News from around our Club...
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?
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?
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.
24 April 2018Sid House and the Forestry Commission
Tonight's speaker Sid House (left) pictured with Rotarian Steve Blackett, his host for the evening.
Sid told us his story of working for the Forestry Commission since leaving university until his retirement in 2016 with just a short interuption of a couple of years.
He told us of the work of the organisation including developing renewable energy schemes, creating and maintaining trails and visitor facilities, and conserving the estate's habitats, wildlife and archaeological treasures.
It was interesting to note that the timber industry is worth more to Scotland than the fishng industry and provides more than 30,000 jobs across the wood production, forest management, haulage and processing sectors.
10 April 2018Brad's Job Talk
Bradley Harris (centre) pictured with Vice President Gillian Marsh and his host for the evening John Steven.
During his job talk Brad took us from his early days in South Africa, becoming a lifeguard on his local beach and his spell of National Service in the Army, serving on the Angolan border. Then he took up skydiving which he considered to be a much safer way of spending his time.
He worked in various banks and investment companies as a mainframe computer expert, before moving to Perth in 1997 as an employee of General Accident.
Brad has now retired from company life and breeds highland cattle at his home in Perthshire.
09 April 2018Commonwealth Games
Camilla Hattersley and Scott McLay
Camilla and Scott, our sponsored swimmers are both having a good games in Australia's Gold Coast. Camilla was fifth in the 8oo metres final in a season's best time of 8 mins 32.3 secs. Scott receives a bronze medal following Scotland's third place in the final of the 4 x 100 metres relay.
27 March 2018Taxman to Traffic Warden
Jim Granger pictured (centre L) with his host rotarian Frank Sloan entertained us this evening by telling a very interesting and humorous tale of his journey from school leaver to Traffic Warden (Parking Attendant).
His first job was as a self-employed caddy at Gleneagles Golf Cub for six months before he joined the Civil Service. After a short spell he worked as a National Insurance Inspector and at the same time had a part time job with Marks & Spencer for twelve years.
When the DHSS merged with Customs and Excise Jim worked in many areas of customer service which he thoroughly enjoyed. He then moved to Project and Strategy work which he hated! He left HMRC in March 2015.
After a short interval of two months he joined Perth & Kinross District Council as a Parking Attendant or Traffic Warden as we know them. Jim is thoroughly enjoying his latest job and had many amusing incidents to relate.
All present enjoyed his talk immensely as witnessed by the number of questions thrown at him at the end. President Colin had to call proceedings to a halt or we might have been there yet!
20 March 2018The Royal Company Of Archers
Alisdair Macdonald, a member of the Royal Company of Archers, came along this evening to tell us the fascinating history of the Company.
It functions as the Sovereign's "Body Guard in Scotland" at the request of the Queen at any State and ceremonial occasion taking place in Scotland. It was formed in 1822 in the reign of George IV although it still functions as an archery club - the purpose for which it was originally formed in 1676.
Members of the Royal Company of Archers wear a distinctive uniform which Alisdair brought along for us to see. It features a dark green tunic with black facings, dark green trousers and a Balmoral bonnet with the Royal Company's badge and an eagle feather.
Alisdair (left) is pictured with his friend and host Rotarian Douglas Sinclair.
An archery contest in Peebles.
16 March 2018President's Dinner
The Top Table guests, Back row (L to R):- Gail Mackay, (president of Perth St Johns), David Lindsay (president of the Perth club) and Ann Gourlay (President of Soroptimist International Club of Perth)
Front row (L to R):- speaker Archie Gilbert, President Colin Moreland and speaker Jim Robertson.
Piper Ian Stevenson drinks a well-earned dram.
Auctioner Peter Wood encourages those present to spend more money, assisted by rotarian Douglas Sinclair.
Raffle prizes galore!
04 March 2018Young Singers Competition 2018
Winners and Judges
Back (L - R): Aiesha Hunter, Kirsty Watson, Judge Peter Caban, Ben Leathley.
Front (L - R):Erin Paterson, Judge Debora Salem, Judge Zoe Perman, Bethany Langton.
Kirsty Watson from Perth College UHI was the overall winner with Bethany Langton, also from UHI, in second place. Erin Paterson, Perth High School, was given the special award of "Star in the Making"
Winner Kirsty Watson (centre) with judge Zoe Perman and Youth Convenor Chris Kirk
"Star in the Making" - Erin Paterson from Perth High School pictured with Zoe and Chris.
Brian Johnston and Douglas Sinclair were the "bouncers" on the door and were excellent raffle ticket sellers.
21 February 2018Ex Presidents' Dinner
On 21 February seven ex Presidents gathered at the North Port Restaurant in Perth for a night of good food, lots of chat and fellowship. We toasted dearly departed former Presidents Douglas Barr, Danny Fitzsimons and Peter MacDougall.
Douglas Sinclair, Ian Stevenson and Harry Cooper Bob Abernethty, Frank Muirden, Steve Blackett, Bob Reid
(Report and Photos from Frank Muirden)
20 February 2018History of the Black Watch
Gordon Allen, who is a tour guide at Bahousie Castle Black Watch Mueum, gave us a summary of the history of the Black Watch which is now part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
He was born in Perth and, leaving shool at 15, joined the Royal Navy Boys' Training School, after which he flew to Singapore to join HMS Diana (Destroyer).
After 9 years in the Royal Navy Gordon worked on the oil rigs for two years before joining the Fire Brigade, where he served for 25 years until his retirement.
06 February 2018Induction of Bradley Harris
Bradley Harris (left) during the occasion of his induction.
Bradley, who originally hails from South Africa, is pictured with Douglas Sinclair who introduced Bradley to Rotary and to the Perth Kinnoull Club. A very warm welcome, Brad, to our club and the Rotary community.
06 February 2018Champion Paddler
Ailsa Gourlay (left) pictured with her mum, Sandra, and Youth Convenor Chris Kirk.
Ailsa, who is a slalom canoeist, is a Scottish Champion and is looking forward to competing in the British and European Championships this year.
Here she is pictured receiving a cheque for £500 from President Colin Moreland which will go some way to helping with the considerable expenses involved in competing at this high level of expertise.
23 January 2018Gordon Dow, Spectraglass Ltd.
Rotarian Gordon Dow, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Perth, was our speaker this evening. Gordon is Chairman and principal stakeholder in Spectraglas Ltd which is a family-owned company based in Perth.
He told us of the history of glass from the start of glass blowing by the Phoenicians up to the present day.
Gordon is pictured (centre) with President Colin Moreland and his long time friend and host for the evening, Frank Muirden.
19 December 2017Christmas Party 2017
28 November 2017Charity Ride In Vietnam
Brian Johnston took the opportunity this evening to tell us about the cycle ride he is undertaking in April 2018 in Vietnam for one of his favourite charities.
Find lots more details on this link as well as the opportunity to donate to the cause. Brian is hoping to raise £1750 and at the time of writing he has already achieved 85% of the target.
Brian is pictured with members of the club who wish him an enjoyable trip and a safe return.
What a way to train for the Tayside Challenge!
07 November 2017Intergenerational Development
Maureen O'Reilly, Perth & Kinross Council's very first Intergenerational Development Officer, visited us this evening to explain her new role.
She is originally from Edinburgh but has lived in Perthshire for 18 years. Maureen previously worked for Arthritis Care, NHS Tayside, Marie Curie, and the British Red Cross.
She is currently using Perth Grammar School and the Community School Auchterarder as bases for her task of bringing the generations together.
26 October 2017Planting Crocus at Charlotte Gate.
Bellway’s Charlotte Gate development in Broxden near Perth will be a sea of purple next spring to support an international campaign to eradicate polio. The Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull is planting 5,000 crocus bulbs at the popular development near Perth as part of its Purple4Polio campaign.
For over 30 years, Rotary has been working tirelessly to rid the world of the deadly disease and as a result of its members’ efforts the number of polio endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just three. Over 2.5 billion children have received vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary.
Rotary members, along with representatives from Bellway including Sales Manager Lyn Maloney, planted the first bulbs on Thursday (26th October).
When they bloom at the end of March they will flower in the shape of a Rotary Wheel at the main entrance to the site.
International Convenor George Delgaty said: “We are delighted that Bellway is allowing us to plant bulbs in such a prominent place near the main traffic lights at the entrance to the development. Hopefully people driving past will see it and want to find more about the work we do in the local community and the polio campaign.”
Purple has become a symbol for polio eradication as children have their pinkies dyed purple when they are immunised in developing countries. Rotary has joined forces with the Royal Horticultural Society to plant over 7 million purple crocus bulbs across Great Britain and Ireland.
Fraser Conn, Sales Director, Bellway Homes (Scotland) Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be involved in such a worthy campaign and it will be wonderful to see crocuses bloom next year. Crocuses are a great symbol of hope, as soon as you see them you instantly think at last winter is coming to an end.”
25 October 2017Soroptimist/Rotary Quiz
There was a full house on Wed 25th October when 18 teams entered the quiz organised by our club on behalf of the Perth Soroptimists.
Our international convenor, George Delgaty, took over the running of the event, ably assisted by Bruce Cameron as an excellent quizmaster.
A stovie supper, enjoyed and appreciated by all, was provided with the compliments of the Royal George Hotel.
The winning team were The Spiders, all NHS workers, captained by Anne Gray.
Pictured (L to R) Lillias Stibbles, Anne Gray, Yvonne Dewar and Ann Freeman.