Archive of some Meeting Reports, as sent to the Press in the first half of 2011
Report for 14 June 2011 - Rotary Technology Challenge
Report for 30 May 2011 - ‘Rockets Galore’ for Rotary
Report for 28 May 2011 - Rotary Cycle Run Success
Report for 18 May 2011 - Meldrum Rotary Gets Gardening
Report for 2 May 2011 - ‘First Steps’ For Nepal charity
Report for 11 April 2011 - Prince's Trust
Report for 4 April 2011 - A Year in China
Report for 9 March 2011 - Methlick Scouts and Beaton Hall Benefit From Rotary Events
Report for 23 February 2011 - Oldmeldrum Turns Purple as Local Businesses Give 'Thanks For Life'
Report for 14 February 2011 - Running the Crown and Anchor
Report for 9 February 2011 - Methlick Race Night
Report for 24 January 2011 - Burns' Supper
Report for 10 January 2011 - 'A Moo'fu o' a Sermon'
Click on the relevant link above to go directly to the report for that date.
For the Reports Archive for 2013 click here.
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For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2011 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2010 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the first half of 2010 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2009 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the first half of 2009 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the second half of 2008 click here.
For the Reports Archive for the first half of 2008 click here.
For the Reports Archive from 2007 click here.
Rotary Technology Challenge - Tuesday 14 June 2011
The first of the new format of the Rotary technology challenge took place on Tuesday afternoon the 14th June 2011.
It was part of the transition 3 days organised by Meldrum Academy to familiarise the incoming P7 pupils with the Academy layout and syllabus. There were 169 pupils and they were allocated into 9 classes. Each class was looked after by a 5th year mentor. Each class was divided into teams of four and they were briefed on what they had to do which was to make a package capable of holding an egg which dropped from a height of a metre would keep the egg intact. Each pupil was given a paper of instructions. The Rotary emblem was on the sheet. They were at tables and various materials were on hand for them to choose from toilet roll insides, plastic bags, cardboard, crepe paper, kitchen towels, sellotape and of course eggs. They were given hard boiled eggs to practice the fall technique. They took about an hour and all pupils were focussed on their task. Each group effort was judged by their mentor and the winning 9 packages were brought to be judged by Martin Belshaw and Rob Rothnie.
All 9 packages were tested by the drop test using, this time, a raw egg, and all passed. However the winning entry had been decorated and well presented as well as fulfilling the drop test. It was good to see the winning team were from different schools and that one of them was a wheelchair user. Ray Walker presented the winning team with Science Dictionaries. All the participants were given a certificate stating that they had taken part in the competition sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum. Thanks are due to the staff of Meldrum Academy especially the Art Design and Technology staff who were keenly encouraging the pupils to experiment. It would seem that this could become the new annual technology challenge.
After the presentation Depute Head Dave Martindale explained that as a treat they were to go outside and watch a rocket display. For 30 minutes the pupils were mesmerised by Martin’s rocket display using plastic bottles and air pressure. The first rocket which shot into the air had the audience enraptured. Martin talked throughout explaining what he was doing and giving pressure statistics which the pupils seemed to understand! Five rockets in 30 minutes and 169 pupils keenly engaged with the demonstration. Asked if they had enjoyed the experience - "awesome" was the word most used.
‘Rockets Galore’ for Rotary - Meeting 30 May 2011
The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum enjoyed its very own version of the space programme last week near Udny, as members and a large number of guests gathered to fire off some experimental rockets.
The evening saw a number of the missiles launched, despite the wet weather. Luckily, although the rain was persistent, it had no effect on the performance of the rockets, with only a very light breeze ensuring that it was safe to go ahead with the event.
The rockets - actually modified plastic drinks bottles - are the creation of engineer and Oldmeldrum Rotarian Martin Belshaw. The rockets can be made using one or even several bottles linked together. What they all have in common is that when filled approximately a quarter full of water then inflated with air using a stirrup pump to pressures of around 90 pounds per square inch, the pressure becomes such that the air inside the bottle expels the water with enough force to launch the rockets several hundred feet up into the air. The rockets, which run out of thrust after a few seconds, return to earth under the force of gravity, hitting the ground at around 150 miles per hour.
Addressing the Rotarians before the launch of the evening’s first rocket, Martin explained some of the basic scientific principals behind the rockets, before remarking that “you can either work out what the rocket will do using some complicated maths, or you can experiment. You end up with the same result either way - it’s just that one’s a lot more fun than the other!” Martin also discussed how the rockets were made. “It’s possible to make a good rocket out of just a small plastic drinks bottle”, he said. “However, by screwing the bottles together, using a valve like a garden hose attachment to allow the air and water through, it’s possible to make a much larger rocket, which under most circumstances will be able to travel further.”
In all, around half a dozen rockets - each larger than the one before it - were fired skywards before the poor weather and technical difficulties brought proceedings to a halt. Afterwards, both Rotarians and guests retired to the Aberdeen Arms in Tarves to dry out and enjoy the customary meal.
Rotary Cycle Run Success - Saturday 28 May 2011
Around fifty cyclists from all over the North East turned out last Saturday to participate in the Ythan Cycle Run, held in aid of local charities.
The event, organised by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, saw cyclists muster at the Royal British Legion Hall in Fyvie for a 1pm start. Operating a different route from previous years, the event still offered the traditional challenge circuit of 26 miles, as well as a route more suitable for families of just over 8 miles.
Although windy in parts, the weather conditions on the day were excellent, with cyclists enjoying dry roads and bright sunshine. Proceeds from the day will go to benefit the CHAS and ‘Befriend a Child’ charities.
Meldrum Rotary Gets Gardening - Wednesday 18 May 2011
Meldrum Rotarians got their gardening gloves on last week, as they set about sprucing up the town’s William Forsyth Community Garden.
The garden, which was opened in September 2008 by Jim McColl, has become a popular spot in the town. It is maintained throughout the year by a team of Rotarians and volunteers.
Meldrum Rotarian Christine Falconer said: “We spent about an hour working on the garden this evening. Our herbaceous planting has worked out nicely, so there aren’t too many weeds to cope with at the moment.”
The garden takes its name from Oldmeldrum botanist William Forsyth, who became Chief Superintendent of George III’s palace gardens and helped establish the Royal Horticultural Society. Anyone interested in helping out in the garden should contact Christine on 01651 842494.
‘First Steps’ For Nepal charity - Meeting 2 May 2011
A project to improve pre-school attainment in Nepal, supported by a local Rotary club, has just completed its first year of operations, and the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum were given an update reoprt on the Project by Rotary co-ordinator Hilary Gordon.
‘First Steps Himalaya’ seeks to provide basic pre-school education for children in rural Nepal as a means of dramatically improving their life chances. Oldmeldrum and other Rotary Clubs in the North of Scotland have raised several thousand pounds to support the charity, and have been instrumental in securing additional funding from Rotary International’s ‘Foundation’ fund.
Young children in rural Nepal are often disadvantaged by poor nutrition, immature motherhood and lack of knowledge about child-raising. According to UNICEF, 50% of children under 5 are chronically undernourished and 1 in 15 children do not live to their first birthday. Only 13% of women are attended by a skilled birth attendant and one woman dies in child birth every two hours.
As a result of poor early childhood development, the majority of children enter school without adequate preparation. The consequence is poor ability in class, failed exams and school dropouts, perpetuating a cycle of poverty. Some 24% of children do not complete primary school and only 29% of children attend secondary school.
Project organisers have recently opened five satellite centres, which are helping to bring benefits to a wider range of Nepalese. A new health awareness programme will shortly be implemented, which seeks to educate children and their parents about the importance of good personal hygiene and a healthy diet.
“We are delighted with the progress of the project”, said Oldmeldrum Rotary co-ordinator Hilary Gordon. “There is a big difference in the behaviour of the children at all the satellite centres, who take geat delight in the resources and activities". “The satellite centres offer safe, bright, clean learning environments with good early childhood teachers. There’s no doubt that the new services offered under the satellite projects have made a positive impact on the communities concerned.”
Further project information is available at www.firststepshimalaya.org. Donations can be made by contacting Hilary Gordon on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prince's Trust - Meeting 11 April 2011
The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed Keith Hewitt, Regional Manager for the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust, as guest speaker at the club’s most recent meeting.
The trust, which was launched in 1989 by Prince Charles, provides finance and professional support to young people in Scotland to help them set up and run their own businesses. Keith, who covers an area from Laurencekirk in the south to Forres in the west, explained that a major part of his role was to help young entrepreneurs bring their business ideas to fruition. “We offer market test grants of Ł250 to help young people find out if their business is likely to succeed”, he said. “After that, we work with them to create business plans.”
To access further finance, applicants have to appear in front of a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel of local business people. Keith noted that while most applicants found this ‘nerve-wracking’, the young people who got to that stage were generally very well-prepared, with most emerging from the panel successfully. Quite aside from the practice the panel interview gave in delivering a business ‘pitch’ to strangers, Keith remarked on the extraordinary sense of responsibility shown by nearly all of the young people the Trust had helped. “In 95% of cases, we get the money we lend back again”, he said. However, for nearly all of the applicants, the access to a network of business support, advice and training was “as much if not more important than the financial support on offer.”
The best part of his role, Keith said, was seeing the many success stories that emerged. “It’s really uplifting to see someone who thought no-one believed in them going on to make it”, he said. “Seeing young people achieve their ambitions, along with the boost they get when they realise ‘I’m actually doing this!’, is probably the most gratifying part of my job.”
A Year in China - Meeting 4 April 2011
Oldmeldrum Rotary Club welcomed local student Sophie Rodgers as guest speaker to its most recent meeting. Sophie, originally from Methlick, is a student at Aberdeen University, where she studies primary school education and Chinese.
Sophie spoke to the club on her involvement with 'Project Trust' - an educational charity established in 1967 by Nicholas McLean-Bristol. Based on the Hebridean island of Coll, the charity offers gap-year placements overseas for volunteers. The charity is active in nearly 25 countries in Africa, Asia and South America, sending approximately 250 volunteers overseas each year.
Through her involvement with the charity, Sophie travelled to China and helped to teach English at the Dingxi Number 1 Middle School. As the premier school in the district, Sophie found herself teaching bright children from relatively affluent families. Speaking of the experience, she described how strange it had been at first to be teaching pupils who were aged 18 or 19, when she herself was still 17.
Sophie noted the high pressure on Chinese children to succeed, where they spent long hours studying a largely standardised curriculum, in classes of sometimes 60 – 80 students and with few resources at their disposal. In particular, the Gao Kao, the final exam at the end of a student's school career which decides whether or not they can progress to university, was a source of particular angst for pupils and parents alike.
During her stay in China, Sophie enjoyed time off, both in the summer and for the Chinese New Year. At those times, she described how she had taken the opportunity to travel, visiting iconic sites such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Maji Shan temple and the Gobi Desert.
Sophie spoke of some of the cultural differences she encountered, particularly when it came to communication. “It was awful at first”, she told the club, “because I didn't really know anything. However, the only option is to learn the language, so that's what I had to do.”
She noted that the Chinese dialect varied greatly across the country, while the official standardised version of Chinese was mostly spoken in and around Beijing. As for herself, Sophie related that she now spoke with what she described as a 'poor person's accent', as a result of where she had been based.
Traces of Communism were still evident in the country, she said, with strong media censorship and little access to overseas news from organisations such as the BBC, meaning that many otherwise well-educated Chinese people were in the dark about certain episodes in their country's past. It was also often hard to reconcile the Communist nature of the country with people's obsession with money and their desire to trade with one another for profit, she said.
Sophie drew her remarks to a close with the observation that one of the things which had most struck her about her time in China was the respect which people had for the importance of family and tradition – far in excess of anything she had ever experienced at home in Scotland. In all, the experience had represented, she said, the best year of her life.
Tarves Pupils Triumph in Local Schools Quiz - 10 March 2011
A team of pupils from Tarves Primary School emerged triumphant last Thursday (10 March) in the local qualifying round of the Rotary District 1010 Primary Schools Quiz.
Organised by Oldmeldrum Rotary Club, the contest involved a number of local primary schools compete for the chance to progress to the next round, which sees schools from across the district - from Fife to Skye and all points north - competing for the chance to win the contest.
It was a close run thing, with a tie-break question needed to separate Tarves from eventual runners-up, Meldrum 'A'. However, Tarves pupils were first with the answer to the tie break question, which was:- "If you had just one of each current coin of the realm in your hand, how much money would you have"?*
Meldrum Academy hosted the evening under the watchfull eyes of quizmasters Mick and Hilary Gordon from Methlick, which gave pupils the chance to demonstrate their prowess in subjects as diverse as geography, the natural world, pop music and general knowledge. A team of local Rotarians was kept busy with scoring and serving refreshments afterwards to everyone who was there.
Speaking afterwards, Club President Phil Duncan said:-
"We'd like to offer our congratulations to Tarves, and comiserate with the Meldrum 'A' team, who were right up there at the end. Some of the questions were really quite tough - even for the adults present! However, the standard was very high indeed, and all of the teams taking part were a credit to their schools".
"The Primary Schools Quiz is one of our favourite events as a club. It's always great to see the pupils enjoying themselves in a friendly competition. We wish Tarves well in the next round, and look forward to hosting next year's event".
* The answer to the tie breaker question is 1p + 2p + 5p + 10p + 20p + 50p + Ł1 + Ł2 = Ł3.88
Methlick Scouts and Beaton Hall Benefit From Rotary Events - 9 March 2011
The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum held a successful double header of local events this week, with a Race Night and a Community Quiz.
The Race Night, held on Saturday evening, took place in Methlick's Beaton Hall. Nearly 80 people turned out to take part in a fantastic evening of family entertainment, compered by Norman English.
Six races take place, over which time 'racegoers' were well looked after by the staff of the Ythanview Hotel, which ran the bar and served generous plates of stovies. In all, some Ł1,700 was raised on the night, which will be shared between the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum and the Beaton Hall itself.
On Monday night, 15 teams from a wide range of local groups took part in a Community Quiz, which had been rescheduled due to last November's bad weather conditions. Held in the Assembly Hall at Meldrum Academy, teams battled it over six rounds of general knowledge questions, each hoping to scoop the top prize of Ł200 to benefit their group or chosen good cause.
Taking part in a tightly-contested field were 15 teams from the local community groups. National Trust, Meldrum Musical Society, Meldrum Academy Parent Council, Meldrum Library Reading Group, Meldrum Bowling Club, Meldrum Sunday Club, Oldmeldrum WRI and Rothienorman Bowling Club. Meldrum Parent & Toddlers, Meldrum Playpark Project, The Gambia project, Meldrum Primary Parents in Partnership (MPip) and Meldrum Auxiliaries, Garioch Heritage Society and Methlick Scouts.. In the end, however, it was the team from Methlick Scout Group which emerged victorious, allowing them to put their winnings towards a planned trip to Sweden and a new Scout tent.
Oldmeldrum Rotarian Hilary Gordon, who together with husband Mick – also Chairman of the Beaton Hall Committee - took a leading role in organising the evenings, said she was happy with the local response to both events. Thanking those who had helped to make the events such a success, she said:-
"Everyone at Oldmeldrum Rotary Club would like to share their appreciation for the help we had in putting together these events."
"For the race night, whether it was the raffle prizes, the tatties which were donated for the stovies, the effort which went into peeling them and the assistance of the Ythanview Hotel in keeping everyone fed and watered, every contribution big and small helped to make the night a success".
"It was a great evening of fun for all ages, and was hosted in grand style by Norman English, who did us proud in keeping the evening rolling along. It's good to know that the monies raised will assist the Beaton Hall, as well as help the club to continue our support of local and international good causes".
"The Community Quiz was a new event for us, but it's one which we'll certainly consider repeating. We thoroughly enjoyed bringing together so many local groups, as well as being able to offer a substantial prize to the winning team. We wish the Scouts well in their trip, and hope that the prize can be of use to them in their future activities".
Oldmeldrum Turns Purple as Local Businesses Give 'Thanks For Life' - 23 February 2011
Shopkeepers in Oldmeldrum did their bit to paint the town purple last week with a series of spectacular window displays, as they joined in activities to mark International Rotary Day and raise awareness of the ongoing worldwide battle to eradicate polio.
The colour purple has become synonymous with the efforts of Rotary International and its partners to wipe out polio once and for all. During mass vaccinations in densely populated areas, it can be very difficult to keep track of which children have and have not been treated. To get round the problem and help identify quickly any children who have been missed, volunteers use a temporary purple dye to colour purple the 'pinkes' of those who have already received a dose of the vaccine.
Alongside Rotary posters explaining how polio is being tackled, shops made a special effort to put any purple merchandise to the fore in the window displays. In addition to staging their own display throughout the week, staff at the local branch of solicitors Stewart and Watson even dressed in purple to mark International Rotary Day on Wednesday 23 February.
In all, upwards of ten of the town's shops put on a purple window display. Owner of the 'B's Knees' boutique, Jackie Allen, explained why she was so keen to participate in Oldmeldrum's efforts:
"This is a really good cause, so when we were asked by Oldmeldrum Rotary Club if we would like to get involved we committed immediately to taking part. "
"Oldmeldrum has real community spirit. It's been great to see the way that local traders have come together, not just to make the town a little brighter at this time of year, but also to help raise public awareness of the campaign in such a colourful and imaginative way."
"The dreadful effect of polio is something we can still remember in this country, so it's really encouraging to know that the world is now so close to becoming polio free".
Polio is a disease which mainly affects children under five years of age and which can in extreme cases result in paralysis. During the first half of the 20th century, polio crippled over a half a million people every year. Often spread through overcrowding, unclean conditions and poor sanitation, the disease has, thanks to successful vaccination efforts and improved public health, become extremely rare in first world countries.
Rotary first became involved on a large scale in tackling polio in 1979, when the organisation committed to immunise 6 million children in the Philippines through a Health, Hunger and Humanity grant from The Rotary Foundation. Encouraged by the programme's success, Rotary consulted with Dr. Albert S. Sabin, the developer of the polio vaccine, and launched the PolioPlus program in 1985.
Anti-polio vaccines, which can cost as little as 60 US cents each, are extremely effective and almost always succeed in protecting a child for life. Thanks to an aggressive campaign over many years involving the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and Rotary, the world is now 99% free of the disease.
As a result of these unique partnerships, an estimated five million cases of paralysis have been prevented and 250,000 childhood deaths from polio have been averted. Unfortunately, a lack of thorough vaccination programs still makes polio a recurring problem in parts of Africa and South Asia – particularly in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
As part of the efforts to make these last remaining areas 'polio free', Rotary International has accepted a US$355 million challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which Rotary will match with a further US$200 million over three years.
To date, Rotary has contributed more than US$900 million towards the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries. Since 1995, the advocacy efforts of Rotary and its partners has also helped to raise more than US$8 billion from donor governments.
Oldmeldrum Rotarian Richard Thomson, who helped local businesses to organise their activities, expressed his pleasure that so many of Oldmeldrum's traders had been willing to get involved.
"On behalf of Oldmeldrum Rotary Club, I'd like to offer our sincere thanks to all the local businesses who participated in our efforts to help raise awareness of the campaign", he said.
"Thanks to the efforts of health professionals, governments, Rotarians and other volunteers over many years, the disease has almost been eradicated around the world. However, none of it would be possible without the continued support of the public."
"The world might now be 99% polio-free, but eliminating the final 1% will be the hardest to achieve. That's why it's so important that efforts are maintained to safeguard children from the risk of infection, and that we continue to raise awareness of the ongoing efforts to have a world free of polio."
For more information on the campaign to eradicate polio or to make a donation, please visit www.ribi.org/thanks-for-life
Running the Crown and Anchor - Meeting 14 February 2011
The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed Pat Ross as guest speaker at their most recent meeting. A former businesswoman and publican, Pat spoke of her experiences running one of Aberdeen's most famous public houses – the Crown and Anchor at the city's Regent Quay.
In an entertaining and lively talk, Pat explained that after taking a law degree and enjoying a successful business career, she had decided to seek a new challenge. When the opportunity arose to take over at the Crown & Anchor, despite having "never poured a drink before", it was one which she had grabbed with both hands.
After becoming the licensee, she decided to make her mark on the pub straight away. Determined to have a respectable and well-run establishment so as to set the tone for future clientele, one of her first tasks had been to tactfully move on a 'professional' lady who was using the bar as a base from which to look for potential clients. Pat's friendly but no-nonsense approach soon won a strong following, particularly amongst those who valued the pub's reputation as a place where their custom would be welcomed, and where they could enjoy a quiet drink without encountering trouble.
As the pub's reputation spread, it became popular with sailors on shore leave, who would often have a large amount of money put behind the bar by their ship owners to allow them to have a good drink. However, learning the foibles and preferences of individual customers could take time – pouring her very first Gin and Tonic and garnishing it with a slice of lime, she was surprised to be admonished by the customer with the reprimand of â€śLassie, tak the veggies oot o' ma drink!â€ť.
When Pat first became the licensee, pubs could only be open for 13 hours each day from 11am until 12 midnight. However, as a lawyer, she knew from the Licencing Act that these hours could be altered in special circumstances. In order to better cater for her customers, she submitted an application to have the licence extended to 1 am. Although the initial application was rejected, she asked and was allowed to re-apply three months later, this time successfully, making the Crown & Anchor amongst the first pubs in Scotland to offer a 1am closing time.
Pat went on to explain how the pub began to take on a unique character. Given the multitude of different nationalities which came to the Crown & Anchor, Pat quickly took the decision to accept payment in all currencies which could be converted. Exchange rates were posted behind the bar and a deal made with a local bureau de change to exchange monies taken over the bar into Sterling. The pub also became something of an informal labour exchange as well as an import-export hub, on one occasion helping to assist in the export of 500 double-bed mattresses to Murmansk.
She concluded with a tale about one regular, an American deep sea diver ,who had worked long hours in order to be able to afford a house back in the USA. While in Aberdeen, his wife had left him and taken the house, which led to him drowning his sorrows in the pub. Worried that he would miss his ship later that night and therefore risk losing his job on top of his other worries, Pat took him back down to the quayside and had him bundled on board. Only later did she learn that he had just come off the ship that day to begin four weeks of leave! On his return, however, the diver thanked Pat as the four weeks away had, he said, allowed him to sort out his thoughts and plans for the future.
It was the human stories like that, Pat said, which had made her time in the trade such great fun. As well as being a fantastic business opportunity, it had revealed a great deal to her about human nature, and was something which she would encourage others to get involved in if they had the chance.
Methlick Race Night - 9 February 2011
The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum will be holding a March race night in Methlick to raise funds for the Beaton Hall and the club's charitable activities.
The event, which will be compered by Norman English, will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday 5th March and is open to everyone. As well as guaranteeing a great night's entertainment, the admission price of Ł8 will also include a stovie supper and a bar operated by the Ythanview Hotel. A raffle will also take place.
Club member Hilary Gordon said that the club was looking forward to what promised to be a successful evening.
"Oldmeldrum Rotary Club is very pleased to be working alongside the Beaton Hall to host this event. It promises to be a fun evening for everyone, and with proceeds being split equally between the Hall and the Rotary Club's charitable activities, people can be certain that any funds raised will be supporting good causes both locally and further afield".
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event. The six races taking place over the course of the evening can be sponsored for Ł25 each, while individual horses can be sponsored for Ł5. Businesses making cash or raffle prize donations will also be able to have their names included in the race programme.
Tickets and further sponsorship details for what is certain to be an evening of fantastic family entertainment are available from Norman Brammer [email@example.com] . Tickets are also available at the Costcutter supermarket in Methlick.
Burns' Supper - Meeting 24 January 2011
The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum entered into the spirit of the Burns season by holding its own Burns' Supper this week. Welcoming partners and several members from other clubs in the district, the club sat down to a traditional meal of haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by a desert of cranachan.
The haggis was addressed with aplomb by Club President Phil Duncan, while music was provided on the fiddle by Richard Thomson, as well as by Liz Rothnie, who sang a number of favourite Burns songs accompanied on the keyboard by Nicola Harvey. Robin Falconer also entertained the club with a selection of Burns poetry.
The photos show President Phil Duncan addressing the haggis; Liz Rothnie and Nicola Harvey performing, and Robin Falconer in mid-recital.
'A Moo'fu o' a Sermon' - Meeting 10 January 2011
The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed local solicitor Gordon Hay as guest speaker to its most recent meeting. Gordon, a Managing Partner with Stewart & Watson, is well known around the North East as a speaker, historian and author, and as a talented pianist. A native Doric speaker, Gordon is also an elder at Longside Parish Church.
In what was an entertaining and highly amusing talk, Gordon spoke of his time as a Rotarian, as well as updating the club on the progress of his personal project to translate the King James Bible into Doric.
Noting that this year marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible in 1611, Gordon estimated that he was four years into an endeavour would likely take around sixteen years to complete. Although he was undertaking the translation mainly as a personal project, Gordon told the club that he regularly ran his work past other Doric speakers and theologians, in order to ensure that the quality of the translation was as true to the source material as it was possible to be.
Gordon explained that the idea to translate the bible had first come to him after he had been asked by the Buchan Heritage Society to prepare readings for a Doric service. Having received a positive reaction and discovering that he enjoyed the work very much, he then decided to embark on a full-scale translation project, revealing his plans publicly at this year's Church of Scotland General Assembly in Edinburgh.
There was a great deal of mirth as Gordon explained some of the pitfalls of trying to find just the right words in Doric to convey the modern meaning of some biblical passages. While some of the earthier sections could be expressed both literally and very pithily in Doric, he told the club that on occasion, he had to reflect on whether or not this might be entirely suitable for modern sensitivities.
Although his translations have received great acclaim to date, Gordon's personal highlight had been the marriage of his daughter Ruth earlier in the year, where his translation of the first chapter of Ruth had been read out. Being able to express the Bible in what for many people was their most natural way of speaking was something, he said, which could help people to find meanings which could sometimes be very personal.