. Therefore only matters arising were discussed.
The proposed new Club Committee structure was agreed.
At the AGM the Reports were proposed by Douglas Cowe and seconded by Denis Emslie.
Treasurer Alistair Flett was pleased to announce that the Club fees would be going down rather than up for the coming year.
The election of the incoming Council and Convenors was agreed: President-Hilary Gordon, Senior Vice President-Phil Duncan, Junior Vice President- Ray Walker, Treasurer- Alistair Flett, Secretary- Ann Stark. Convenors: Club Service and Membership- Phil Duncan, Community Vocation and Youth- Hans Anderson, Foundation and International- Suzanne Nielsen, PR and Marketing- Christine Falconer.

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20 April 2009

Rejuvenation Project, St Fergus - Meeting 20 April 2009

Gordon Shirran and Anne ForsterPresident Anne Forster welcomed as a guest Wendy Jessamine the Oldmeldrum Academy Liaison Officer.
Anne reminded members that she, Hilary Gordon and Andrew McCartney would be in Edinburgh for the RIBI Conference at the weekend and asked members to vote on the Marketing proposal, and the members agreed.
Andrew McCartney reminded the club that the deadline for Foundation giving was 1st May. He also proposed in respect of the tradition of the new District Governor visiting every club individually which creates a hectic schedule, that we liaise with Inverurie and Kintore Rotary Clubs and have a joint meeting sometime in August.
Lara Anderson reported that the Clan car raffle stand at Haddo took £350, so it was agreed that we would try to get the car organised for Taste of Grampian on 6th June.
Rob Rothnie informed members of the Formantine Fairtrade Fun day at Udny Green on Sunday 17th May, and invited members to attend.

The speaker for the evening was Gordon Shirran on the Rejuvenation project, which aims to keep the aging onshore gas plants at Mossmorran, St Fergus and Braefoot Bay on stream.
He explained that these plants built in 1982/3 were designed to last 25 years, the expected capacity time-span of the gas fields. However, there are still gas reserves available, and following the British- Norwegian treaty in respect of Norwegian gas being piped to Britain, it is expected that these plants life span will be at least 40 years.
One of the issues to address was whether to build new plants or maintain the existing ones. Once the decision was made to keep the old plants online, the issue then became how to deal with aging plants; how to source replacement parts, the necessity to replace electrical equipment, and the logistics of rejuvenating a live plant, which cannot be shut down for the repairs to take place, and thus having the reconstruction work alongside the normal routines. Hence a major 5 year construction programme is underway.

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13 April 2009

Rotary P.R. - Meeting 13 April 2009

Anne Forster and Ray WalkerPresident Anne Forster welcomed to the meeting guests; Alan and Nicole Falconer and also Tom Gunn from the Rotary Club of Buckie.
She announced that District 1010 had embraced Social Networking, and now had a presence on Facebook.
It was mentioned that in response to the Italian earthquake Rotary had sent 200 shelterboxes to the affected areas.
Anne then proceeded to comment that the Haddo Egg hunt had been a fantastic day, both weather-wise and with the amount of people who attended. Willie Sinclair (the lead person for Haddo) echoed her sentiments and thanked all those Rotarians who assisted with the event especially the hard-pressed car marshals! Martin Belshaw commented that there had been a record 7 egg rolling competitions down Deer Hill, which indicated how many people had actively participated in the events.
David McLelland informed members that sadly the Gavel team had lost their quarter-final match against Dyce, but reminded members that as we were last years winning team, we would host the finals.
Norman Brammer reminded members that there were only 6 weeks to the Ythan Cycle Run, and wanted members to encourage as many friends/family to participate. He advised members to go to where they could see details and download registration and sponsorship forms. He was pleased to announce that Robin Falconer had agreed to provide sponsorship.

Anne then introduced fellow member Ray Walker who congratulated the Club on its excellent media coverage, but asked members to consider the PR of Oldmeldrum Rotary Club within the community.
She showed how on her travels around the world Rotary Clubs promoted the Rotary Wheel as well as the name of their Club by advertising their projects. In Sydney, the Bondi Junction Club had sponsored a jet-ski for life saving, the Lisbon North Club had displayed a model of the Belem Tower, in American Samoa the Pago Pago Club had renovated a tennis Club for their community and in the Virgin Islands all the street signs were sponsored by a joint venture of all the Rotary Clubs there.
Ray suggested that members consider ideas to advertise the projects supported by the Oldmeldrum Club and an interesting discussion ensued. Nicola Harvey thanked Ray for a thought provoking presentation and hoped that the ideas expressed would lead to our Club being seen around the town!

Haddo Egg Hunt 2009 - Easter Sunday, 12 May 2009

The Egg Hunt TeamWhat a beautiful day it was on Sunday! Plenty of people from near and far took advantage of the weather to attend the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum annual Easter Egg Hunt in Haddo Country Park.
More than 1500 cars were counted in the car park and the marshals did a sterling job in getting everyone parked up ready to enjoy the day. Club members also donned yellow tabards to man the reception tent to inform people of the varied programme, how to find the eggs, hand out quizzes and take in Easter bonnets for the competition. Most people were astonished that there was no charge for the event. This a service to the Community provided by the Rotarians of Oldmeldrum who are grateful to the sponsors for their support and the donations received from the public on the day to cover the costs.
Thus Oldmeldrum Rotarians would like to thank the following individuals and companies for sponsorship and support given; Lord Aberdeen Haddo Estate, Lawrence of Kemnay, Stewart & Watson, Ionik Consultancy, George Wimpey East Scotland, Employment Solutions Consultancy, JD Penny, Presly Pest Control Ltd, Jaywalker Ltd, Burns Coaches, Oldmeldrum Post Office, R & I Neish Ltd, Desswood Stores Aberdeen, Morrison's Supermarket Inverurie, , M&S Store Inverurie, , Duthies Of Tarves, Mackie's Of Scotland, Michaelmuir Garage, Methlick Costcutter, S French Methlick, Methlick Motors, Meldrum Academy, 1st Daviot and Oldmeldrum Scouts and Methlick Scouts. We should also like to thank the St Andrews Ambulance personnel who attended the event as first aiders.

Face Painting Tent
We increased the number of eggs hidden this year and expect that we will have to provide even more next year if the numbers attending continue to increase! The marquee down at the Pheasantry provided the young people with much entertainment.
There was face painting kindly provided by senior pupils of Oldmeldrum Academy which as always generated long queues, craft tables where they painted eggs, painted pictures and created designs.
The competitions were well supported and the Easter bonnets which were paraded to much admiration, before being judged by Katie Gifford, Kirstie Gifford and Shona Dempster resulted in wins for Jasmine Weston aged 4, Lexie Murrison, aged 5 and Joshua Baughclark, aged 7.
The painted egg competitions winners who ranged from 2-13 years were as follows: Reece Arin, Leigh Irvine, Jack Morrison, Kathryn Mortimer, Ben Bonner, Tia Knowles, Shannon Bonner, Emily Munro, Leon Knowles, Morgan Stewart, Ryan McGillvery, Fraser ?, Amy Parley, Leoni Mortimer, Charlie Wilson, Spencer Manclark, Jodie Leigh, Abigail Duthie, Aundrea Nugent, Emma McConald, Aby Smart, Ella Richardson, Reagan Robson, Josh Lecky, Taylor Robson, Emma Lecky, Katie Howard. Winners of the Easter Quiz were; Alex Pullar, Jennifer Cordiner, and Craig Emmerson.  Winners ranged from local visitors to those from as far away as Manchester . Those not present to collect their prizes will be contacted directly.

At the painted Eggs TableReadt for the start of Egg RollingMany people noted the Shelterbox on display at the reception area. These same shelter boxes were delivered on behalf of Rotary to the earthquake region in Italy to assist those made homeless.
Down near the Pheasantry the Police caravan with their “beer goggles” which, when on people, simulated being drunk and thus unable to walk down a straight white line attracted much humorous attention, but at the same time got the serious message about the affects of alcohol across.
We were pleased to welcome The Friends of Haddo Country Park who “wish to try to help improve the way that it is managed for the benefit of visitors and to provide a voice for people who want to make a positive contribution to the sustainable development of the Country Park ” were also down at the Pheasantry and were pleased to report that over 100 people applied for membership on the day.
Usually around Christmas-time the Easter eggs appear, this year we turned it on its head and Christmas came early, as the car raffle tickets for the CLAN Christmas Raffle were for sale.
The programme of events culminated in the egg-rolling down Deer Hill when a record number of 7 runs were undertaken. The Egg Rolling Event was exceptional this year. Perhaps 150-200 participants and spectators (who end up participating if they have to run out of the way) turned up on the hill, and in the now time honoured tradition made an incredible mess, for the local wildlife to clear up, eat,  afterwards. 6 formal races and a Grand Finale (better know as "free range"), were run; roughly split into under 5yrs, 5-8yrs, 8-13yrs, adolescents, adults and free-range (everybody together), although towards the end, this strict demarcation gets a bit confused.

Rotarians were delighted at the number of people who attended and participated .Willie Sinclair, the organiser, stated how satisfying it was to note that Rotary could provide such a great family event tailored to suit all the community, and we hope to see you all again next year on April 4th 2010!.

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6 April 2009

Work of an Archaeologist - Meeting 6 April 2009

President Anne with Hilary and Charlie MurrayPresident Anne Forster welcomed members to the meeting on 6th April.
She was pleased to inform members that the joint Dyce-Meldrum curling team had finished second in the league. She also requested that Club Convenors provide their reports for the 20 th April. Members then reported on which Clubs had been visited during the previous “Scatter” week. Members visited Banchory and Balgownie Clubs, and several attended the Dyce Partners evening. Andrew McCartney excelled himself by visiting Huntly, Central Buchan and Harpenden Club's as well as the RIBI Assembly in Birmingham.
Willie Sinclair reminded members of the schedule for Haddo and confirmed that we had managed to obtain the attendance of a car and the 2009 Clan raffle tickets to sell.
Christine Falconer requested that members remain after the meeting in order to take photographs of current members to put in the 10 th charter booklet.
Hans Andersen reported that along with David McClelland he had attended the Speed Interview sessions with Meldrum Academy school leavers.
Norman Brammer reminded members that it was only 8 weeks until the Ythan Cycle Run, and tried to persuade members to participate in the cycle ride. There will be a short and a long course, entrants will give half their sponsorship to the designated Rotary Charity for this event - CLAN, and half to the charity of their choice. Members were requested to assist with the promotion of the event.

The speakers for the evening were Hilary and Charlie Murray from Murray Archaeological Services Ltd.
They are commercial archaeologists who are involved in development sites. They are called in when there may be archaeological implications with the commercial development of a site. Charles enumerated the different types of searching they undertake; desktop documentation searches, landscape surveys and heritage impact studies (usually with wind farm developments). They also have a watching brief once development commences. They undertake test trenches on site to evaluate the archaeological content and may then undertake excavations, although it is very rare that developments are cancelled. Their remit is to ensure the evidence is recorded.
Hilary then revealed the realities of archaeological excavations in the North-East of Scotland: mud, ice and more mud! Despite the inhospitable terrain and weather conditions they encounter, Charles and Hilary's passion and enthusiasm for archaeology shone through. Hilary then showed the vast range of projects they had worked on, from mesolitic finds dating to 7,500 BC at Moss-side, the well-preserved finds, due to the high water-table from the Marks and Spencer Elgin site, the revelation of eighteenth century Pavillion buildings at Leith Hall, and charting the changing usage of Brechin Town Hall. She concluded that not all archaology is excavation; they are currently undertaking an investigation of Masons' Marks on the North Water Bridge which involves dangling in a cradle over the side of the bridge.

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23 March 2009

Business Meeting - 23 March 2009

President Anne Forster welcomed members to the business meeting, and asked Convenors to provide their reports for the next meeting. It is hoped that the Clan Car raffle tickets for 2009 will be available for us to sell at Haddo.

Hilary Gordon informed members that Kids Out this year is on 10 th June. For Club Service and Membership committee she reminded members that next week was a scatter week and Rotarians were encouraged to visit other clubs. It was discussed and agreed that club members could borrow the Club projector and gazebo for a donation. David McLelland finalised the arrangements for the gavel match at Dyce on the 24 th March.

Willie Sinclair for Community Vocation and Youth committee proposed ordering double the amount of Dictionaries 4 Life. Club agreed to contribute towards the travel expenses of our Rotary Young chef candidate and proposed that a grant be made available for future years' candidates. Arrangements for this year's Haddo egg hunt are well advanced. Anne Langford reminded members to get decorating their Easter bonnets. Donations of Easter eggs for prizes were requested, Hans Anderson will visit local shops to see if they would donate some. A5 poster leaflets are now available to distribute.

Norman Brammer for Foundation & International Committee commented that the arrangements for the Ythan Cycle ride were progressing and that CHAS would be the Rotary nominated charity. The sub-committee had allocated tasks and a dedicated website was in progress. It was agreed the £500 donation to Schools 4 All would be paid now.

Annette Ramsden for PR Committee informed members that Christine Falconer is finalising the 10 th charter booklet. Annette will promote/ publicise Haddo Egg hunt.

AOB: It was recommended that the remaining £125 of the Car Raffle proceeds be given to St Andrews Ambulance. Denis Emslie requested club assistance with his fund-raising for Muscular Dystrophy in its 50th year, and it was agreed that it would be supported as an Oldmeldrum Rotary charity.

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16 March 2009

Newfoundland - Meeting 16 March 2009

Carol Nicol and Hilary GordonSenior Vice-President Hilary Gordon welcomed members to the meeting. Those present were reminded of the upcoming Haddo Egg Hunt on Sunday 12th April.

The speaker for the evening; member Carol Nicol enthralled the members with the “Newfoundland Experience”. Carol originated from Newfoundland, and wanted to share her heritage with the Club. We learned the history of the flag, the coat of arms and in recognition of the close historic links between the area and Scotland were shown a tartan. We were shown the flora and fauna of the area; Caribou, Moose, Whales, seals, puffins as well as marvelling at the icebergs which are best viewed in august. We viewed the traditional wooden painted houses in St Johns, as well as places of significance.
However, this experience was not just a visual one; Carol provided accompanying traditional food and drink to enhance members’ enjoyment, and she was ably assisted by David McLelland who became the model for the evening, and demonstrated a traditional coat.

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9 March 2009

Talk by Local Restaurateur, and Meldrum pupils successes - Meeting 9 March 2009

Hilary Gordon and speaker Craig WilsonSenior Vice-President welcomed as guests; Lindsay Stenhouse, Alison Christie, Aileen Flett and Oldmeldrum Academy liaison, Kathryn Russell.
Several members reported that they had an enjoyable evening at the inaugural meeting of the new Central Buchan (Mintlaw) Club, and wished the new Club well for the future.
Anne Langford reminded members about the countdown to Haddo Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday and requested that members get their thinking caps on, or rather their Easter bonnet creations underway.
Kathryn Russell requested assistance from members for their speed interview session for their school leavers on 1st April. She was also proud to inform members of the Academy success at the Oil Sim competition. The Oldmeldrum team beat 30 other teams to win the UK competition, additionally the runners-up were another team from the Academy. In the international competition, they came second to Iceland. Members congratulated Kathryn on the pupils achievement.
More success for Meldrum Academy was applauded when Andrew McCartney announced that 5th year pupil, Craig Rochester, our candidate in the Rotary Young Chef of the year competition came a creditable second at the regional heat at Whitley Bay. A letter of congratulations has been sent to Craig relaying our Club’s pride in his achievements.

The speaker for the evening was Craig Wilson from "Eat on the Green" in Udny Green. He started his career as a trainee chef at the Strathburn Hotel and after a spell at Ballathie House, at the age of 24, became Head Chef at Cromlix House.
After involvement with product development with Grampian County Foods and Baxters, Grimsby site, in 2002 he was thrown into the limelight with his involvement as the ‘Kilted Chef’ on GMTV’s "Pot Idol".
He considered that the next stage of his career should be to open his own restaurant, and following this, he opened "Eat on the Green" in 2004. He had since won numerous awards, including a silver eat-Scotland award, and was a Grampian Restaurant of the Year finalist.
In 2008 he pledged to raise £10,000 for Breast Cancer Care and held a food and fun-day, at which numerous Oldmeldrum Rotarians participated, and which eventually raised over £30,000.
Despite the long hours Craig still has a passion for his craft, and considers it vital to nurture new talent, and to that end he has secured the services of Craig Rochester, our Rotary Young Chef a post as Commis Chef when he leaves school this May.

Primary School Quiz

On the sunny Saturday morning of 14th. March, parents, pupils, teachers and supporters turned up at Meldrum Academy for the Rotary Primary School Quiz. The quiz which was set by Mick & Hilary Gordon and was very well received by all participants. The 10 rounds were executed immaculately by question master Hilary and IT specialist and score keeper Mick, ably supported by Meldrum Rotarians marking and organising.

Meldrum School fielded 2 teams and “Mintal Meldrum" Team came first, followed by Meldrum A, with Daviot coming in third place. Those three teams competed throughout the quiz with all of them holding first position at some stage but the sports questions led to Daviot's demotion, securing first place for “Mintal Meldrum". Rothienorman, named “Rothie Tigers” were fourth while their 3 schoolmates helped by a “super sub” reserve from Meldrum who volunteered to make up a team called “Reserves”, gave a great performance especially as the 3 boys from Rothienorman were aged 7, 9 and 11. The scores out of 120 were as follows “Mintal Meldrum” 97, Meldrum A 96, Daviot 95, Rothie Tigers 87 and Reserves 87.

There were movie themes, sports, maths, literature as well as general knowledge, geography and science. It was galling in the history round to note that the Rotarians found these questions easier to answer than the musical round! Grateful thanks were given to Hilary & Mick for all the hard work in setting the quiz, with a special thanks to due to Margaret McCartney who supplied a lovely spread of food with tea and coffee for the workers, the participants and their parents and supporters.

Come along again to support “Mintel Meldrum” in the District Heat where they will be competing with teams from 9 other areas in Grampian. This will also be at Meldrum Academy on Saturday 9 th May.

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2 March 2009

Changes to Rotary Foundation - Meeting 2 March 2009

V.P. Hilary Gordon with speaker Norman BrammerHomecoming might well have been the theme of the meeting on 2nd March 2009.
SVP Hilary began by welcoming a founder-member Marie Holloway on a return visit to the club as it approaches its tenth anniversary year.

It is fitting that in this year of Homecoming, a Scot, John Kenny becomes President Elect of Rotary International. Speaking at the 2009 International Assembly, Kenny said "The future of Rotary will not be shaped at RI headquarters -- it will be shaped in each and every Rotary club, because it is for each of us -- as Rotarians -- to do what is necessary to keep Rotary strong."

In keeping with that view some elements of the decision making process will come closer to home. Foundation & International Convenor Norman Brammer spoke to the members of the organisation's plans to reform the management of Foundation. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. While worldwide eradication of the most stubborn and recurring incidences of polio remains a high priority, and Rotary International will continue to be a first choice partner for many international charities, Clubs will be given greater latitude on the destination of funds raised in their own areas and are being encouraged to focus on providing long term assistance where Disaster occurs in their own district.

Further information on the Foundation may be found at

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23 February 2009

Meldrum Academy Pupil wins through to Regional Final of the Rotary Young Chef of 2009

Craig Rochester a senior pupil at Meldrum Academy won the first round of this competition back in November 2008. His parents, Brian and Elaine Rochester drove him down to Dundee on Sunday to take part in the Rotary 1010 District Final. Two candidates are selected to go through to the next round and Craig came second after a candidate from Glenrothes.
Fifteen candidates were competing in the District finals at the Technical College in Dundee . As well as Craig, Findlay Owen sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ellon also took part. Anne Wyness of the Home Economics department has given Craig her support and also attended the competition in Dundee .
Craig's menu for the “Healthy Eating” competition was :-

Warm goat's cheese and Black Pudding Salad
with Raspberry Redcurrant and Chilli Dressing

Steamed Wild Halibut
Chive Mash
Savoy Cabbage
Saffron mayo and Salsa Verde

Apple Caramel Tower
with Cinnamon and Apple Puree

Rotary Young Chef Craig RochesterCraig and Mrs Wyness are grateful for the support given by Meldrum & Bourtie Parish Church for sponsoring the ingredients. This sponsorship was given for all the contestants in the first round and for the winner's progression through the competition. Rev Hugh O'Brien is delighted that money left to the church for the benefit of the community has been used to encourage youth development.

Craig spoke today saying “he's over the moon and looking forward to the next round in Whitley Bay ”, and was encouraged on the drive down by text messages from all his friends wishing him luck. Mrs Wyness is “delighted for his well deserved success. He is a dedicated pupil with a natural ability and a flair for presentation and flavour. He is always willing to go the extra mile” She added he was the only candidate in the afternoon session to prepare, cook and make his final presentation within the 2 hours.

This is the first year the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum have presented a candidate for this prestigious competition and on hearing of the District result Andrew McCartney sent Craig “warm congratulations on a great achievement and best wishes for the regional final”. Craig is grateful to the Rotary as taking part in this competition has helped him to gain confidence, not only in his cooking, but the competition requires him to write a menu, give details of the preparation and cooking process and provide a detailed cost breakdown of the ingredients.

Business Meeting - 23 February 2009

President Anne Forster welcomed members to the meeting on 23 rd February. As it was a business meeting there was no speaker. Douglas Cowe took the opportunity to distribute the new club business cards. Members remarked on how professional they were. David McLellan updated the club on the Gavel competition; the next match is away to Dyce provisionally on Tuesday 24 th March. Alastair Flett gave his treasurer's report; in response to a query he confirmed that the 10th Charter war chest should reach the targeted £1,000.

Phil Duncan for Club Service reminded everyone that the next 5th Monday (30 th March) would be a scatter night. Members were encouraged to utilise the opportunity to visit other Clubs and perhaps parties of members could visit together. However he advised that if we were planning on going en masse it would be politic to notify the clubs in advance. Although it is only February the 2010 Christmas Panto visit is up for discussion. Phil would like to be advised the date that would suit most members.

Ellon Rotary Club have invited us to their Dinner dance on 2nd October. In clarification of the minutes; members were asked that each committee should endeavour to bring a guest to a meeting, who might then become a potential member. During the 10 years of the Club's existence a mass of paper information/records has been accumulated and during the preparation of the Charter booklet it would appear that it might be unnecessary to retain some of it indefinitely. It was agreed that Secretary Sheena Watson should weed out any superfluous secretarial information and that a committee comprising previous Secretaries be formed to decide what should be retained for posterity and archived.

Norman Brammer for Foundation and International announced that due to projected achievement of fund-raising targets, it would not be necessary to hold a race-night this year. Progress is being made in respect of the Evelyn Cook cycle ride and some sponsorship has been committed, and Norman will liaise with Hans Andersen and Nicola Harvey to ensure that there is no duplication with Haddo sponsors. In respect of "Schools4All", which is a District 1010 and RIBI project, a partnership with a local school is required before funds can be sent and we have been allocated ‘Bodaka' in Uganda. The Santa Fun Run raised £5,760 overall for charity, of which half is assigned to the Club. It was discussed that the club would pay its Foundation commitment of £57 per member in £ sterling rather than $.

Annette Ramsden for PR, requested that all committees check our website content and report to Maurice Clarke what should be removed or added in order to ensure its content is current. It was proposed and agreed that the Chair or a committee representative provide an article for Squeeky Wheel for every other edition. A board had been circulating for members to vote on potential article topics with the incentive of a prize. The most popular was a series of interviews with members, which was won by Sheena .

AOB; Owen Ball requested permission to borrow the Race Night equipment to raise money for Methlick Hall funds and assistance from members to run it on the 25th April. The RIBI Environment day is the same day as Taste of Grampian, so we are unable to organise an event, however it was proposed that Hilary Gordon be asked to prepare an environmental quiz to be available at Thainstone. Anne Forster asked for nominations as to which charities we would like to donate the £825 we received from the car raffle to. It was agreed that £200 go to ALEC, £500 to "Schools4All", and further suggestions for local causes were invited for the remaining £125; however they must be registered charities.

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16 February 2009

Offshore Russia Oil Exploration - Meeting 16 February 2009

Anne Forster and Brian RochesterPresident Anne Forster welcomed members to the meeting.
She announced that the club business cards had arrived.
4 suggestions had been received in response to the competition for suggestions in respect of Squeeky Wheel contributions, and members were reminded that the deadline was the end of the week.

The speaker for the evening was Brian Rochester from Sakhalin Energy. He has had a long and varied career in the oil industry. He came to acquaint members of the Shell project on Sakhalin Island, where he is currently part of the continuous start-up team.
This is a strategic site, being close to China, Korea and Japan as well as having the potential to service USA’s fuel requirements. The Sakhalin Island project was a difficult undertaking; there were mountains, 16,000 lakes and a vast temperature differential of -6 to -24C in the winter and -10 to + 19 in the summer, and the pipelines/infrastructures had to cope with these. Additionally the area had zero pollution and was the habitat of numerous endangered species. Indeed they were unable to install an underwater pipeline because it would have disturbed the migrating patterns of the gray whale.
In terms of production, the site can produce 25 million cu.ft. a day, and has the equivalent of 5 years worth of gas exports to Europe. The Lumskoye A field has reserves for 20 years.
For his next project, he will be working on the Kashkan project in the Caspian Sea area.

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9 February 2009

FairTrade trip to Peru - Meeting 9 February 2009

Hilary Ruth and AnneVice President Hilary welcomed members to tonight's meeting. It was chilly outside but a warm evening of fellowship and a delicious meal made it a fine meeting.

Our speaker for the evening, Ruth Richardson, also gave us the warmth of her presentation on her trip to Peru showing us pictures and handing round various crafts made by the people there. Ruth's trip had been organised to allow people from this country to see the results of Fairtrade and how the products were made and packed for delivery, especially the coffee. The happiness and welcome from the Peruvian people was obvious in their dancing, their festivals, their sharing of food and Ruth's description of her drive from sea level to Lake Titicaca twelve thousand feet higher was a salutary lesson to all of us how important it is to support the practice of fairly traded goods. Ray Walker gave the vote of thanks to Ruth for her interesting and thoughtful presentation.

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2 February 2009

The Garden Grows a New Member - Meeting 2 February 2009

Anne Forster and Richard ThomsonPresident Anne Forster opened the monthly Business meeting and had great pleasure in welcoming Richard Thomson who was about to become the newest member of our Club.

Hilary Gordon formally introduced Richard who had actually been our speaker in December. Richard is a Parliamentary Researcher for Alec Salmond and is also studying for a Masters Degree. Carol Nicol our last new member read Richard the four objects of Rotary and then Anne presented him with his badge and encouraged all members to extend to him the hand of friendship. Richard expressed his delight at joining Rotary and commented that the Oldmeldrum Club had come to his attention when, on behalf of Alec Salmond, he attended the William Forsyth Community Garden opening on September 27 th 2008. He said he was impressed by the welcome, the project and the Rotary ideals. He had been given a Rotary leaflet at the garden and had agreed to come along and speak to the Club. Since then he has been a regular visitor enjoying the fellowship and discussions and this had encouraged him to join.

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26 January 2009

Burns' Supper Night - Meeting 26 January 2009

President Anne Forster welcomed three visitors: Norma Watson, Richard Thomson and Bob Greenfield (aka. Santa Bob) to our meeting on 26th January.
Anne informed members that an invitation had been received from Inverurie Rotary Club to a quiz night on 27th February in aid of Rotary charities. It then gave Anne great pleasure to award Bob Greenfield an Oldmeldrum Rotary Service Recognition Award and thank him for the sterling service he has given to our Santa Sleigh collections. Anne also invited Bob and his wife Sylvia to accept the Oldmeldrum Rotary tickets to the official garden party in Holyrood, and he accepted.

In honour of the Burns anniversary, the meeting format was a Burns' Supper, and in honour of the Bard it aptly took a literate form. Christine Falconer gave the Selkirk Grace. Robin Falconer suitably attired in his kilt addressed the haggis, before the members enjoyed the traditional Scottish fayre. President Anne kindly provided wine to accompany the meal. Next on the menu was a husband and wife double act: with Jim Walker gallantly toasting the lassies, and Ray Walker replying for the lassies with verses which characterised the male Oldmeldrum Rotarians. This was followed by Phil Duncan’s rendition of Holy Willie's prayer. Members were then entertained by visitor Richard Thomson’s playing a medley of Burns music on his fiddle. Sandy Fowler rounded off the evening’s entertainment by giving the vote of thanks in verse also.

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19 January 2009

Meldrum Rugby goes to Orkney - Meeting 19 January 2009

Speakers from Meldrum Academy Rugby teamPresident Anne Forster welcomed Wendy Jessiman, the Oldmeldrum Academy Liaison Officer, to the January 19th meeting.
Members have been invited to Westhill Rotary Club’s 30th Charter Dinner on April 18th.
The car raffle survey has been completed.
Martin Belshaw is to review our Santa Sleigh operations and invited comments.
Maurice Clarke appealed for contributions for insertion in the Squeeky Wheel.
All Zone 3 Clubs have been asked to help sponsor the Aberdeen area National Association Flower Arrangers Society 50th Anniversary Flower Festival to be held in St Machar Cathedral on 25-27th April, which will raise money for cancer charities. All Zone 3 Clubs have been asked to contribute £100, and it was agreed that Oldmeldrum would do so.

The speakers for the evening were Ed Walton, the Head Coach from Oldmeldrum Academy, and pupils William Royce and George Bruce, Captain and Vice-Captain of the Junior rugby team who gave a presentation on their recent trip to Orkney.
Ed was pleased to share with members what a big impact rugby had made on the pupils over the past few years. The Academy has at present 3 teams; Senior, Junior and a women’s team, and the teams have just won the Tri-Schools cup. They came to tell members about the Junior teams recent visit to the Orkney Islands which received sponsorship from Oldmeldrum Rotary. George and William were full of enthusiasm for the experience, and excellent advocates for their Rugby team and the Academy’s sports programmes. They explained that they had been provided with excellent hospitality with pupils and teachers from Kirkwall Grammar school for the visit, and had thoroughly enjoyed the rugby played. They considered that the whole trip had brought the team closer together as an entity.

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12 January 2009

The new Single Report for Home Selling - Meeting 12 January 2009

Anne Forster and Nicola HarveyPresident Anne Forster welcomed Richard Thomson as a guest to the January 12th meeting.
Lara Anderson brought some Science Dictionary's she had acquired and there was a useful discussion as to how they should be used / distributed.
Packs of golf ball's were on sale, which were provided by Honorary member John Paton MBE, in aid of charity.
Alistair Flett will represent the club at the forthcoming review meeting for all clubs who participated in the very successful Bon Accord Car raffle.
Some members discussed whether there should be a "good news " story or slot at each club meeting, potentially led by the Sergeant at Arms on the night.

The speaker for the evening was member Nicola Harvey. Her talk was about the new laws requiring sellers to provide home reports to buyers before selling as from 1st December 2008, and for landlords to provide energy performance certificates to tenants as from 4th January 2009. She discussed how these new changes in the law were expected to effect house purchase and sale and rentals. Additionally she explained how these also are part of the government trying to meet our obligations in relation to reducing the carbon footprint of our existing buildings.

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5 January 2009

A Look Forward - Meeting 5 January 2009

On Monday 5th January, President Anne Forster welcomed members to the first meeting in 2009. She welcomed guests Ruth Nisbet and Richard Thomson. She thanked Senior Vice-President Hilary Gordon for organising a walk on 2nd January and hosting participating members afterwards.
On Sunday 5th January members and their families had enjoyed a trip to the pantomime in Aberdeen.
Anne was delighted to report that honorary member John Paton had been awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours list.
She then thanked members who assisted with the selling of the car raffle tickets, and reported that £34,000 had been raised for Clan, and that £15,000 would be divided amongst the Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire Rotary clubs who had participated, to be donated to Charities of their choice.
Willie Sinclair thanked members for giving up their time before Christmas dressing up as Elves, and driving, and especially Santa Bob, for touring the surrounding villages with the Santa Sleigh collecting money for charity. He was pleased to report that we raised £2,946.93. Marin Belshaw added that Santa Bob had attended additional venues and held a collection and raised £107 to add to the amount raised, thus bringing the total to over £3,000.

Speakers for the evening were members Denis Emslie and Douglas Cowe.
Denis firstly thanked members for his surprise presentation of a Paul Harris award at the Christmas party. He then updated members on the plans to celebrate in 2009 the 10th anniversary of the Club being awarded its Rotary Charter. A formal dinner will be held on 4th September at Lochter, and the programme was discussed. On the same evening, Margaret McCartney will host an evening for partners at the Redgarth Hotel. On 31st May there will be a family picnic event.
Douglas then reminded members that January was Rotary Awareness month, and requested members to think about ideas and ways of increasing our membership. He reiterated that we should get across to potential members the notion that we are a young vibrant Club, who has fun and fellowship together.

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