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CHATTERS" NEWSLETTER

September 2009 News from the Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull  


 Printable Copy / Full Screen Version


 

President's Patter

 

September is nearly over and we have had another busy and successful month.  I know that a number of the events are covered elsewhere in Chatters but I like to look back at the month and see what has happened and what we have achieved as I find it all to easy to worry about what we haven’t done and to compare myself to the presidents of other clubs who seem to have done more.

 

Our speaker evenings, two so far this month, Lisa and Marie our RYLA students and Mandy Exley, Principal of Perth College were excellent. Their talks were enjoyable and informative, and gave us two very different evenings.  Our business meeting coincided with International Literacy Day on 8th September. I knew that there would not be a lot of business but the members of Council were considerably less than encouraging about my suggestion that I ask everyone to bring a verse or a short piece of prose which meant something to them and we would select some at random to be read on the evening.  However, I was determined to mark the event so George started the evening with a very appropriate grace for a business meeting, Julia gave us an alternative version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and I read “When I am an Old Woman I shall wear Purple” We did address the serious side too - Approximately 776 million adults  are illiterate.  The message from the U N Secretary General this year is “Literacy is not just about reading and writing; it is about respect, opportunity and development.  On this International Literacy Day, I urge all partners to strengthen their commitment to promoting global literacy and to back this support with the resources needed to achieve real progress.”

 

Unfortunately our speaker Stewart MacFarlane from Young Carers was unable to join us on 15 September but “quick as a flash” (well almost it was certainly 11th hour stuff) Colin provided us with a quiz based on similes which was most enjoyable and got the grey cells working.

 

As well as our meetings we had a very successful Charity Golf Day on 2 September – the sun shone for us on the Wednesday in what was otherwise a very wet week and the rest was down to the hard work of Bob Reid, Bob Brown, Michael Thomson, Andrew, George and Willie and their team of helpers and the generosity of everyone who donated prizes and participated in the event.  Once again Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club made us most welcome and fed us very well too.  We were back at Dunkeld and Birnam for our Golf Championship event on 13 September.  Unfortunately only seven members were able to compete this year but again we were lucky with the weather and although the course provided a bit of a challenge we were again made most welcome by the Golf Club and I joined the golfers for an excellent High Tea and presented Kevin with the Cup.

 

At District level George went to the membership seminar in Stirling and has some ideas about attracting new members – more of that later, and George Brian and I attended the District Council Meeting in Aviemore on 18 September. Brian went back on the Saturday for the Conference and enjoyed some excellent speakers.

 

A few weeks ago our Sergeant at Arms caught us out by asking if we knew what the Rotary Four Way Test was.  It is :-

 

  Is it the TRUTH?

                                Is it FAIR to all concerned?

                                Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

                                Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

 

We may not be the biggest club, we may not raise the most money but I think we tick all these boxes and that this is confirmed by the numbers who come back year after year to our Charity Golf Day and our Dinner and also  by the members who stay on for fellowship after the meeting. Last week approximately 75% of our members had been at the meeting and at least 50% of those chose to stay on. That to me is a sign of a good club, and although that that can’t happen at lunch-time clubs I wonder how many of the evening clubs can boast such statistics.  

 

I look forward to many more enjoyable and successful months and thank you all for your continued support.

Janet 

 

 


Editorial  

 

A better month all round I suggest. Walking has returned to my routine and there is no smell of wet dog any more. I didn't get to any events this month due to work but the verbal reports led me to believe everything went very well. So best to keep it short and let you read on.

 

I would still like to encourage you for some written reports as I have carpel tunnel from my exertions. Many thanks to George, Michael, Bob and Andrew for their help. Enjoy the curling.

 

your editor 

 

 

 


Council Meeting held on 1 September 2009

 

Present:  Bob Abernethy, Bob Brown, Iain Brown, Tom Laurie, Julia Robertson, Janet Simpson (Chair), Douglas Sinclair, Bob Reid, Andrew Still, George Delgaty

 

Apologies:  Bob Brown.

 

Minutes of Last Meeting:  The Minutes of the August meeting were approved – proposed Julia, seconded Bob Abernethy.

 

Matters Arising:  None.

 

John Shedden had come to the meeting to discuss the proposed Ceilidh on 13 November and the Charity to be supported.  It was agreed that the nominated Charity should be “Help for Heroes” especially in view of the recent casualties suffered by the Black Watch Division.  Tickets would be £10.

 

President’s Report:  Janet advised that September 8, the next business meeting was International Literacy Day and suggested that each member be asked to bring along a short piece of prose or a verse which meant something to them and that names be picked out of a hat to read them out.  This suggestion did not find favour with Council. George, Colin and Janet to attend the District Council meeting at Aviemore on 18 September.

 

Treasurer’s Report: It was agreed that £1500 should be sent to Home-Start Perth

 

SVP George: George confirmed that he would be attending the Membership Seminar in Stirling.

 

Community Service: (report circulated):

 

Balnacraig House - George Evans has visited this establishment and is waiting for them to contact him with ideas for support for the students. i.e. laptops and musical devices.  Suggested budget of £4

 

Food box - we are suggesting that members give unwanted non-perishable grocery items for distribution i.e. buy one get one free promotions. No financial outlay required

Starterpack - looking to ask for one off donations from members to help with making up starterpacks for people starting up home.  No financial outlay required

 

Cornhill House, MacMillan Cancer Care - still waiting for reply from Lorna Paton with regard to any involvement we could have with garden project etc.  Budget of £300 plus member participation. 

Drummond Safari Park for the children of Chernobyl - usual support in July 2010.  Budget of £300.

International Service and RI Foundation:  Ian  reported his Committee would like to finance a Shelterbox. He had received a leaflet about the Rotary Christmas cards which he would put up on the Notice Board.  £125 had been raised from the “Wee Walk Round Perth” for the Eradication of Polio. We had photos of Pamela’s (one of the children we sponsor through the Joe Homan Trust) School showing off the desks we had funded.


Ways & Means:  Andrew said that he had been busy with the Charity Golf Day which was taking place the following day.  All arrangements were in place and we had the maximum number of teams (19) He hoped to have a Committee meeting soon and would report to the next Council Meeting about other fund-raising events.

 

Youth and Vocational:  Bob reported that arrangements for the Art Competition were in place.  He had written to St Columba’s, the Grammar School, High School, the Academy, Strathallan, Kilgraston and Glenalmond and was hopeful of entries from them all. He had contacted Specialist Crafts, and they had confirmed that they would be happy to continue their association with the competition and would provide vouchers for prizes.  A budget of a further £150 was approved for hospitality for the judging evening and sundries.

 

Bob Reid agreed to use his contacts to find out what other support has been given in the past and encourage them to continue to support the event. Bob Abernethy was on holiday but Gillian would take on the organisation.


Other Competent Business:  There was discussion about the Speakers for the Dinner

There being no further business, the Meeting concluded at 9.00pm.


  

Business Meeting held on 11th August 2009

President; Janet announced that it was UNESCO Literary Day and that we would partake later in the evening. However, foremost in the President's mind was the successful Charity Golf Day with 18 teams competing at Dunkeld Golf Club. Thanks were due to all and especially to the organisers who had pulled out all the stops. (see report), those who helped on the day and all the prize contributors  

 

SVP: George reported on his visit to the RIBI Seminar on 5th September at Stirling University. One of the main themes was that membership had increased in GB and Ni but was falling worldwide. The seminar posed the questions about Rotary's position in four or five years and the effectiveness of the delivery.

 

Attendance, House & Sales: John presented the new catalogue for the shop which was laid out for members

 

Sports Committee: Ian mentioned that the Presidents' Putter had been cancelled and an alternative was being discussed. There were 8 members for the Club Golf on Sunday 12th at Dunkeld. The event would start at 2 pm with high tea later when Janet would present the prizes. Following a musical interlude provided by Iain Brown, Ian continued to give details of the Club Curling teams and matches (These are on the Sports Committee web page..  

 

Community Service: July began by soliciting a round of applause in celebration of the President's birthday; which birthday was not determined. The club would now be collecting household items for forty:twenty’, run by Les Paskin, and Balnacraig wanted laptops. 

 

International & Foundation: Iain reminded everyone about the Club's contribution of the school desks for the Girls of the Inba Seva Sangam Girl’s Home (ISS). The Rotary Foundation Christmas cards are available.    

 

Ways & Means: Andrew modestly thanked everyone for their support with the Charity Golf.. Willie added his thanks to everyone for coming to Dunkeld Golf Club for the Rotary Day

 

Youth & Vocational: Bob said that the Club's Young Artist competition was being organised. John Dixon's former employers were donating £150 which would be added to by Perth Council.

 

Social: John Sh explained that Eddie was putting together a special band for the social evening on Friday 13th November. Help for Heroes had been selected as the receiving charity.

  

The meeting came to the end with two renditions of poetry to celebrate the UNESCO Literacy Day. Julia kicked of with a worldly view of the Goldilocks story and Janet followed with an interesting account of the colour purple prompted by her birthday celebrations.

  


DISTRICT NEWS

James Martin, District Communication Officer, has invited us all to take part in an online survey relating to potential ways for our District to save money. The survey relates to the production of the “1010 Rotarian Magazine” and the annual District Directory.

 

In order to access the survey please click on the link below - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=pAsYnkIA_2bui5QMclVaqCpA_3d_3d 

If this doesn’t work, you should paste the link into the address bar in your internet browser.

 

The survey should take no longer than about 1 minute to complete and our input will be extremely useful to offering a guide in relation to the future of these two pieces of communication information. The results of the Survey will be reported at the next District Council meeting.

 

Notes from the District Council Meeting 18 September

 

The District Governor Nominee for 20/10/11 is Robin Rippin

 

Nominations for District Council posts have to be in by 13 October.  Any members interested in a position on District Council, please let Janet or Bob Brown know by the Club Council Meeting on 6 October 2010.

 

The amendments to the District Standing Orders including 2 further amendments in the interests of consistency and accuracy were approved.

 

Michael Barron is looking for a host club for an International Friendship Exchange group from Louisiana. The party will be in the country from 22 August until 5 September 2010 and we would be required to cover from Wednesday 25 until Saturday 28 August.  5 hosts are needed and if anyone is interested please let Janet know, as she can provide further information.  We can approach the other clubs if some but not enough members are interested from our own club.

 

Update on the Bill and Melinda Gates challenge for the eradication of Polio

 

The two Gates Foundation challenge grants now total $355 million. Rotary International’s matching effort  is called Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge, which must be completed by 30 June 2012.

 

The participation of Rotary clubs and individual Rotarians in Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge remains crucial to its success. Rotary has raised nearly $73 million toward this amount: $62 million in contributions and $11 million in commitments. Each club is being challenged to organize a public fundraiser annually and to raise $5,000 between June 2008 and 2012

 

The $255 million grant is one of the largest challenge grants ever given by the Gates Foundation and the largest received by Rotary in its 104-year history. Rotary will spend the grant in direct support of immunization activities carried out by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which is spearheaded by RI and its partners, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. Rotary will distribute the funds through grants to WHO and UNICEF.

 

Polio eradication has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985, with more than $1.2 billion contributed to the effort. Gates praised Rotary for providing the volunteers, advocates, and donors who have helped bring about a 99 percent decline in the number of polio cases. “The world would not be where it is without Rotary, and it won’t get where it needs to go without Rotary,” he said.  


 SPEAKERS

Maria Ure & Lisa McNiven - RYLA Candidates

Our RYLA candidates this year were Maria Ure of Perth Grammar School and Lisa McNiven of St. John's Academy, both Perth. They took turns to provide us with an excellent and honest presentation of their week

Maria started with a frank statement of her first impressions about the leadership and team building, which she found difficult at first, but quickly relaxed in the company of the other girls at the camp. Lisa made mention of the early interview process and not knowing what to expect. She hoped to build her self-confidence amongst the large number of girls from all over the district.

Maria had the best week of her life as she became strongly influenced by the visiting speakers, First was a businessman, Grant Wright, who made an impression with his theme of 'Happy Leadership'. This required both visionary and strategic skills through more communication, and she repeated his tenet of 'lead, don't manage'.

Lisa was more influenced by Janet who spoke at the end of the week. Here the theme was 'building windmills; to embrace new things all the time and accept the challenges. She said that leaders were people who were able to make a difference for others.

Both girls found the talk by two RAF officers enlightening on how to advance in a male dominated profession. They found that their roles were challenging in having a high proportion of men under their control; many who were older than them. The mantra was to know your job and the people around you. Be transactional and get the job done: be transformational by inspiring others to use all their ideas.

Maria and Lisa were soon able to put their leadership shills to the test, although a little hesitant to lead teams themselves; a problem that was soon resolved as they were selected as early team leaders.

In Maria's case this meant leading a team in raft building and hill walking. Both occasions provided endless problems with water. However it was Maria who provided true leadership when the bothie they were staying in became flooded. She raised the spirits of the team by leading them in the RYLA song.

Lisa found another route for her abilities through rock climbing and kayaking, both decidedly not to her taste. She found that she was able to help others with their climbing harnesses, and gained enough confidence to volunteer as team leader. She definitely did not look forward to the kayacking as she had already seen the rapids. When she found she had a large eight-legged companion in the kayak, she had to decide whether to embarrass herself in front of her team or, as Gilbert Harding said, swallow the fly. Her sense of achievement with something she had not wanted to do proved how far she had come during the week.

The presentation by Maria and Lisa was highlighted throughout by their bounding enthusiasm and clear delivery. At the end, their heartfelt thanks for our sponsorship for such an eye-opening opportunity was greeted by an equally enthusiastic response.


   Andrew Still - Job Talk

 

I consider myself very fortunate to have been born in Scotland in the middle of the 20th century. Fortunate to have survived to my 60th year in good health, to have a lovely wife of 37 years, two sons of whom I’m very proud both self-supporting, a lovely daughter in-law and a recently acquired grandson.

Fortunate to have had so many opportunities, presented to me, some of which I even recognised as such at the time and fortunate to have met, got to know and worked with some very interesting people.

Born in Turriff and brought up on a farm near Peterhead.

Attended school in Peterhead – “a nice place to get away from”. Famous mainly for its prison.

 

Growing up in the fifties and sixties that was the golden age for farming. My relatives were practically all farming then: I knew little else.  Teachers  at  primary and secondary schools in Peterhead back then didn’t see much point in wasting much effort on those of us destined to simply go home to farm. But then neither did I, all I wanted to do was drive a tractor.

 

Agricultural college followed school, delaying for a couple of years  the reality of working for my father. The novelty of driving a tractor in all weathers quickly wore off. Married by this time, to Maggie who was teaching, we realised there had to be more to life.  (and I jumping forward 34 years)

 

I attended a party up north recently, where I caught up with old farming neighbours. A couple of them have never been south of Aberdeen. One has never had a day off since he took over his farm in 1974.

 

I was obviously lucky to  escape. But  an uncle on one side of the family and an aunt on the other had worked in Africa in colonial days and their tales must have sown a seed of sorts. Maggie and I applied to VSO and no doubt more on the strength of Maggie’s degree and teaching qualifications rather than my Ordinary Diploma in Agriculture,  we were accepted and sent to Nigeria for two years.

 

Interesting times there in 1975. The oil was coming on stream and a lot of development was taking place. There were a lot of volunteers teaching there; from UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and of course Nigerian graduates who had to do two years out in the bush!

 

I found myself at the State Agricultural College, teaching, among other things, agricultural economics, to in-service students older and better educated than myself. I certainly learned more than they did.

 

Maggie’s school had been set up by the Catholic Mission and though the government  had since taken over, like many other schools and hospitals it was still run by Irish priests and nuns.

 

We got to know them very well. I’m sure many had no more religion than I have, and I subsequently moved to their Mission run agricultural training centre which was rather more in need of staff. The Bishop, Joseph Ukpo, was an interesting character. A local, his father was a village chief, illiterate but who had welcomed the Catholic mission and recognised the potential of education. Joseph was one of the first Nigerian bishops, and the last I heard he was Archbishop of Calabar, one brother became a surgeon and another brother was the first Nigerian airline pilot with Nigerian Airways.

 

I believe I was lucky to be there in what was probably the best few years to be in Nigeria. Lucky also to survive; malaria on three occasions  as well as dengue fever!

 

Home for a few months and my first contact with Rotary was 32 years ago when I spoke the local Peterhead Rotary which had helped sponsor me. We had hoped to return to Nigeria but that didn’t work out and I found work in Zambia managing commercial farms. First as a manager of a  pedigree Sussex cattle herd for a company called Chibote Farms which was part of an industrial conglomerate headed by an Andrew Sardanis, a Greek Cypriot who’d backed Kaunda prior to independence and subsequently joined the government. Fellow Rotarian Iain Smith worked for one of his companies too.

 

In the normal course of things as one of the farm managers, I would never  have met the guy, but he built  a house on the farm I managed. “House” doesn’t do it justice.  I didn’t stay long with them – but met up with him again when I was in Zambia last year. He had his own Banking problems a few years back, the Lear Jet has gone along with most of his businesses and the house is now an upmarket game lodge with accommodation and conference facilities for around 35. The 3,000 acres I farmed has expanded to 10,000 acres and is a private game reserve. Worth a visit if you’re in Zambia.

 

I then joined a Zambian businessman Enock Kavindele who was involved with Blackwood Hodge and wanted to go farming. So I was employed to advise, find, buy and manage his farm. I stayed there almost 4 years before deciding to return to Scotland. Enock subsequently decided to expand his farming operations and then went into politics and rose to be vice president so life could have become even more interesting there  too.

 

We returned home to the North East in ‘83  where I joined my father, sold the flat we’d bought in Edinburgh and bought  a neighbouring farm – with hindsight  not one of my better ideas. A better decision was using some of the free time an arable farmer has, to study for a business management diploma. – and later a Masters degree. I’d changed from mixed farming to all arable and having borrowed a heap on money to buy out my father so he could retire, and  never having been lucky at any form of gambling, I staked it all on yellow.

 

In 1989 all our 250 acres were sown to Oil Seed Rape. Only a couple of years previously, the Agricultural College had assured us that “You can’t grow rape this far north”. “If it does grow, you won’t be able to harvest it and you certainly can’t grow it continuously.” In fact it grows tremendously well in the north-east. And it can be grown repeatedly provided you can get it harvested and sown again early enough. I got most of the place yellow again the following years too. In spite of the Doomsayers at the time, there really was no risk; even if the crop had failed or blown away, you still got the subsidy. And to any taxpayers in the room I’d like to extend my sincere thanks. A  few reasonable years  followed. In farming terms that’s as good as it gets!

 

As Douglas will testify, you have a lot of spare time to fill when you’re farming and as well as the belated education, I was variously involved with the NFU where I served on local, area and national committees and was local and area president. As area vice, the considerably busier president at the time often delegated stuff to me, involving on a couple of occasions, looking after the visiting American Agricultural attaché. And a very interesting guy he was, not the tall Stetson wearing cowboy I expected but a small former  Vietnamese boat person!  Name of Hoa Van Huynh. That friendship led to an invitation to take part in the US’s Overseas Visitors’ Programme;  a two week all expenses paid trip around the US meeting a lot of interesting people in US government, commerce and agriculture.

 

I also chaired the local FWAG, Farm Management Association and was director  of an agricultural charity Farmers World Network. We hosted a number of foreign visitors and I was fortunate to be able  join an exchange tour of China hosted by the Beijing Agricultural University. We reached parts that the tourists don’t see. Fascinating.

 

By 1997 the farming outlook wasn’t  that  great, my sons had grown up and had no interest in the farm and I had a couple of minor health issues exacerbated by farming so it was time to quit while I was ahead.

 

I got some good advice from the chap who bought the farm, Commercial property. And 12 years on that’s been good advice. We’d moved into Aberdeen and I was also doing some work for the Agri College and Aberdeen UniversityI was keen to go back to Africa but my wife wasn’t and nor were any potential employers – so that didn’t happen.

 

We bought a hotel in Edinburgh which we ran for almost four years.  That was a great business – much harder work than farming but  everything comes in cash a month or so before you have to pay for what you’ve sold. And it all turns over many times a year – in total contrast to farming cashflow.

 

However we never managed to master delegation. There has to be more to life than working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week! The only way it seemed we could get a break was to sell it. The property business had done well and so did the hotel and we realised we could bring the planned retirement forward a few years.

 

We stayed on in Edinburgh for a couple of years and did a lot of travelling but were looking for more space, garden garage, and a move away from the increasing congestion. That’s what brought us to Perth 3 years ago. I didn’t take to early retirement; it is difficult when you don’t have the talent or patience to play golf.  So I was looking out for something to keep myself busy and I fancied having a sports car of some sort. So I combined both.

 

I was old enough to remember the launch of the Lotus Seven in 1957 and it must have made quite an impression. Caterham took over production in ‘73 when Lotus decided to move on to more up-market vehicles, and although development has been continuous the cars remain instantly recognisable, having remained faithful to Colin Chapman’s original minimalist design.

 

I’ve never even driven on a track, but on some of the great roads around here on a fine day, I can’t think of much that’s more fun. Having seen the range of motorised outdoor activities around Perth: quad bikes, Landrovers and of course Knockhill not that far away, I thought there could be a business  hiring these unique cars. So instead of buying one old sports car I ended up buying four new! Most go out for a day, collected in the morning and returned early evening. We do a number of weekend hires and have had a few week hires; mainly overseas visitors.

 

It’s been amazing how far some enthusiasts will travel for a day out in a Caterham. I’ve had drivers from all over Europe, two guys came over from the States for a few days just to drive the cars. We’ve had some Kiwis and Aussies but they did admittedly do some other visiting when they were here. Having said that, we get probably 60% of our business from nearer home; from Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow; people who can drive to Perth for the day and go home that night.

 

I’ve even had the odd Rotarian out in one


Mandy Exley - Principal of Perth UHI

Mandy Exley presented herself before the Rotary meeting as the Principal of Perth UHI, a position she has held since January 2006. But Mandy is much more than one person in one position as was revealed in her talk.

Mandy has been involved in Further Education Training for over 20 years.  She started her career as a police officer, then a psychology lecturer and progressed to management posts throughout the College sector in England, to the level of Vice Principal. She has worked in large inner city colleges in Birmingham and Stoke and also large rural colleges in Gloucestershire.

Having left the sector in England, Mandy moved to Scotland in 2000 and bought a small hotel by Loch Tay whilst continuing to work as a consultant in the college sector, largely in the field of Leadership and Management. Her experience of the hospitality sector was one of the most challenging learning experiences of her career.  Having some idea of what it felt like to be run a small business, Mandy took responsibility for the development of the Business Development Centre at Perth College.

Her heart is now in Perthshire and she has lost no time in encouraging successful partnerships through the business centre to, as she says, 'help make Perthshire perform better thanks to the determination of local businesses to raise standards.'

It is the right place now to enumerate just how committed Mandy is to Perthshire. She is Chairman of Air Service Training Ltd who operate through the college at Scone, a director of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Councils Community Planning Partnership; a member of the Scottish Tourism Forum Board and Director of  the Board of Scotland's Colleges.  

The Tayside Tourism Development Centre, based at Perth College, is a tribute to her cool drive and enthusiasm; the centre encourages professionalism and raise aspirations throughout the industry. The centre, described as employer-led, is part of the Targeting Tourism initiative, a project involving Tayside's three colleges and funded by the Scottish Further Education Funding Council. Direction and course content is provided by a group of experienced and high-profile industry professionals. 

Further initiatives include the link with Andhra University in India which bring students from across the world to Perth College, enhancing the learning experience for all the students. 20 new students were enrolled this year on the Aircraft Engineering degree course. Amazingly, Perth College now operates in 57 countries.

This is just one of many partnerships Perth College has developed with industry. Students achieve the skills they need and employers feel confident of their abilities. Employability cannot be achieved without strong partnerships like these. One way that Perth College is filling that gap is through the "good food circle". This is an innovative way of catapulting school-aged youth into the world of tourism. These enthusiastic youngsters are teamed with talented chefs in local kitchens. Twenty-five per cent of the programme is spent in the classroom so our students get all the right skills, and the rest of the time is spent in employer-led training. By the end of the programme, students are often offered work placements.

Mandy has also kept an eye on the wealth of talent across Perthshire. This can be seen in that the average age of students at the College is 32. Pathway to Medicine is proof of this goal. St Andrews University has set aside a limited number of places in its six-year medical programme for students who complete the Pathway to Medicine HNC in Perth. To quote ' The University of St Andrews strives to be at the forefront of offering educational opportunity and we are pleased to be leading the way with Perth College in providing a pathway to study medicine for mature students'. Mandy added, “Pathway to Medicine is a pioneering example of real education and community partnership in operation. “It is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the impact of parity of esteem between vocational and academic qualifications and the realisation of the potential of local people.

To have such a workload and still have time for the individual speaks volumes about her personality. Mandy took time to thank Rotary for their support through the annual Young Singers event held in conjunction with Perth College. She has seen that Methven Juniors football team have enough sponsorship to continue and has recently come to the aid of Pitlochry following the closure of the learning centre. Students will take up courses at Pitlochry High School and a scout hall in Atholl Road instead of the current centre.The alternative venues will enable the existing range of leisure classes to continue in September.

I suppose one could be forgiven for thinking Mandy had enough to occupy her time, but you would be wrong. Her real passion is for Perth to have its own University. And Perth will as Mandy expects the official opening of the new UHI, some 15 years in the making, to be held in 2010 in coinjuction with the celebration of Perth 800. At the moment some 90 families and a huge assortment of bedsits provide the college accommodation. Work begins soon on a 400 room residence beside the main college buildings. 

Mandy Exley left us all in no doubt as to her capabilities as a person, manager, motivator and, above all, a leader. I feel honoured to have been a witness to her presentation and have no doubt that a formidable talent has arrived in Perth at just the right time. Perth, a university city, is no longer a dream.   


CHARITY TEAM GOLF TOURNAMENT

   

Winning Team, Flash Bang Wallop, captained by David Morris 
 
A very successful day was the outcome of the Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull's Charity Team Golf Tournament held recently at Dunkeld & Birnam Golf Club which was won by the Flash Bang Wallop Team, with a Team Net Score of 123. The Winning Team were Captained by David Morris with able support from John Johnstone, John Stiell and Bruce Gloak. Runners Up with a Team Net Score of 125 were Haxtons of Dunkeld, Captain Bob Rattray and Team members Robert Hausrath, Chris Smart and John Hermiston.
 
The "Hardies Team Ball Prize went to the Barnyard Bashers captained by Pete Smith along with Ewan McKay, Bruce Leitch and David Reid with a Team score of 66.
 
There were also some Challenge Hole Prizes and these were Nearest the White Line on the 9th Hole winning a Golf Shirt was Jim Thow from the Brown's Pharmacy Team. On Hole No.16 winning a Case of Beer, for his Team on "Danny's Drouth" for a gross birdie 3, was Bob Reid of the Christie & Partners Team and finally Nearest the Pin on Hole No. 18, winning a Bottle of Malt Whisky was Alex Young of the Clydesdale Bank Team.
 
Jim Thow also capped an great day out by winning the star Raffle Prize of a Cobra Golf Bag.
 
We had 18 Teams competing with a 2pm Shotgun Start and everyone enjoyed one of the few recent dry and sunny days and were well looked after by everyone at Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club.
 
Many thanks to all who supported this event which is one of the main Charity Fund Raisers for Local and International Charities which the Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull support.
 
 

 

Thanks go to

Bob Brown for printing

Michael Thomson for the scorecard

Willie Monks and George Delgaty for pre-match activity

George Delgaty for the great raffle

Willie Monks for the welcome at Dunkeld Golf Club

Andrew Still and committee for advertising and sponsorship

 


 

Perth-Kinnoull Rotary Club Golf Outing

President Janet Simpson presenting the Quaich to Kevin Fearn, winner of the 2009 Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull Annual Golf Championship held at Dunkeld & Birman Golf Club, with the organiser, Ian Stevenson, looking on. 


 Help for Heroes

The charity was launched in October 2007 and, with the backing and support of Celebrities, including Jeremy and Francie Clarkson, The Royal Family, The Media and countless ordinary decent people, it has raised over £1m a month since then.

Help for Heroes is strictly non-political. We have no affiliation with any political party and we  do not endorse the use of our name for the promotion of any political  viewpoint. The money that we raise at Help for Heroes is used to support  wounded Servicemen and women of every colour and creed and we strongly oppose  any individual or political party who believes otherwise, and those who seek  to use the charity’s name for their own political  gain.

The message is simple: H4H does not seek to criticise or be political, we simply want to help and to do so by asking everyone to do their bit to raise money. Once that money is raised, we go to the experts in the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force for guidance as to how best to spend it. It is our intention to spend all we raise on the practical, direct support of those wounded in the service of our country since 9/11.  

We give capped grants to those charities and groups best able to provide the facilities and services we want our men and women to have.  We do not deliver individual benevolence, as that is the work of existing Service Charities. Army Recovery Centres will provide a “launchpad” to life for seriously wounded or long term sick soldiers, supporting them as they make the transition to a fulfilling future

Soldiers who are wounded in the service of their country currently receive excellent medical care, notably the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC). However it is once the soldier has stopped being an ‘inpatient’ that problems can arise. Most wounded soldiers are able to return to their homes, but not all families can provide the level of support, supervision and care needed to help someone who has a serious injury. And although it is hoped that every soldier wounded in the service of their country will be able to return to duty, there will be many who leave the services. It is important that they receive assistance and guidance in this, enabling them to make a smooth transition to a skilled and supported civilian life.

Army Recovery Centres (ARC) will help soldiers to make the swiftest possible return to duty, or smoothest transition to an appropriately skilled and supported civilian life, for seriously wounded, injured, or long-term sick soldiers, irrespective of cause of injury, within a conducive military setting.

Soldiers will live in a comfortable individual room within the centre, which will be attached to a garrison, so that wounded soldiers can stay within a structured military environment close to friends and family, and can take advantage of the garrison facilities.

In addition to offering medical support, ARCs will provide wounded soldiers with an individually tailored programme, including career management and counselling (which takes into account their particular injury and skill set) as well as assistance with resettlement.

The first Army Recovery Centre

The first centre was opened in Edinburgh on 17th August, 2009 in a dedicated wing of the Erskine Home in Edinburgh. The Mark Wright GC House is a partnership between the Army, providing the twelve residents, the military staff and the programme, Erskine, the Scottish veterans’ charity who are providing the building and the service provision and Help for Heroes, who are funding the costs. 

 


 

Vision Aid Overseas

 This year, Perth Kinnoull Rotary members have been bringing in spectacles of all kinds to Hine Opticians in George Street. These are desperately needed as poverty and the lack of skilled opticians affect millions of people who do not have the spectacles they desperately need. For those in the developing world with poor vision, education and employment are out of reach. Many find daily living difficult and dangerous. With the correct spectacles, people can learn, work and achieve a quality of life otherwise completely unobtainable. Hence the need for VAO.

What does Vision Aid Overseas do?

Vision Aid Overseas is a charity dedicated to helping people in the developing world whose lives are blighted by poor eyesight, particularly where spectacles can help. It works by sending abroad teams of volunteer optometrists and dispensing opticians who set up clinics, screen large number of patients and provide appropriate spectacles. Vision Aid Overseas was started in 1985 by Brian Ellis to send abroad teams of professionally qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians to establish clinics, provide eye tests and dispense spectacles. Vision Aid Overseas has provided 600,000 eye tests and given 300,000 people the ability to see with a pair of spectacles.

What does Vision Aid Overseas stand for?

Our Vision: Vision Aid Overseas works for a world in which everyone has access to eye care and spectacles.

Our Mission: To examine the eyes of needy people in the developing world and to train people in those countries in eye care skills.

 Here is how Vision Aid Overseas recycle spectacles:

  1. Members of the public donate their spectacles at their local opticians. 
  2. The glasses are transported to Vision Aid Overseas by the specialist optical delivery provider, DX Network Services.
  3. Staff and volunteers sort the spectacles at our headquarters in Crawley to remove any that are in bad condition.
  4. The spectacles are then transported to prisons through the UK where prisoners have been trained to clean, grade and pack the spectacles ready for their use in the developing world.
  5. Finally the spectacles are sent abroad with Vision Aid Overseas teams. Spectacles are only dispensed after a full eye examination and great care is taken to match them to the patient.

 


 

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