Archive of some Meeting Reports, as sent to the Press in 2012

Report for 10 December 2012 - Peter Vardy keeps Santa going.
Report for 2 December 2012 - Santa Fun Run - Haddo Country Park
Report for 5 November 2012 - Rotarians Hold 'Frugal Meal' To Aid Polio Fight
Report for 28 October 2012 - Press release for Santa Fun Run.
Report for 15 October 2012 - Meldrum Rotarians hear about Care Challenges
Report for 8 October 2012 - Meldrum Rotarians find their 'Young Musician of the Year'
Report for 25 September 2012 - Meldrum Rotarians Prepare for Young Musician Contest
Report for 17 September 2012 - RYLA Experiences
Report for 10 September 2012 - Conor takes leading role at Meldrum Rotary
Report for 1 September 2012 - Ythan Cycle Run 2012
Report for 20 August 2012 - "Treasure Trails"
Report for 15 August 2012 - Meldrum Rotarians get geared up for September Cycle Run
Report for 16 June 2012 - Udny Community wind turbine project
Report for 16 April 2012 - Rotarians hear of air charity’s work
Report for 4 April 2012 - Egg-citing times at Haddo this weekend
Report for 2 April 2012 - Rotarian tells of India vaccination effort
Report for 19 March 2012 - 'Euroscola' visit to the European Parliament
Report for Newspapers 15 March 2012 - Rotarians host twin quiz evenings
Report for 8 March 2012 - Primary School Quiz - Club Heat
Report for 5 March 2012 - Community Group Quiz in Meldrum Academy
Report for 25 February 2012 - Young Musician of the Year – District 1010 heat
Report for 16 January 2012 - Meldrum Head tells Rotarians of pupils’ Gambia trip

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

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

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10 December 2012

Peter Vardy keeps Santa going. - 10 December 2012

Santa and his Elves in Meldrum SquareThe Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum has offered its thanks to a local 4x4 dealership, after kind-hearted staff at the garage helped them to keep Santa and his sleigh on the road.

The Rotarians, who accompany Santa, his reindeer and their elves as they tour around the Oldmeldrum area in the run up to Christmas each year, found themselves stuck after one of their members had to put his Range Rover in for a service at Peter Vardy Land Rover dealership in Aberdeen. After finding out that there was a fault with the vehicle's towing equipment which the club had been relying on to assist the reindeer that evening, it looked like Santa might not have been able to make it to a snow-covered Rothienorman last week.

However, learning of Santa's plight, big-hearted staff at the dealership arranged for a replacement 4x4 vehicle to be provided, free of charge, in order that Santa could continue to make his rounds that evening and make his usual visit to Rothienorman.

Oldmeldrum Rotarian Richard Burnett said that the dealership's kind gesture was very much appreciated.
“It looked for a while as if we might not have been able to help Santa make it out and about to meet local children, which would have been a big disappointment for everyone concerned”, he said.
“Fortunately, after learning of our plight, staff at Peter Vardy moved quickly and completely unprompted to help us out by providing a vehicle which could help Santa and his Reindeer get through the snow safely.
“We know that children in the area look out for Santa coming round and we would have hated to disappoint them. We are indebted to everyone at the Peter Vardy dealership for their quick thinking and their kindness.”

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2 December 2012

Santa Fun Run - Haddo Country Park - 2nd. December 2012

Santas before the startAgain we had a bit of snow and ice for this year’s charity Santa Fun Run held on Sunday 2nd. December in the beautiful grounds of Haddo Country Park. Luckily a bit of a thaw had set in and the icy conditions of the previous day did not cause any problems. The event, run by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, supported by The Running Shop, Aberdeen, aimed this year to raise funds for the STV Appeal 2012, which is helping children and young people in Scotland who are affected by poverty. However there is also an arrangement which allows participants who choose to be sponsored to give half of the money they raise to the STV Appeal 2012 and half to the charity of their choice.

This year’s event once again had participants of all ages, with younger children completing a 2km run, and adults and older children either running or walking 5km around the park grounds dressed in the Santa Suits provided by the organisers. The route was well signposted, and marshals were staged at various points to ensure everyone found their way safely back to Haddo Hall to enjoy the free mulled wine and mincemeat pies.

The were 8 competitors for the Children's 2Km Run, twice round Haddo House. First back was Emily Ironside with Liam Davidson in 2nd place and Ben Chalmers in third. Ben’s brother Jack came next and the Storer brothers William and Edward were separated by Carla Townsend with Sandy Tateson bringing up the rear. All participants received selection boxes as prizes.

The adults all dressed in Santa suits set off for the 5Km Run at one o’clock. There were 17 runners and 3 walkers. The winner from last year, James Kirk, won again with an improved time of 19 minutes and 26 seconds. Second was Sam Tateson and 3rd Martin Kirk. The first lady back was Jennifer Kostuik and 3 minutes later Nicola Ewing came in as the second placed lady. The best junior was 13 year old Allie Townsend. All of these Santas were given Christmas Trees as well as prizes from the Running Shop. Everyone got a prize.

The organisers, the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, would like to thank everyone for their support at this year’s event, in particular The Running Shop, the National Trust for Scotland, staff at Haddo Country Park, St. Andrews First Aid, and of course the participants whose efforts help to provide support for charitable causes.

Keep the first Sunday in December free for next year’s event.

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5 November 2012

Rotarians Hold 'Frugal Meal' To Aid Polio Fight - Meeting 5 November 2012

Rotarians enjoying their "frugal" mealMembers of the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum were joined by nine Peterhead Rotarians at a recent meeting as the club held an unusual fundraising dinner in aid of the fight against polio.
Rather than a lavish 'black tie' affair, the Rotarians instead decided that they would enjoy a 'frugal meal' as part of their normal club meeting, with any surplus from the night going to benefit Rotary's PolioPlus campaign.

Meldrum Rotarian and owner of the Redgarth Hotel where the Oldmeldrum club meets, Stuart Singer, departed from the usual menu in order to serve generous portions of mince and tatties and bread and butter pudding, which conjured up memories for some of the more frugal fare of yesteryear.

Afterwards, Club President Martin Belshaw reminded all present of the hard work and effort which Rotarians from all over the world have given to the fight against polio, which now remains endemic in just three countries - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Children can be vaccinated against the disease, which can cause paralysis or even death, for as little as forty pence a time. The meal, which raised just over £60, will help to protect over 150 children from the threat of contracting polio.

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28 October 2012

Press release for Santa Fun Run.

Start of the 5Km Run.The Rotary Club Of Oldmeldrum is inviting everyone to come and join them on their charity Santa Fun Run/Walk on Sunday 2 December at Haddo Country Park.

The Run, which has become a favourite seasonal event in the North East, will see a range of fun contests for all ages. In addition to the 5km run for those aged 13 years and over which begins at 1pm, there is a 2km run for those aged 12 and under beginning at 12 noon. A 5km family walk will also take place.

Entry fees are £12 for the 5km run for 13's and over; £3 for the kids' 2km run; and for those taking part in the family walk, £10 per adult and £3 for 13's and under. While everyone is encouraged to wear something festive, free Santa suits will be provided for the first 200 participants aged 13 and over.

Half of the sponsorship money raised by runners and walkers can go to their own designated charity, while half will go to the "STV Appeal 2012", which is helping children and young people in Scotland who are affected by poverty.

Entry and sponsorship forms are available for download on the Oldmeldrum Rotary Club website, or from the Running Shop at

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15 October 2012

Meldrum Rotarians hear about Care Challenges - Meeting 15 October 2012

Lesley Mackenzie and Pres. MartinAberdeenshire will see a doubling of its over-65 population by 2035, which is set to drive a change in how services are delivered for older people, according to a senior manager at Aberdeenshire Council.

Lesley Mackenzie, a Social Work Manager dealing with Rehabilitation and Enablement, made her remarks at a meeting of Oldmeldrum Rotarians last week, where she outlined some of the changes already being made in Aberdeenshire to increase the level of personalisation in service delivery.
Overall, the Aberdeenshire population is set to rise by 22% between 2010 and 2035. While the population of over 56's is expected to increase by 96%, the 16-65 population is set to increase by 5%, which could lead to pressures in delivering care for older people.

Lesley, who is based in Inverurie, explained that Aberdeenshire Council aimed to keep people in their own homes as far as possible. The authority also aims to speed up hospital discharges by offering intense support to allow people to regain their confidence and competence in daily living skills such as cooking, washing and dressing.
The 'personalisation' agenda being taken up by Aberdeenshire Council through self-directed support, she said, aimed to “work with, rather than 'do for' service users and carers to meet their needs”, something which represented a change for how carers had worked in the past.
Explaining that Aberdeenshire had received major funding from the Change Fund to shift the balance of care away from institutional to personal, she said that direct payments and individual care budgets were all about service users “having choice and control over how the money is used.”

“It's about outcomes and what people want to achieve, rather than a prescriptive approach”, she said. “It's about what people can do, rather than what they can't do.”

Acknowledging that direct payments and the responsibilities which go along with it may not be suitable for everyone, Lesley explained that those eligible to receive help from Social Work would be told of their financial allocations and given a range of options in arranging their care. These could range from an individual having full control over their care with council oversight, to the council selecting, directing and managing their care.

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8 October 2012

Meldrum Rotarians find their 'Young Musician of the Year' - 8 October 2012

Young Musicial 2012 Contestantants Young Musician 2012 Winner, Emily Low
A talented clarinetist took top honours at Meldrum Academy on Monday evening as the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum held its annual 'Young Musician of the Year' contest.

Sixteen year old Emily Low won after impressing judges with her performance, which incorporated a jazz piece as well as a classical piece composed by Mendelssohn. She will now go on to represent the Oldmeldrum Club at a regional heat next year in Perth.
The winner of the Perth heat will to go on to represent the North of Scotland in May's final of the UK and Ireland wide contest, which will be held in Kent.

Emily topped the field of 15 young musicians from the Oldmeldrum area, who ranged in age from Primary 4 to Secondary 5. The judging panel, which included music teacher Morag Shirran, local solicitor Gordon Hay and visiting guest judge Markus Walther from the Rotary Club of Buren in Switzerland, awarded the accolade of 'Most Promising' musician to sixteen year old pianist Luke Searchwell, who performed a challenging prelude by Rachmaninoff.

Speaking afterwards, compere for the evening club Vice-President Richard Thomson thanked everyone who had taken part and praised the high standard of this year's competitors.
“Each year, we are always impressed by the calibre of the young musicians who enter the contest and this year has been no exception”, he said. “It was particularly pleasing to see some new faces taking part, and we very much hope that they'll want to come back and be involved again next year.
“Emily is a very worthy winner. She has the best wishes of all at Oldmeldrum Rotary Club and we hope that she will impress the judges in Perth in the next round as much as she impressed our judges here this evening.”

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25 September 2012

Meldrum Rotarians Prepare for Young Musician Contest - Press Report 25 September 2012

The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum has issued an invitation to local youngsters to come forward and take part in the club's annual 'Young Musician of the Year' contest.
The contest, which will be held on Monday, 8th October 2012 at 7.15pm in the hall at Meldrum Academy, is open to pupils living in the Meldrum Academy catchment area or attending the associated primary schools.
There will be 4 Categories open to contestants on the night, including Primary 1-4; Primary 5-7; S1-S3 and S4-S6. Awards will also be made for the 'Most Promising' musician and for the overall winner, the 'Young Musician of the Year'.

Event host, Oldmeldrum Rotary President Elect Richard Thomson, said that the event was one which the club always looked forward to.
"Each year, it always amazes us just how much musical talent is being nurtured in the local schools", he said. "While it's nice to welcome back the older hands of the competition to see how they are developing as musicians, it's particularly good to see new faces coming along to take part.
"We hope that this year will be no exception and that we'll be able to give even more young musicians the chance to perform in public, perhaps for the first time."

Closing date for applications is the 28 September 2012. Further details as well as entrance forms are available online at

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17 September 2012

RYLA Experiences - Meeting 17 Sept 2012

Ryla participants with V.P.  RichardThree local youngsters who took part in a summer youth leadership camp paid a visit to Oldmeldrum Rotary Club last week to share their experiences.

Gill Marshall, Stephanie Cowie and Grant Routledge were all selected by Oldmeldrum Rotarians to participate in the Rotary Youth Leadership Camp (RYLA) in July this year, together with other young people from all across the north of Scotland.

RYLA is a programme for young people, which was adopted officially by Rotary International in 1971. The Awards are designed to develop the leadership skills of young people with potential. This nurtures the skills of young people who will go on to become the future leaders of our community, and helps particularly those who may need some further encouragement to exploit their leadership skills.
Gill, Stephanie and Grant shared their respective experiences of the girls and boys camps with club members, demonstrating some of the activities they took part in with the aid of a Powerpoint slide show. Speaking afterwards, Oldmeldrum Rotarian Hilary Gordon, who led the girls' camp, said:
“While the emphasis at RYLA is always very much on fun, the week is all about giving the participants a physical and mental challenge.
“While everyone who comes on the course benefits, for some, the experience can be genuinely life-changing, and allows them to discover, perhaps for the first time, exactly what they are capable of when working together with others.
“It’s great to see the personal growth that the participants experience during their time away here. All we ask in return is that they give their best, and come back to tell their local Rotary Clubs what they got out of the week.”

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10 September 2012

Conor takes leading role at Meldrum Rotary - Meeting 10 September 2012.

Conor Smart with Pres.-Elect RichardA promising young actor who dreams of one day winning an Oscar has thanked local Rotarians for their financial backing in his successful effort to join a world-renowned youth theatre company.
Conor Smart, a sixth year pupil at Meldrum Academy, was supported by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum in his bid to join the company of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, which recently provided performers for the opening ceremony of the London Olympic games.

The company was established in 1956 as the first youth theatre in the world. Since then, hundreds of thousands of young people have performed with the group, helping many now famous names including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Colin Firth, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom and Sir Derek Jacobi on their way to global stardom.
Conor, who was one of 300 successful applicants out of a total of 5,000 from across the UK and Northern Ireland, was thrown into the deep end as he embarked on a 14 hour journey by bus to London to meet his fellow students for the first time.

With little time to find their feet, he told Rotarians how the young actors had to quickly get to know each other – a task made easier, he said, by the fact that they were “like-minded people who managed to get along instantly.”
"Having to learning a range of skills and performance pieces made the experience a challenge," he said, the main benefit of which had been to instill in him a love of physical theatre, of which he had little prior experience. “Everyone on the course was equal”, he said. “Finding that I like supporting as well as lead roles means that there are now a whole range of things I can enjoy.”

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1 September 2012

Ythan Cycle Run 2012 - Saturday 1st September 2012

Before the Off Away we go Family away Flying along

The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum would like to thank all the participants and helpers for making the 2012 Ythan Cycle Run, held on Saturday 1st. Sept., another enjoyable and successful day . Over 40 cyclists took on the 26 mile Challenge route of 26 miles, which was a round trip between Udny Green and Methlick, whilst 18 cyclists ranging from adults to under 6’s completed the more leisurely 7 miles Family Run. Some of the riders who have participated in all 4 of these events said they preferred this route to last year's, despite the home run which was quite taxing, especially when cycling into the head winds. The weather remained very pleasant for most of the day with only one or two people getting caught in a shower mid-afternoon. Following the benefits of the healthy exercise, the cyclists returned to Udny Green to enjoy the free coffee, tea and home bakes, organised by members of Oldmeldrum Rotary Club, their families and friends.

This year we were delighted to nominate Monty’s Maggie's Appeal as the main charity to benefit from the Ythan Cycle Run, whilst some participants chose to give half of their sponsorship monies to their preferred charity, which included Macmillan Nurses, ARCHIE and Turriff & District Citizens Advice Bureau. Some money has still to be submitted but once the final totals have been calculated details of all money raised and distributed to the various charities will be put on the website. A small selection of the photographs taken on the day will also be on the Cycle Run website.

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20 August 2012

"Treasure Trails" - Meeting 20 August 2012

New Member Kim Hall with Pres. MartinThe Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed local schoolteacher Kim Hall to their meeting last week, as she became the latest recruit to the Rotary family. Kim, who is Depute Rector at Ellon Academy, was introduced to the club by former President Hilary Gordon. Praising her leadership skills and highlighting her role at Ellon Academy in teaching Enterprise and Citizenship to senior pupils, Hilary commended Kim to club members, who welcomed her warmly as a new Rotarian.

The club then heard from guest speaker Liz Johnston, the creator of a series of 'Treasure Trails' featuring towns and villages around the North East, including Oldmeldrum. The Treasure Trails, she said - a series of self-guided treasure hunts - offered a 'fun' way of exploring a town, city or village, using local landmarks as clues which help those taking part to solve a mystery, such as a 'crime'.
Liz explained how she had become involved in the project nearly four and a half years ago after taking part in a trail with her own children. After offering her own positive feedback to the company responsible, she was invided to begin producing similar trails for locations all over Scotland.

Currently, there are around 1,000 of the trails in the UK, with 150 in Scotland. There was also research, claimed Liz, that in addition to encouraging people to visit other local attractions, those taking part in trails spent approximately £9 per head in local businesses while doing so.
School pupils had also been responsible for producing their own trails as part of enterprise projects, said Liz. Researching and writing the booklets themselves, pupils then had to sell advertising space, organise the printing then sell the finished product to their families.
In addition to the usual murder mystery theme of the trails, there were also some 'spy trails' on offer. Liz also revealed future plans to offer murder mystery trails on smartphone apps, which could make use of GPS technology and 3G internet connections to enhance the experience of those taking part.

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15 August 2012

Meldrum Rotarians get geared up for September Cycle Run

It's been a golden summer of success for Team GB's Olympic cyclists, with Scotland's Sir Chris Hoy leading the charge in London. Now, one local Rotary club is gearing up to give North East cyclists the chance to take to two wheels, as part of a charity cycle run to raise funds in support of Monty's Maggies Appeal.

The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum is encouraging cyclists of all ages and abilities to take part in this year's Ythan Cycle Run. Taking place on Saturday 1 September, the run offers a choice of two routes through the Aberdeenshire Countryside - a 7 mile 'family' route, or a more taxing 26-mile 'challenge' circuit rising over 1,300 feet.
Starting and finishing at the Dr Spence Memorial Hall in Udny Green, the family route offers a sedate cycle along quiet roads. Meanwhile, the Challenge route offers to test the mettle, heading off towards Esslemont and Auchedly, before turning towards Methlick, where Rotarians will be running a refreshment point. From Methlick, the route heads past Crofts of Haddo and south towards Tarves, before returning to Udny Green.

The Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation (EMF) and Maggie's are involved in an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise £3m to bring a Maggie's Centre to Foresterhill Hospital, Aberdeen for families affected by cancer across Grampian. In addition to raising money for Monty's Maggies Appeal, cyclists will also have the option of raising sponsorship funds for the charities of their own choice.

Event organiser, Oldmeldrum Rotarian Phil Duncan, said he was looking forward to another successful cycle run event.
"Our past cycle runs have been well supported and have raised a lot of money for local charities", he said. "This year, we are delighted to be supporting Monty's Maggies Appeal as our chosen charity.
"The different routes will mean that cycle run is a great day out for families, as well as offering a tougher challenge for the more experienced cyclist who wants to test themself.
He continued: "A certificate of participation will be issued to everyone taking part, together with prizes for any young children. We hope all participants will ask friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them towards raising the maximum amount for both our and their own chosen charities."

Further details on the event, including entry forms, are available online at

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16 June 2012

Udny Community wind turbine project - Meeting 16 June 2012

Pres. Ray, David Murray and V.Pres. MartinThe Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed David Murray from the Udny Community Council and Trust as its guest speaker at their recent meeting.

David told the club about how the Udny Community wind turbine project – the first fully community owned wind turbine on the UK mainland - had come into being and had overcome initial scepticism within the community.
A group established to investigate the viability of the project had met over a period of five years, identifying three sites, he said. In doing so, the group had set its own criteria as to how far the turbine had to be sited from existing houses.

After a rigorous planning process which consulted widely, Tillymaud had eventually been identified as the preferred site for the turbine. This was in spite of potential grid connection problems, which were eventually overcome when a nearby project fell through.
A further challenge, David said, had been in terms of raising the funds required to bring the project to fruition. Some £500,000 towards the overall cost had been raised through the Big Lottery, LEADER funding and other sources, with the balance coming mainly from loans to be repaid from the turbine revenues.

The turbine, rated at 800Kw, is now generating more electricity than had originally been anticipated. Even after one year there was, David said, around £100,000 of clear profit has been generated, which is forecast to rise to £250,000 each year after ten years, once the costs of the turbine have been repaid.
The proceeds from the turbine, David said, have been earmarked to benefit the community, defined as anyone over the age of 16 in the Parish of Udny, or any organisation either based in the parish or which served the people of the Parish.

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16 April 2012

Rotarians hear of air charity’s work - Meeting 16 April 2012

Pres.Elect Martin, Cath Wilkie and Rob RothnieA Charity which provides air transport support to people in some of the most remote parts of the world was the subject of a talk at the most recent meeting of Oldmeldrum Rotary Club.

Members heard from Kathleen Wilkie about the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), which operates in Asia, Africa and the Americas assisting Christian and humanitarian NGOs to transport goods and people. Operating over 130 aircraft in 30 countries, it is estimated that one of their aircraft either takes off or lands once every three minutes.

Kathleen, a supporter of the charity for over 25 years, told the club how MAF developed in the aftermath of the Second World War, as pilots came together to discuss how to use aviation to spread the Gospel and bring assistance to parts of the world otherwise hard to access.
“The planes can take people straight to where they are needed”, she said. “As well as carrying cargos and supplies, they can also carry the sick, the injured and those in need of medical attention to where they can get help.”

Kathleen told the club that while pilots put themselves through training, their churches often helped to support them once they were qualified. In addition to the charity’s regular work, it also played a major role in responding to natural disasters around the world, she said.

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4 April 2012

Egg-citing times at Haddo this weekend - 4 April 2012

This Easter Sunday, families from all across the North East will converge upon Haddo Country Park for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

The hunt, which is organised each year by the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, is one of the biggest free public events taking place in the North East of Scotland. Thousands of brightly coloured painted eggs will be hidden on the footpaths and around the trees for children to discover. Once found, children can either keep the eggs, or exchange them for chocolate eggs instead.

In addition to the main attraction of the egg hunt, there will also be egg decorating competitions, an egg rolling contest, a drawing and painting table, storytelling, a labyrinth and face painting. Grampian Police will be visiting, as will the BookBug. Teas and coffees will also be available on the day, served by Rotary volunteers.

The Haddo Egg Hunt takes place this coming Sunday 8 April between 10am until 3pm. Although parking and entry to the Egg Hunt is free, any donations made will help the Rotary Club to cover costs associated with the event, with any surplus being used to support Rotary charities both at home and overseas.

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2 April 2012

Rotarian tells of India vaccination effort - Meeting 2 April 2012

Pers. Elect Martin and Sheena ClarkeA member of Oldmeldrum Rotary Club has spoken of her recent experiences in India, where she was part of a large international effort to carry out mass anti-polio vaccinations.

Sheena Clarke travelled to India with her sister Linda as part of a group of 53 Rotarians from across the UK who took part in the country’s ‘National Immunisation Day’. Although India has been polio-free for 12 months, an ongoing vaccination effort is needed to ensure that the virus does not return.

Sheena told the club that she had been based in the town of Karnal, which is 4 hours drive from Delhi. There, they had administered vaccines to children under the age of five, many of whom had been brought along by siblings who were themselves not much older.

Across India, there were some 709,000 vaccination booths in operation with 2.5m vaccinators, she said, alongside 155,000 vehicles supporting the effort.

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19 March 2012

'Euroscola' visit to the European Parliament - Meeting 19 March 2012

Pres. Ray with George BruceThis week, Oldmeldrum Rotarians were given a rare insight into what it might feel like to be a Member of the European Parliament. Nine months ago in July 2011 the Club conceived a plan to sponsor a senior pupil to go to Strasbourg to participate in the Euroscola programme run by the European Parliament in which pupils from each member state of the union get the opportunity to experience a day as if they were members of the parliament . One of the stipulations was that the young person had studied French to Advanced Higher level. Back in September Rector of Meldrum Academy Andy Travis, and Principal Teacher of Modern Languages, Fran Patrick accepted the challenge of encouraging Higher French pupils to apply. In October 3 applications complete with CVs and a 500 word essay describing a European theme were received. In November Rotarians interviewed the candidates both in English and French, and reached a decision that George Bruce, Head Boy at Meldrum Academy, would be selected to go through to the next round. The next round involved candidates from all around Scotland from whom only 26 would be chosen. George was selected as one of the 6 boys and 20 girls who would visit Strasbourg and the Parliament in February.

This week George reported back to Rotarians on his experiences. He used a power point presentation to show pictures of himself in and around Strasbourg as well as in and around the European Parliament. One picture shows the Scottish contingent standing on the border of France and Germany with one foot in each country.

As George said, “70 years ago these 2 countries were at war. Whatever else you think of Europe and the European parliament, it has to be said that it is better now”

As well as the 26 from Scotland there were other young people from other European countries and the project allowed and encouraged them to mix with each other in role play situations and debates. There were pictures of the groups in the debating chambers and it was noted that 6% of the whole contingent were Scottish but that they asked 26% of the questions!

It was obvious from George’s enthusiastic presentation that he had enjoyed the whole experience, and his bonus is that he has made many friends from all parts of Europe which he hopes will last all his life. He was profuse in his appreciation of the Oldmeldrum Club and the fact that his French conversation skills have become even more developed.

Both Andy and Fran added their appreciation and hope the Club would be able to continue their support another year. David Holmes, District 1010 Coordinator was also there and able to assure that District 1010 would be encouraging all clubs to again take part.

George was presented with a certificate sent from Jerzy Bustek the President of the European Parliament. Gerry Toner, the Administrator of the Euroscola project wrote of George, “George showed a maturity at times which belied his age. His contributions to the debates in the workshops were significant and mature. George was in every way a credit to his school.”

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15 March 2012

Rotarians host twin quiz evenings - Newspapers 15 March 2012

The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum managed to tax local brains both young and old last week, by holding 2 separate quiz night events at Meldrum Academy last week, both of which required judges to go to a tie-break.

The first, held on Monday night, was a ‘Community Quiz’, which attracted 27 different teams from a variety of local community organisations, all battling it out for the top £150 prize. In the event, with the judges unable to separate the teams even after the tie-break round, it was agreed to split the first and second prizes equally, which saw teams from Barthol Chapel School and the Meldrum Library Reading Group each leaving with cheques for £100.

On Thursday, it was the turn of local primary school children, as they battled it out to represent Oldmeldrum in the next round of the Rotary Primary Schools Quiz. Nine local schools took part from Logie Durno, Meldrum, Pitmedden, Rayne North, Rothienorman, Tarves and Udny Green schools, with reserves from each school forming two further teams. It was the first reserve team which pulled off the highest score of the evening to win the trophy. However, as the team going forward have to come from a single school, Logie Durno and Meldrum ‘A’ team had to undergo a tiebreaker round, which saw Logie Durno win through.

Afterwards, Club President Ray Walker thanked all who had helped to organise the events. “We hope everyone who took part enjoyed themselves, and we look forward to next year’s events”, she said.

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8 March 2012

Primary School Quiz - Club Heat - 8 March 2012

PSQ 2012 Winners Reserve Team 1The Club Heat of the PSQ was held at Meldrum Academy on Thursday evening 8th March, with 9 teams competing from Logie Durno, Meldrum 2 teams, Pitmedden 2 teams, Rayne North, Rothienorman , Tarves and Udny Green schools.  The reserves of the above teams were allocated into two further teams.  The teams all had an excellent turnout of parent and teacher support. Quiz Master Hilary compiled the questions, and throughout the 10 round competition the audience and teams were kept fully informed by Mick Gordon's computer skills and it was noted the scores were very close.

After the final round, Reserve team 1 were the overall winners.  However it had been explained at the outset that in the possibility of a reserve team winning the club heat, they could not go forward to the next round.  The 2nd and 3rd places Logie Durno and Meldrum A were tied, and a tie breaker round finally allowed the Logie Durno team to go forward to the Area Heat, which will be held at Meldrum Academy on Saturday 19th May.

Thanks to the Rotary team of Hilary and Mick Gordon, President Ray and Jim Walker, Sheena and Maurice Clarke, Nicola Harvey, Phil Duncan, Richard Thomson, Rob Rothnie, Simon Kilkerr and to Margaret McCartney and Doreen Sinclair for their assistance in the canteen.

Logie Durno team members were Sophie Jamieson, Matthew Law, Rachel Naysmith, and Megan Steele, Meldrum A team members were Finlay Gunn, Kieran Clark, Calum MacDonald and Harry Rintoul.

The winning Reserve team 1 members were Johan Padmoss (Logie Durno), Logan Scott(Meldrum A), Charlotte Mincher (Pitmedden A) and Claire Hoskins (Meldrum A)

The winning reserve team was presented with shields by President Ray who also presented certificates to all team members.

We wish the Logie Durno team every success in the Area finals.

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5 March 2012

Community Group Quiz in Meldrum Academy - 5 March 2012

Quiz teams in in thinking modeDo you remember last year Methlick Scouts won the £200 prize and said they would put it towards buying a new marquee? Interestingly the new marquee is ready and we are hiring it for our Haddo Egg Hunt event on Easter Sunday. What one might call a win-win situation.

This year we had 26 teams. Many of last year’s teams came along and there were 11 new teams. All had a very enjoyable evening with Hilary & Mick Gordon presenting the six rounds of questions on a large screen ranging from local knowledge to music. Each group was given the chance to say who they were and some of them had specific dates to publicise to the other groups. It was a tight competition and the result was a draw.

The winners were the Meldrum Library Reading Group and the Barthol Chapel Primary School Staff. Both teams were delighted with their £100 cheques and have agreed to let us know how the money is spent. Many stayed behind for the refreshments and it would seem they are all keen to take part in 2013. Looks like we may have another annual event!

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25 February 2012

Young Musician of the Year – District 1010 heat - 25 February 2012

The Rotary District 1010 heat of the national Young Musician of the Year competition took place in St Leonard’s in the Fields Church in Perth on Saturday 25th Feb. There were 11 competitors, and of these five were singers.

George Davidson from Tarves was the representative from the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, and he played three Scottish tunes on his fiddle, and for his second part he turned his fiddle to a violin playing Vivaldi and a Canadian Reel. He stood, without any accompanist, using his talented fingers to make everyone’s feet tap! He was wonderful and as the judge said “a master of his genre”. It was disappointing he did not win, however since he had been at another competition that morning and won both his competitions there, he seemed to take the disappointment in his stride.

The winner, who played classical music on his violin with an accompanist on the piano, was from the Ellon Rotary Club. The runner-up from Banchory, again had a piano accompanist, and she played one classical and one jazz piece on her saxophone. The vocalists were all accompanied as you would expect, and the winner from Stonehaven was stunning as he sang an aria from Handel, and Stars from Les Mis.

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16 January 2012

Meldrum Head tells Rotarians of pupils’ Gambia trip - Meeting 16 January 2012

Andrew Travis with Pres. Ray WalkerMeldrum Academy Rector, Andrew Travis has spoke of his pride in a group of pupils who joined him in a mission to help build community facilities in the Gambia. Mr Travis was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum on Monday evening, where he told Rotarians of the academy’s link-up with the GAMSCOT charity, which aims to build links between Scotland and the West African country.

A group of 15 senior pupils and 3 members of staff travelled out to the Gambia in June last year, together with 2 pupils from the Gordon Schools, as the residential section for their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Based in Bachau and Kerewan, the pupils performed a variety of tasks including repairing classrooms, constructing a wall, repairing a truck and setting up a computer centre.
Gambia enjoys temperatures in June of between 40-50 degrees, and is very humid, Mr Travis told Rotarians. Even with only 1.7m inhabitants, it remained a very poor country, with many of its citizens earning less than $2 each day.
During their stay, pupils went to visit the homes of local pupils. Despite being far away from the comforts of home - cooking on open fires, sleeping 18 to a room with one outside tap and no electricity - Mr Travis described the experience as ‘magical’.
The trip had required the pupils to be self-starters, he explained. "The pupils made their own concrete blocks. When it came to other tasks, they were given a hammer, a chisel, a few words of advice and off they went. It was superb to see."
“People are the same the world over”, he said of the experience. “Perhaps the difference you make is small, but the biggest difference is within yourself.”

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