News from around our Club...


15 February 2019Strathearn Cheese Company

We had a very welcome return visit from Drew Watson and Pierre Leger of the Strathearn Cheese Company. They gave the Members an update on their three-year-old business as they have expanded the products and production methods. The members were also treated to the three cheeses; Lady Mary, The Strathearn, and the new Wee Comrie.

Pierre outlined the need for the new routines as the company begins to sell to customers directly and deliver to farm shops as part of the company expansion. The existing wholesale business and their presence at farmers’ markets are very time consuming but a necessary part of the company development. Like all businesses, price rises in the raw materials mean they have to be very aware of market forces.

Pierre and Drew were pleased with the reception of their new cheese, the Wee Comrie, which achieved a bronze medal at the Highland Show. Janet Simpson, their host for the evening, thanked them both for their enjoyable talk and their time from such a busy schedule.

07 February 2019YMCA

Franny McGrath, operations manager at Perth YMCA, joined the Members on Tuesday, as the guest of Chris Kirk, to receive a donation of £1000 from the Club. The cheque was presented by President Gillian Marsh.

Franny thanked the Club for the donation and explained that the money will be going towards a large project of YMCA members. The project will be based abroad in Africa and allows ten youngsters to experience the support network for other people in remote locations. Work will involve them in progressing further skills for themselves and others.

07 February 2019Checkin/Giraffe


Gareth Ruddock, manager of Checkin/Giraffe, pictured receiving a donation from Vice President Ian E Brown and Rotarian Bob Thomson, returned to the Club to explain the developments of the new South Street Café.

The donation has enabled the charity to purchase an Induction Hob and an electronic point-of-sale app that has been designed specifically for the hospitality industry. It’s a fully-functioning till system for the café and will prepare the trainees well for future employment – the very nature of using tablet computers and digital technology makes it easier for the trainees on the Autistic Spectrum, for example.

The charity is designed to support people with severe barriers to experience a variety of outlets for work. The South Street Café is just one such outlet and the refurbishment, costing over £30,000 will now include a more even floor, safe stairways and wheelchair access.

Gareth further explained the extension of support for their workers to help make the transition to work more meaningful. The support extends to interview techniques and encouragement in employment to allow people to achieve a more permanent place in society.   

23 January 2019A Taste of Burns

Back row (L-R) John Holme, District Assistant Governor; Iain Mackintosh, Perth Burns Club; George Delgaty, Perth Kinnoull Rotary.

Front row(L-R)Estelle Nicol, Perth Burns Club and Auchterarder Rotary Club; President Gillian,Perth Kinnoull Rotary; Joan Allen, Perth Burns Club.

Iain Mackintosh, Perth Burns Club, recites a popular Burns poem

13 January 2019Churches Action for The Homeless

Graham Taylor, Head of Services for Churches Action for The Homeless (CATH) joined us for the evening with a view of a very current problem. Homelessness, often caused through relationship problems, has become an increasing worry for many local authorities. Currently, Perth has low homelessness and less people are seen to be sleeping rough.

CATH was created in 1991 to provide a local soup kitchen and support a range of people who are in need. There has been a large reliance on volunteers but a large number of workers promote the local policy of making sustainable accommodation available to anyone in the predicament.

Graham explained that CATH outreach teams carry out regular street walks, visit hostels and the day centre. They can check on people and provide necessary support.  Cath’s eight-bed accommodation unit on Shore Road gives people a flat for a short time while the charity’s day centre, offers low-cost meals, laundry and shower facilities as well as advice for those in need. Of course, none of this would be possible without the fund-raising efforts like the sleep out organised on Shore Road last November and the new shop opened in Perth.

Bruce Cameron added his own view in his vote of thanks to Graham who was warmly thanked for his enlightening talk on such a serious problem.

09 December 2018Thistles Among The Roses

Alan Imrie was a very welcome guest this week with further news of Scots lives in London or, as he phrased it, thistles among the roses. His talk was motivated by a tea towel of Scottish inventors which prompted him to think of other famous Scots in London associated with the Crown Court Church.

Alan began with the story of James Braidwood created Master of Fire Engines in Edinburgh in 1824. Braidwood was so successful that he was brought to London in 1833 to set up the London Fire Service. Ironically, Braidwood died in a fire in 1861 as he was a man who led from the front.

Alan followed with the story of Lady Frances Balfour, the daughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll, who was a liberal speaker and lobbyist on the rights for women. She was responsible for raising the funds for rebuilding the Crown Court Church. Her husband Eustace Balfour, brother to the British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, was Lieutenant Colonel of the London Scottish Regiment.

On mention of the London Scottish Regiment, Alan began to involve the Members with photographs of former soldiers of the Regiment with some appreciation of his gentle style. Names of long-lost actors like Ronald Coleman, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains encouraged the mental acuity of many Members, as did writers like Kenneth Grahame and the better-known Sir Alexander Fleming.

Alan concluded a very enjoyable evening with a foray amongst other famous Scots who went to London including the Flying Scotsman.

29 November 2018The Newburgh Reed Beds

Mike Mcwilliam gave a talk and showed a film on the Newburgh Reed beds. His personal involvement soon became obvious as he appeared on the film made in about 1984.

Mike grew up in Africa and entered the Royal Agricultural College in 1970. It was from here that he came north to manage Reedways of Errol in 1977 eventually becoming a director of the company and spending ten years there. Although he then spent the next twenty-six years as general manager of Morris Leslie Ltd his heart has always been in the work he did at Newburgh.

Mike explained that the Newburgh reed beds had been planted by the Napoleonic prisoners of war some two hundred years ago in order to prevent further erosion by the River Tay. The reeds are then harvested to provide quality thatching for roofs. There are now some fifteen hundred acres in the area.

The reeds are cut in late March to encourage new growth and Mike has been instrumental in developing new machinery for refining the reeds and bulk handling. His film showed the range of equipment used on the reed beds.

The demand for reeds has declined since thatching has not created the apprenticeships required to bolster the business. Thatching, which lasts about forty years, is still used in some areas of the country but reeds also now come from China and Poland.

The cutting of the reeds continues under the RSPB who have discovered that thinning out the reed beds encourages birds to nest. Reducing the amount of old growth also reduces the extreme fire hazard.

President Gillian warmly thanked Mike for his talk and for his personal donation of one hundred pounds towards the Tayside Challenge.

23 November 2018Pitcairngreen Village Association

Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull has donated six hundred pounds to Pitcairngreen Village Association as a thank you for all their help and cooperation over the four Tayside Challenge events helping us to raise approximately thirty four thousand pounds. It was decided that the money would be used to buy a quality picnic table for the village green.

The Association had also said they needed a bike rack and Douglas Sinclair offered one which he had acquired on the farm. Douglas cut it down to the size they required and repainted it ready to be set in a concrete base.

The photo shows both the picnic table and the bike rack.

23 November 2018A Perth-based Charity

Simon Phillips of ME Research UK was our guest speaker this week. Simon has just joined ME Research UK as the Chief Executive Officer and brings a wealth of experience in commerce with work at Simply Food and Waterstones.

Simon first introduced the Members to the fact that this charity is Perth-based but has global connections. His role, as he sees it, is to make these facts more widely known. He explained that the chronic disease ME is a post exertional malaise expressed as extreme fatigue after any activity. Originally called Yuppie Flu, ME was recognised as an illness by the UN in 2002 and is said to now affect over 240,000 people in the UK and many millions worldwide.

The Perth headquarters is responsible for fund raising across the globe to support university projects into finding a cure for the illness known fully as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Currently the funding supports forty-eight projects at universities across the world.  

In thanking Simon for his illuminating talk, Rotarian Tom Laurie was clear to point out how this illness was close to many in Perth and he wished Simon every success in expanding the charity’s work.

31 October 2018Ken Thompson

Our newest member, Ken Thompson, gave his job talk at the end of the month. He took us on an enjoyable journey around the UK with his 33 years career with Littlewoods and a mere ten years more as a sub-postmaster in Somerset and Grange-over-Sands.

The journey began with some introduction to life as he was offered manager of the Londonderry Littlewoods store. His 13 months provided a list of hair-raising events through being evacuated from the store some forty three times. A more settled part of the journey took Ken to Wrexham, Chesterfield, London, Cardiff and, finally, Aberdeen. 

It was while at Aberdeen that Ken became involved with the start of the Rotary Kidsout which began in 1990. Littlewoods was the sponsor for the scheme. This brought Ken within the Rotary orbit and he made the decision to become a Rotarian

Perth Kinnoull is now his fourth Rotary Club. His first, by chance, was St Machar where he was inaugurated by our own Bruce Cameron, the then president.

Ken, seated left, was thanked by his host, Iain Brown.

29 October 2018The Wellness Effect

Josh Goodey, a member of the Chiropractic Life team in Perth, explained how his personal ambition to create a chiropractic health and wellness program had, at last, been realised. He graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in sports and exercise science during which time he became interested in the philosophy of chiropractic medicine.

Josh recalled how he met patients who were achieving great progress with their chiropractic care but would have benefited from a more extensive care plan. This led him to the idea of wellness whereby a patient could improve their health by combining lifestyle changes with their care plan.

He interpreted health as physical, chemical and emotional wellbeing which left untended causes imbalances, develops dysfunctions and leads to well known symptoms of poor health; something which touches everyone today who feels a lack of energy, stiffness and suffers minor ailments.

It would be impossible to cover the wealth of detail Josh gave the Members about investigating how well someone actually felt and what steps were necessary to correct those imbalances. Suffice it to say, the Members are now fully conversant in the principles of nutrition, exercise and mindfulness.

Josh dealt with a barrage of questions with the authority that had marked his talk was thanked by his host for the evening, Brad Harris, who had some personal experience of the scheme.

16 October 2018The Lilias Graham Trust

Amy Hatrick (on right) accompanied by colleague Claire Thomson and host Rotarian Brian Raine.

The Lilias Graham Trust is a Scottish charity that offers independent parenting capacity assessments, within a residential facility.

Located in rural Stirlingshire, the LGT provides residential placements to parents and families in cases where there are concerns about parents not meeting the needs of their child/children and the Local Authority require more evidence-based information about whether the child can remain safe within the family.

The protection of vulnerable children is the focus. With experienced staff on call 24 hours a day, The LGT provides and assesses parenting skills and helps parents and families to explore and develop positive relationships.

Amy Hatrick and colleague Claire Thomson visited us this evening to explain the origin of the charity and the work it undertakes.

Amy has worked for the Lilias Graham Trust for the last 5 years and has held the position of Service Manager for the last 4 years.   She has completed her Certificate in Child Welfare and Protection at Stirling University as well as a Management Award at Cardonald College.

Claire Thomson, who accompanied Amy, is Finance Manager of the Lilias Graham Trust and has worked with the charity for the past 12 years.

07 October 2018Wine Tasting

On Tuesday evening we were entertained to a talk by Mark Crawford, development manager at Exel Wines in Perth, and, of course, he brought along some samples; a very nice white and an equally pleasant red to go with the meal.

Mark talked a little about past trends and public tastes and how they change. Modern perceptions are being promoted by TV personalities and their shows, especially cooking and health programs. And films too, as ‘Sideways’, a recent popular film, caused an increase in sales of Pinot Noir wines at the expense of the Merlot varieties.

Riojas, especially from North Spain, are very popular as are New Zealand wines but Chardonnay wines have fallen out of favour. Sales of sparkling wines, both Spanish and French are increasing. But he had a word of warning for the future. It is likely that wines will be subject to tariff changes following Brexit. What will actually happen is not clear but there are unacceptable scenarios which have to be dismissed as impractical.

Mark’s advice for the wine connoisseur - if you find a wine you like buy a lot for the future. Sound advice which John Cormack seconded as he gave thanks for all the work Mark had put into the evening.


26 September 2018CLIK-Sargent

Donna Bednarek, pictured above with her host Steve Fairlie, gave a very informative talk on Tuesday about the charity CLIK Sargent, the leading children’s cancer charity in the UK. The origins of the charity lie in the 2005 merger of two former charities, Cancer and Leukaemia in Children and the Sargent Cancer Care for Children founded in memory of Sir Malcolm Sargent.

Donna, the fund raising engagement manager for the charity in Scotland, explained the need to act after a child has been diagnosed with cancer. Someone should be there to meet the family and give support during treatment which can only happen in Scotland at the Glasgow or Edinburgh hospitals. She added that the charity’s principle is ‘helping young lives to thrive not just survive.' To this end, the charity provides home from home accommodation near the hospitals.

The statistic that there are eleven children a day told they have cancer in the UK is quite frightening. However, the fact that four in every five children survive the trauma is very heartening and makes the charity’s work even more important.

The charity will provide a family grant of £170 to help with initial costs towards accommodation, travel and personal effects. Then it is possible that the family can stay at one of 11 houses across the country while treatment is in progress, which on average lasts sixteen days at a cost of £33 a day.

But of course all this comes at a cost and Donna highlighted the fact that the charity receives all its income from public donations. She is also able to lead from the front and do her bit as well; she is participating in the Scottish Run at the weekend on behalf of the charity. She is very proud of the charity’s track record with nearly six hundred supported cases in Scotland.

Donna’s passion and enthusiasm for the work came through very clearly during  her talk which was well-received by the Members who can now count themselves a little wiser about this harrowing situation of cancer in children.

21 September 2018An Exceptional Young Lady

Rhiannon Nash was our guest on Tuesday evening. Rhiannon has been supported by the Club on her RYLA adventure this year. I suppose it would be fair to say that this young woman standing in front of the particular audience served up on that Tuesday showed exactly why RYLA is such a serious part of our work. Her confidence shown through her delivery was exceptional for one so young.

Rhiannon explained how her week at Abernethy with the RYLA organisers unfolded day by day. Split into seven groups, all the RYLA candidates approached a variety of events in outdoor leadership. Each day began at 7.15 am and lasted for an exhausting time up to 10 pm stretching everyone’s mental and physical ability.

She said how much fun everything was right up to the last day of hillwalking when everyone was so tired. Her particular pleasure was to be able to show her group how to navigate effectively. In the Abernethy Challenge she was commended on her personal endeavour.

Chris Kirk, the Club’s Youth convenor, asked her how much she felt she had benefited from the course to which she replied that it was the best opportunity she had come across to get the best out of everyone. She added that she felt she now understood the effect and purpose of good teamwork on activities and this would stay with her as she undertook other things.

Rhiannon returns to her place at Perth High School where she said she has very little spare time. Not surprising as she is a young leader in scouting, plays hockey for Perthshire and undertakes voluntary work with the elderly. Most evenings she can be found as a “Front of House” assistant at either Perth Concert Hall or Perth Theatre.

I feel that it is fair to say that the Club Members have been introduced to an exceptional young lady.

17 September 2018Our Racerunner at the North Inch.

Young Strathspey Harrier athletes are pictured before the recent event on the North Inch.

Matthew Doig, centre in red, has recently returned from competition in Denmark where he won 4 gold medals and achieved a world record time in his age group in the 1500 metres.

To Matthew's left, in grey top, is Niamh Sandeman who pilots the newly-purchased Rotary racerunner.  (see pic below).








Niamh (Neave) Sandeman with dad Charlie.

Niamh aged 17 lives in Longforgan and is studying Life Skills at Perth College.

She has been involved with the Racerunners for 3 years and is an enthusiastic member of the club.

12 September 2018Hitting Back At The Scammers


Every now and then, we have a speaker who brings the real world to life in an exciting way. This was certainly true of Janet Reay, Trading Standards Officer for Perth and Kinross, in her presentation on current scams.

Janet has a lot of experience of such operators having worked for many years, qualifying firstly in her home town of Sunderland and latterly in Fife. Since 1996, she has been taking care of the good residents of Perth across a wide range of problems from electrical goods to legal highs.

Janet explained that scams were defined as misleading, deceptive or fraudulent marketing offers. Scams are touching everybody and affecting lives everywhere. Janet further added how the vulnerable people in our society were being preyed on mercilessly by sophisticated operators. The effect is to cause social isolation and embarrassment.

Scams have become more evident since the wide use of the internet made people more available to contact from anywhere in the world. They fit into one of three categories – bogus letters, telephone calls and e-mails. Janet detailed the problems with each category and the best way to deal with them; never give anyone your pin number as that action breaks your contract with the bank. Her talk provided the Members with practical guidelines and useful tips with a list of phone numbers for further help and advice.

Lastly, Janet explained how she had set up a special unit to identify who is being targeted by the scammers. The problem here is that people can be drawn in and become addicted. Her work has been very successful in supporting many people in Perth, work that was very much appreciated by Bob Reid as he thanked Janet for her talk.

01 September 2018Freedom From Fistula Foundation

Sue Hope spoke to the Club members about the Foundation’s work in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Malawi to bring comfort, relief and support to women disabled through childbirth. Sue explained the dramatic consequences that affect one woman every three seconds; an appalling figure highlighting the ignorance and neglect shown towards the sufferers.

The Foundation set up in 2008 by Ann Gloag seeks to expand the early work with the help of Rotary and the United nations. Although the Foundation gives medical support to the sufferers, it has provided a means of reintegration into society for the shunned sufferers.

Just as important is the work to bring about prevention through natural care and family planning. So the Foundation has supported the training of over five hundred specialist doctors and nurses. In Kenya the Foundation supports and funds existing work, while direct intervention is needed in the other countries.

Further work includes out-patient clinics which have supported over twenty thousand children to date. Secondly, the work has been shown to be supported greatly by the further provision of literary and nursery classes which give the Foundation more meaning to the holistic approach it has sponsored.

Club Members were very encouraged by the further knowledge that every penny raised is directed towards the sufferers and very moved by a direct insight into the hidden plight of so many women. Sue Hope was thanked by her host for the evening, Colin Moreland, for her time, patience and expertise in explaining the detailed work of the Foundation.   

27 August 2018The Princes Trust - Gillian Farnington


Gillian Farnington, seated here front left, spoke to the Members about the Prince’s Trust. After 12 years in the police force, she decided to take a year with the Prince's Trust managing one of the new personal development schemes.

The Prince’s Trust began in 1976 with the intention of improving the lives of disadvantaged young people and expanded into schemes for starting young businesses. Gillian explained how the latest scheme, centred in Dundee, is intended to tackle rising youth unemployment with the involvement of the YMCA, Perth College, Perth Council and Police Scotland.

Gillian is about to start her 3rd scheme and is looking to recruit 16 to 25 year-olds not in full time education. The recruits will face a number of challenges over 8 weeks as well as receiving residential accommodation and a budget.

Each week brings new approaches to the personal development of the recruits from team building, community work and running their own charity shop. The final two weeks allow each recruit to have a work placement.

The hope is that the young people will be able to stabilise their lives and get back some control of their personal development. Such a worthy enterprise was whole-heartedly acclaimed by the Members, some of whom are shown here with Gillian and her namesake, President Gillian.

07 August 2018Job Talk - Steven Fairlie

It was "Job Talk" time for Steven Fairlie who joined the club on 20th March this year.

Educated at St. Ninians Primary (where he sang in the cathedral choir!) and Perth Academy, Steven went on to Dundee University to study accountancy. 

He joined Norwich Union in October 2003 and has become the Senior Compliance Manager at Aviva specialising in data compliance with the Motor Insurance Database and Employers Liability Tracing Office.  

He also worked for Wm.Low/Tesco for 21 years - a part time job he had from schooldays that he kept on. 

He is married to Catriona and has three boys. 

Interests include football (watching rather than participating!) and, like most dads, providing a taxi service for the boys and various activities they have!

31 July 2018Scottish Rotary Clubs Support Malawi Fruits.

Kevin Simpson who is the Executive Director of Malawi Fruits​ paid us another welcome visit this evening following our fourth successful joint organising of the popular and lucrative Tayside Challenge Cycle Sportive which has raised almost £34,000 since its inception.

Kevin is the Executive Director of Malawi Fruits; a Scottish charity helping some of the world's poorest people in Malawi through loans and education, helping them to help themselves by growing a cash crop. His organisation is very involved in the upgrading of their farming practices including modernisation, irrigation and local processing of produce.

Although he originates from Broughty Ferry Kevin now lives in Wishaw.   For a day job he is the CEO of the Sottish Jewish Charity and is the first ever non-jew to run that charity.

Kevin is pictured (centre) presenting a photograph of one of the Malawi farmers with his solar-powered water pump.  He is accompanied by Steve Blackett on the left and last year's president Colin Moreland.   The Perth Kinnoull club was the first to purchase and donate a water pump a little over a year ago and since then, thanks to Kevin's powers of persuasion, Scottish Rotary clubs have donated a further 27 pumps.


We were also joined this evening by Elspeth Farmer who until recently was the Secretary of the Pitcairngreen Village Association for 11 years.

During the last four years she and her committee have given an enormous amount of support, help and advice during the running of the Tayside Challenge, when the Perth Kinnoull club "invades" the otherwise peaceful village of Pitcairngreen   

28 July 2018Pioneering Kidney Transplantation

Dr Samira Bell is a Senior Clinical Lecturer at Dundee University and Consultant Nephrologist at Ninewells Hospital. She holds a NHS Research Scotland Fellowship funded by the Chief Scientists Office studying Acute Kidney Injury and diabetes.

NHS Tayside has become the first health board in Scotland to introduce an electronic early-warning system to identify damage to the kidneys at a much earlier stage, potentially improving survival rates and shortening hospital stays. The system works by flagging up warning signs to clinicians after blood tests. Messages are sent to computer systems holding patient results, clearly outlining to doctors the severity of the injury and information on the best course of action.

Samira outlined the hardship of a life on dialysis following severe kidney damage. Patients spend four hours three times a week on a dialysis machine with all the attendant travel, support and time needed for such arrangements. There are also restrictive dietary requirements and limitations to liquid intake at one and a half litres daily. And the side effects can be equally restrictive.

So it is no wonder, she added, that a kidney transplant is looked upon with such expectations to health especially with such high survival rates in young patients.  All transplants are carried out in Edinburgh with support and recovery transferred to Ninewells in Dundee.

She also explained that the new strategies involve several support systems which have been set up to encourage live donors to come forward. Such a move with early clinical diagnosis removes the need for dialysis at all; a much more acceptable and comfortable approach to the whole issue.

Such an interesting talk on pioneering medicine gave the members much food for thought and Samira was thanked for her presentation by her host for the evening, Frank Muirden, both pictured with Club Senior Vice-President Ian E Brown.

20 July 2018Cycling around Vietnam

Cycling around Vietnam

Rotarian Brian Johnston gave the members an insight into his momentous fund raising effort cycling in Vietnam. He was working with ‘Lend with Care’ a charity that raises money to be lent to entrepreneurs world-wide; the money is then paid back or lent to another. The charity is involved with a lot of Rotary Clubs.

Of course, Brian explained, he had to get fit enough to complete the challenge of height and distance. He thanked Lorna for her support on a 79 Km ride, the culmination of working every day for a month in the gym and on the road. He reckoned that he had been covering over a hundred miles a week.


He arrived in Hanoi on 20th April to meet another 16 cyclists who had taken the spare parts like saddles for the bikes which were fitted there by mechanics. The riders were supported by those people who drove support vehicles throughout the ride, especially useful for one of the group, an 80 year old woman, who had an accident on the first day. There were also guides who would explain the sights on the tour and the glimpses of the way people lived in the country. The group were to meet the family of one entrepreneur who was receiving a loan for setting up an animal rearing unit.



Brian said he was overwhelmed by the attention of the local people who smiled and waved wherever he went; smiles that remain with him to this day. He soon learnt that there was no traffic control, especially in the cities. Being the monsoon, the wet was an additional hazard on the usually poor roads and the low cloud and mist in the mountains meant visibility was dangerously poor at times. This was compensated for on clear days where the mountain views were spectacular.

Brian completed 505 km over the 9 days he was in Vietnam and has raised just short of £8000; The group of 17 as a whole raised a stunning £101,000.




18 July 2018Custard on Strawberries?


Hot custard on strawberries and ice cream?


Surely not!

08 July 2018An Auster to Malawi

From the left, Kevin Fearn, President Gillian and Ian Strachan, MBE.

Ian Strachan, MBE, and his wife, Judith, were the guests of the Club on Tuesday 3rd July. Ian transported us back to the days when adventure meant adventure with his talk of the flight he made from Bristol to Malawi in a two-seater Auster Observation plane.

His work in the Colonial Service in the fifties and sixties was in the former Nyasaland, now Malawi, and he was District Commissioner during independence in 1964. Eventually he had the idea that a return trip in early 1967 would be a real enterprise.

He arranged to meet Graham, an experienced Australian pilot, in Corsica so set off with his future wife Judith from Bristol on 4th January, but got lost over France. Eventually he made Corsica leaving Judith to return to Britain; she kept in touch for the rest of the journey accepting a proposal of marriage en-route.   

Ian and Graham crossed the Med to Tripoli and hopped along the coast to Egypt and down the river to Aswam, being built at the time, and on to Khartoum, Entebbe, Nairobi and eventually Dar es Salaam. Ian recounted the many incidents along the way for refuelling, sightseeing and maintenance of the plane. Some were quite fun but many gave his audience moments of anxiety.

Such a venture was not without extreme danger and Ian, himself, suggested such a trip would not be possible today. However, sharing such tales made for a memorable evening.


29 June 2018Crossroads

Gill Renton, the manager of Crossroads, Perth, gave a presentation of the charity's work on Tuesday evening.

Gill, shown with Rotarian Bob Thomson, explained the work of Crossroads which is a care support group.

Gill manages some 49 staff members providing respite care for patients in their own homes and gave many examples of the processes involved in providing such a wide range of support.

Such relief allows people to be supported on hospital visits, essential shopping trips or just support at home. The work is necessary for people who do not receive full time care.     

27 June 2018Club Assembly

President Colin Moreland (left centre) welcoming the new President Gillian Marsh with new Vice President Ian E Brown (left) and Assistant District Governor John Holmes


The Club Assembly became a very special meeting with some honoured guests. Honorary Members Donald McDonald and Michael Thomson, accompanied by his wife Rosemary, were joined by Assistant District Governor John Holmes.

A very convivial evening began with the handover. President Colin addressed the assembly of Members with a clear and enthusiastic summation of his year; his second as President. His most important duty was to award the Clubman of the Year trophy which went to Chris Kirk.

An address by Honorary Member and Club founder Donald McDonald proved to be his swansong as he bows out of Rotary matters after a long and distinguished career in Rotary.

Then Colin handed the chain of office to his successor, Gillian, with some affection in what might become a Club tradition. Gillian said she was daunted by the thought of following such a successful year and welcomed her support, Vice President Ian E Brown, with the now traditional welcome. And even more welcoming was showered on Frank Muirden as the new recipient of the Gulliver Award   

Assistant District Governor John Holmes rounded off the evening with many praises for the Club and its work, and introduced the new Rotary motto – Be The Inspiration


12 June 2018Retiring at 23?

Camilla Hattersley

We have watched Camilla’s progress for a few years now and have been proud of her achievements. It has been a privilege for our Club to be able to support her career.

Following her 7th place in the 800m Freestyle final at Glasgow 2014 for Scotland, she was selected for the British swimming squad  in the 2016 Olympic games. Camilla has also taken medals over 800m Freestyle at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 British Championships.

The pinnacle of her career has to be her 5th place in the 800 metre freestyle final  on the 9th April at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Swimming outdoors for the first time in front of 10,000 fervently patriotic people was quite an experience.

Camilla spoke with Rotarian Chris Kirk on Tuesday about her career. Now retiring at the age of 23 after 15 years in competitive sport, she explained the sacrifices and hardships which accompanied her journey. She illustrated her comments by telling us her training was 25 hours a week beginning at 4.30 am for 5 days a week. She has had no regrets having enjoyed the tremendous challenges along the way and has made lasting friendships.

When asked about the possibility of coaching, Camilla was specific about her future in engineering and commitments wouldn’t allow her the time to coach. However, she did say she intends to continue with motivational speaking to groups of youngsters.

Amazingly, she has found time to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering at Glasgow University and will be leaving soon to pursue her studies in Australia. On the relaxing side, she intends to keep fit and continue swimming for fun.

05 June 2018Brian Raine

Left to right - Tom Laurie, Brian Raine, Gillian Marsh and President Colin Moreland.

Have you ever had a door slammed in your face so hard that the door never opens again? This is what a stroke can feel like. Rotarian Brian Raine shared his experience with the Club members in a very personal and intimate presentation that might never have happened if it hadn’t been for the wonderful support.

Brian retired as headmaster of Queen Victoria School but, being the active person we know, was able to continue to use his knowledge, experience  and communication skills.  In many ways, Brian became involved with the chairmanship and guidance roles in more groups than many of us could hope to manage.  So, imagine the result, the effect and sheer horror of an aphasic stroke. That door slammed shut for Brian.

It was nice to share in Brian’s tribute to those who had helped like the people who reacted so FAST to his predicament that he was taken to hospital in good time. Then long months of recovery that his wife, Jean, helped with so patiently. Reading out loud words at first, then headlines from the newspaper  until he could manage full paragraphs.  His long-time friend, Robert, who encouraged conversation allowing the time for Brian to respond. And his friends, Eddie and Lorna, who gave him the confidence to enter social life again.

Brian explained how he still needs the additional support of medical staff and the Stroke Association. We can only applaud the effort that it has taken for Brian to talk to us so openly and then join with him in the salute to those who have helped selflessly in his recovery.   

29 May 2018£1000 for S.H.I.P.










Our speaker this evening was Nicola Schelbert, Manager at the charity Support, Help & Integration in Perth.

Nicola is pictured receiving a cheque for £1000 on behalf of SHIP, and on the right is accompanied by Rotarian Bill Smith who was her host for the evening.

Nicola started working with children, as a child minder, about 12 years ago whilst her own children were still at pre-school age.   From that she moved to Fairview School as a Pupil Support Assistant, helping children with severe and complex needs with their daily challenges.

She progressed to become a Senior Social Care Officer running a life skills programme, the aim of which is to ensure those pupils leaving school have the appropriate abilities required for life after school.

In January of this year she left Fairview to manage SHIP where she is continuing to give social and life skills support to children and young people with complex needs.

22 May 2018Financial Fraud - Would You Recognise It?

James Surman (on right) sounded a wake-up call at the club on Tuesday evening when he drew our attention to the many and varied ways which people employ in order to part us from our money.

He is the manager of the Trustee Savings Bank in Perth and is the future son-in-law of his host Rotarian Ian Stevenson. (I have Ian's permission to print this!)

James, who hails from Leicestershire, is a keen golfer and enjoys mountain biking in his spare time.

05 May 2018Tayside Challenge 2018


Mark Beaumont (on left) is pictured with riders keen to start the 2018 running of the Tayside Challenge.  Brian Johnston, fresh from his trip to Vietnam, is pictured second from right with Lorna Anderson, front and centre.






Mark's presence undoubtedly made a huge difference to this year's entry with over 400 riders taking part.


In excess of £14,000 was raised to be shared by the Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull and Malawi Fruits.

01 May 2018Murder Mystery of 1926

"The Sma' Glen Murder Mystery of 1926" kept a large number of Rotarians guessing when Johnathan Miller presented a fascinating tale of the death of a horse-drawn van driver at the Foulford Inn.   The unfortunate victim was Alexander Chalmers who was an employee of D & J McEwan, Crieff.

Following an inquiry into the incident Sheriff Valentine and a jury, sitting in Perth, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

In response the Dundee Courier ran an editorial which stated that until outstanding questions were answered the Sma' Glen mystery could never be considered solved.


Johnathan (left) is pictured with his host for the evening Rotarian Bob Thomson.

01 May 2018March £1000 Calendar Lottery Prize

Donald McDonald on left, pictured here with Ian Stevenson, receiving a cheque for £1000 on behalf of his daughter Saci who now lives in California.

Donald buys a Rotary Charity Lottery Calendar every year for each of his three children and this year daughter Saci has won one of the two £1000 prizes on offer each year to purchasers of the Calendar.

The 2019 calendar is now in the process of being produced and will be on sale at the Perth Show on 3rd/4th August.

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