August 2009 News from the Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull  

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President's Patter    

August has been another enjoyable month in our Rotary calendar, our first speaker was Les Paskin, known to many of us as winner of “Heads and Tails” at our dinner last year. It was good to hear how the 40:20 project was developing and also the Skinnergate project.  I wrote down quite a few of the phrases which he used but the one which I thought was most appropriate was “Give a man a bed for the night and a reason to get out of it” 


We had unexpected visitors that night – Olaf Leib from the Rotary Club of Troy, Alabama and his father in law. A quieter business meeting this month and it is good to hear how the plans of the various committees are developing. 


Of course the highlight came at the end of that week with our evening of music at Craigclowan with the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir and Michael Ellacott – that will definitely be one of the highlights of my year and a great example of joined - up Rotary, with a number of members contributing to make it happen. 


I enjoyed my wee walk round Perth too, despite the rain.  Thank you Iain and John, a lot of work had gone into the organisation of the event and we all learned something about Perth even tho’ there was dubiety about some of the answers!!  It was nice to have some more female company that night too.


Away from Rotary, I have had great enjoyment this year from my two bird feeders in the garden – peanuts and fat balls – just basic feeders hung on cup hooks on the fence, although it has cost me a small fortune in fat balls. My special favourites have been the woodpeckers which I could watch for hours.


Less welcome have been a grey squirrel and a mouse or two and the feathered visitor (Sparrow-hawk) pictured right which is actually standing on its prey but my grass was needing cut and I thought the pictures which I took later on might upset the more sensitive of you.  I was quite upset to begin with, and would have scared it away but thought if I let it finish its catch then it might save another bird from a similar fate.  Just nature, I suppose but not always very nice.  I just wish it had had its tea elsewhere – NIMBY!! I was reminded of one of silly rhymes my father used to say, which is very true of the animal and human world too:-


“Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em

And little fleas have smaller fleas and so ad infinitum!!”



Where did August go? Must have floated past someone. Yes, the curse of the Tattoo still seems to be around. But here in the warm and dry (give praise for central heating systems) I have been able to concoct our second Chatters.   

 Best now to explain the system. Chatters is really an on-line magazine which allows user interactivity and connectivity. I have had to use those terms to sound like I know what I am doing. But you can see for yourself as well. Tweety Pie and Sylvester are able to move about on screen interactively. If you move the cursor over them it will change to a little hand interactively, and if you click now you will be taken to another web site – that’s connectivity. You are now a computer expert. Simples, keeeek.

All that aside, I need your interactivity. Please let me have your articles or even a few notes to make an article. I also need your connectivity. Please give me or send me your articles or even a few notes to make an article. And photographs; come on convenors.


I must thank Frank, John St. and Eva for their contributions this month. Perhaps, next month I will be able to make the list longer.


Well, bye for now, or bfn for you texters out there; lol   


Above and beyond the call of duty 

Council Meeting held on August 4th 2009 (from Bob)


Bob Abernethy, Bob Brown, Ian Brown, Tom Laurie, Colin Moreland, Julia Robertson, Janet Simpson (Chair), Douglas Sinclair; Apologies: Bob Reid, Andrew Still, George Delgaty.

President: Janet reported that she was very pleased with the Club’s progress to date.

Thanks for Life – Polio Eradication Campaign - Tuesday 23rd Feb 2010 – Various options were discussed including the possibility of using a shop front for publicity, a possible press article around Gillian’s various Rotary, Rotoract, relations, etc. Discussed shop window promotion. Offer from Douglas to display a large sign. This will be considered further at a future meeting.

Janet advised that she hadn’t been notified of the date of the latest Perth 800 meeting and so hadn’t been present. She had received a report from the meeting which confirmed there would be no support for our proposals from P&K Council. It’s possible the focus date may be changed. Rotary Clubs are taking no further action pending further information.

Secretary: Bob presented the meeting with information regarding:

- District investigating the possibility of changing postal ballots to electronic, on a cost saving basis;
- an expected survey regarding the viability of continuing the production of the 1010 Rotarian magazine in its present format;
- and a similar look into the viability of the District Directory.


Nominations for District Governor Nominee need to be in by 31st August. This will be taken to next week’s Business Meeting.


There are various minor changes in the provision of Insurance cover and in Children & Vulnerable Adult Protection legislation. The Secretary has up-to-date details which should be requested prior to embarking on any project.


Amendments to the District Directory are on the notice board.


The Secretary was asked to circulate the Proposed Revision to Standing Orders to all Members to allow this to be discussed at next week’s Business Meeting.


Treasurer: : Bank Signatories are being updated including adding Bob Riddell as Assistant Treasurer.

Laminated Membership Directories are available from Tom at £1 each.

Cost of sending specs to be checked with Nick Hine.


JVP: Programme progressing well but Members need to be reminded to check the noticeboard or website to check their duties.

Public RelationsEva has contacted PA about forthcoming concert and is also trying for a mention in the "Whats On" column.


Community ServiceJulia reported that her committee had met and considered their projects for the year. Principle projects will include Chernobyl Kids outing; Young Carers outing; Homestart; outing for local disadvantaged children; and a Garden Project at Cornhill House. A Kids Out Day in conjunction with the Perth Club is also being considered and other possible child-oriented ideas are being discussed.

International & FoundationIan confirmed details for the walk on 18th August. Cost will be £5 and supper will be served in The George at 8pm.

Ways & Means: Andrew reported very slow ticket sales for the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir concert and asked for a better effort from Members. (The Secretary apologised for the mis-spelling of Michael Ellacott’s name on the publicity materials.)


We are one team short for the Charity Golf. There are a few Hole Sponsors with others possible.

Youth & Vocational: Bob reported that the Art Competition was now back on track. 1st September is the likely date for presentation of RYLA certificates and we will try to get some former RYLA participants along for this special 25th Year presentation.

Membership Douglas reported that he hoped to get George to attend a Membership Seminar being held in Stirling in September, as he would be on holiday at that time. The Secretary advised the meeting that RIBI and District 1010 had set aside funds to promote Rotary membership, so we should be prepared for individuals approaching us requesting to join our Club. This was discussed at some length.

Other Competent Business: It was reported that the wishing well is no more. It had been decided that the structure wasn’t fit for purpose and would require too much work to alter. Mike Massey is recycling it into flower containers.


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

Standing room only at Craigclowan for the Cardiff Arms Park Choir and the celebrated Michael Ellacott 



Business Meeting held on 11th August 2009

President; Janet mentioned that events had to be discussed for the forthcoming Rotary Day to be held on Tuesday 23rd February 2010. It was mentioned that a billboard could be erected and shop windows dressed to increase awareness in the general public.  


There were no programs yet for the Perth 800 event.


Janet sent the Club's best wishes to Brain Raine for a speedy recovery.


SVP: George was planning to attend the RIBI Seminar on 5th September at StirlingUniversity and would report back.


The Club's first curling league game was to be held on 2nd November and the Rotary Bonspiel was scheduled for Thursday 5th November 


Sports Committee: Ian mentioned the Charity Golf event and that there was now a good number of teams. He added that there were 8 names already down for the Presidents' Putter to be held at Blairgowrie Golf Club.


Organisation of the suggested walking trips was to be transferred to Fellowship


Community Service: July mentioned that not a lot was happening at the moment but there were a lot of ideas in the pipeline like gardening and chaperoning projects. 


International & Foundation: Iain reminded everyone that the Perth Trail was ready for the following Tuesday and the meal would be at the George at 7.30pm


The spectacles were ready to be sent away but Nick wanted some publicity.


Mike Massey had taken up the opportunity to attend the Tall Ships Open Day


Ways & Means: Andrew announced that the Male Choir event was sold out. There would be a need for helpers to organise traffic and clear up.


Youth & Vocational: Bob said that the RYLA certicates were ready for presentation on Tuesday 1st September.


The Perth Young Artists competition had been arranged this year with the Perthshire Art Association as  a memorial to John Dickson. 7 local senior schools had signed up. 


Treasurer: At this point Tom rose to riotous laughter. Undeterred, he called everyone to order for serious business only to discover he was 'deshabille', but order was eventually  brought to the assembled throng. In fact, he brought even clearer order with the announcement that there were still outstanding subscriptions including four former Presidents and the Treasurer. It was especially important as the National Subs were overdue. There was complete silence for his threat to name names at the next meeting (ED: could be quite public as all are walking in Perth


The meeting came close to the end when the Club Secretary attempted to explain the proposed amendments to the Area constitution. However, he was saved by the suggestion that the assembly would be happy to leave him to make any decisions as they all had complete faith in his judgement. However, as we are entitled to 3 voting delegates at the 1010 meeting, it was also decided that Colin would replace Brian on this instance. 


District is investigating the possibility of changing postal ballots to electronic, on a cost saving basis;  There is expected a survey regarding the viability of continuing the production of the 1010 Rotarian magazine in its present format;- and a similar look into the viability of the District Directory.  

Nominations for District Governor Nominee need to be in by 31st August.


Amendments to the District Directory are on the notice board. The Secretary circulated the Proposed Revision to Standing Orders to all Members and this was discussed at the Business Meeting.


August is Membership and Extension Month. The new online version of Rotary Basics is an indispensable tool for introducing new and prospective club members to the fundamentals of Rotary, providing knowledge that will make them better informed and proud to be a Rotarian.


The new Rotary International ID cards are available to the Club. They will cost £1.38 each and are to be the recognised method of introduction to other clubs everywhere.


 Lesley Paskin - Skinnergate

Les Paskin, a former Skinnergate Centre Manager, spoke of the background of the  ‘forty:twenty’ Furniture project and how he had been involved in the original vision for this kind of work some ten years ago.  ‘forty:twenty’ refers to a verse in the Bible, taken from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, chapter 40 and verse 20, which reads:

 “a man too poor to present an offering, selects wood that will not rot.”

Homeless people who are dealing with their problems are in need of some support or training to enable them to be rehoused in the general community. Skinnergate House has been in existence since 1856, when it was first established as a home for itinerant workers. It was rebuilt in 1928 by gift from Lord Forteviott.  This building still stands, although a major refurbishment was undertaken by The Salvation Army, generously assisted by government and local grants.  This refurbishment was completed in January 2001 when it became fully operational in its present form. The Trustees of the Perth Model Lodging House Association own the building, and they, together with their house management committee, continue to take a regular and keen interest in the work undertaken here. 

The work undertaken within the unit at North Muirton is intended to enable the residents to realise their best potential in a safe and private environment, where their dignity, choice and safety are central to the programme. This is done through individually agreed Personal Development Plans that are worked through in conjunction with named principal and secondary key workers.

The Perth Resettlement Unit’s furniture reuse project has been helping increase employment potential for residents and some New Deal scheme participants through training. A new workshop has been created in the project’s warehouse to provide space for carrying out basic repairs and renovations to wooden furniture as well as for testing electrical equipment. 

 The Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir performing at Craigclowan School



In the audience was Judi Sutherland, Senior Co-ordinator with Home-Start Perth since its establishment as the first Home-Start Scheme in Scotland in 1984.  It was also Judi’s last day.  Also in the audience was Christine Sloan who had interviewed Judi all these years ago.  Both were there in support of Home-Start Perth

Perth Trail Walk

We have to thank Iain and John for such a great evening. The weather may have transpired to be a typical Scottish summer's evening but spirits were not dampened. The host set off with their clues and the eventual answers provided good banter in the evening. Returning to the George for a meal, everyone discovered where they had gone wrong; and right. Those who got least wrong were George and Ann Delgaty having recovered from their US golf excursion. Little did we know that their US travels in Western Pennsylvania were just a warm up for the Perth Trail Walk. Next time, we must exclude those who feel the need to practise before the event.

A Welcome Visitor

Olaf Leib and his father-in-law, Professor John Muller, who were staying at the GeorgeHotel, joined us for an evening. Olaf's son was playing soccer in Germany and they were to continue thier journey to meet up. They were thrilled to receive the fellowship of the club and mentioned how the evening was so like those of their own club in Troy, Alabama


Eva's fund raising

Perth Kinnoull Rotary Club member Eva Smart and her friend, Janice Laurie, have raised money for the Young Carers Project in Perth & Kinross, which will support children, aged 5 - 18 years, who have a caring responsibility for a family member with an illness or disability. This is one of the charities supported by the Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service (PKAVS).

They set out on the The Nijmegen Marches on 21st July to start the four day walk. PKAVS is a diverse charity supporting the community of Perth & Kinross. It supports over 5,000 people every year, including children and adults who are carers, adults recovering from mental ill health, people with disabilities and the elderly. It also helps other local charities to find funding and recruit volunteers.

Day 1

We had a beautiful sunny day, too hot to walk, but we still made it. We walked through Bemmel to Arnhem, from there on to Elst, Oosterhout and back to Nijmegen, 40km in all! The streets are lined with people cheering us and the other 41.000 walkers on, they hand out cucumber, liquorice and sweeties to keep us going. There is music along the way from various hoompapa band and DJ's playing popular music. The atmosphere is electric. In Nijmgen itself there are parties every night until the early hours, this guarantees that you get a good send off early in the morning when you start.

Day 2 

We started at a different time, yesterday we started at 6.15am , today at 5.45. As we did not start right at the beginning of our slot, many fanatics had already left and we felt we had a lot more space to walk. Apart from the people on the roadside encouraging us, we also sang with the soldiers and walked along a marching for quite a while. 


Day 3

Today we had a rainy day, lots and lots of it. We went through some small villages and despite the rain people were still outside cheering us on (and eating and drinking at the same time). Today we covered the seven hills. The hills in Holland are not quite the same as the ones in Scotland, hence we only counted 3 slight inclines. This must be due to the wonderful training we did before coming out here. We revisited the blister clinic this evening and got more treatment and more taping up. This should see us through tomorrow, toes crossed.

Day 4

Well we have done it, but the last day was a struggle to say the least, everything aching and only able to walk at a very slow pace. Whereas the previous days we completed in 7.5 hours, today it took us 9 hours. We are done in! The reception today coming back into Nijmegen was amazing, the whole town had turned out and were cheering, singing and giving away gladiola. Very emotional! And we are happy to report that Janice has now one blister, you can hardly see it, but it is definitely a blister! Ohhh.


On our way back home tomorrow night, if we can climb up the aircraft stairs. Thank you all so much for your support, texts and calls, we really needed that. Thank you. 

Hope Whitelaw 

Perth-Kinnoull Rotary are one of the sponsors this year for 13 year-old skier Hope who has returned from the British Ski Academy in France. She began her road to success when her parents took her to Utah as a three year-old and began to show her promise aged eight at Glenshee.  


By eleven, she was one of 150 girls at the British Championships at Meribel. At the end of the 2007 winter season, she was selected for the British Children’s Ski Team.   And in her second year, she became British champion, winning the slalom and overall titles. 

She mixed with Europe's finest at Abetone,
Italy, in March this year in a competition rather like a mini children’s Olympics where she came 30th. Her skiing has been marked by coming second for Scotland at the World Schools National Championships. She hopes to win the British Children’s title next year; the 2012 Youth Winter Olympics and be ready for the Winter Olympics in 2018.


Above all, she does not forget her roots and would like to thank The Scottish Building Society, Asda, Peak Leaders and Perth Kinnoull Rotary for their kind support and sponsorship of her career to date.


The Jo Homan Charity

Charity Founder, Joe Homan, started a single project for destitute boys in 1965, just south of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, South India. He invited six homeless boys to help him clear the scrub on a borrowed piece of wasteland and make mud bricks. They then built a mud wall cottage to live in, and five poultry sheds. After six months this had developed into a poultry farm producing 700 eggs a day. A year later, he bought 32 acres of semi-desert land and the first BoysTown was built at Tirumangalam. The Boys Town Society has grown from humble beginnings over the last 40 years. Today there are 8 residential homes for boys aged 11-18, each housing 85 youngsters, as well as 5 similar projects for girls and younger children.

Joyful Learning

Balwadi are pre-school nurseries, called,) encourage children 0-5 years and their families to accept regular attendance at school from the earliest age. Learning through play makes the experience a happy one and forms good habits from an early age. Most children at 5 years in India will start primary school where they will be provided with a  daily midday meal. Joyful Learning is an initiative to help schools provide a better education, through Teacher Training and the provision of classroom equipment and educational material. Having persuaded children and their families that school is the best workplace for youngsters these centres are important in helping to continue the good work once the school day is over. They provide an opportunity for constructive fun and games, will provide a nutritional supplement for the children, and a focus for a homework club.  

Vocational Training

During the last year of schooling, youngsters are offered job counselling by our Projects Officers. Children in the Residential Boys and Girls Towns, together with their parent or guardian, will receive vocational guidance including trade exposure visits. Students will either go into accredited training with an ITI (Industrial Training Institute) to gain skills such as electrician, motor mechanic, etc, or will continue their study in local colleges gaining diploma or even degree qualifications in areas such as nursing or accounting. The charity is able to help brighter students to continue their studies through the BTS Home Sponsorship Scheme. Staff will visit regularly and support the child in these circumstances.


Society for Poor People's Development (SPPD) 

SPPD is a leading registered community developmental organisation, established in 1995. Working in some deprived parts of Tiruchirapalli District, their primary focus is on economic development and social awareness for women and educational assistance for the children. Currently The Joe Homan Charity is assisting SPPD with twenty Supplementary Education Centres in rural villages




Perth Kinnoull Rotary Club supports Pamela and Muthepandi through the Joe Homan Charity























 Shelter Box



Shelter boxes are a valuable aid at those natural or man-made disasters where, although the infrastructure is sound, there is a need for the welfare items. In an emergency, both local and international 'Relief Agencies' react with initial aid and assistance to relieve the immediate suffering and hardships. How often after this first response have we heard the Aid Agencies asking for additional help in the form of tents and sleeping bags to accommodate and protect these displaced and vulnerable people? Often they need shelter and protection for many months after the disaster until the local infrastructure is re-established and able to cope. The Rotary answer is the Shelter Box which costs £490 and provides shelter and warmth for up to 10 people for a prolonged period. It contains a high quality 10-person tent, manufactured from modern lightweight but resilient and robust materials plus 10 high quality durable sleeping bags and ancillary equipment such as a multi fuel cooker, spade and rope. 


The Shelter Box Trust will purchase boxes and equipment as required. Complete boxes will be assembled, numbered and held in store to be distributed as and when called for by recognised and established international aid agencies. Organisations and individuals who make donations will be advised of the identification number of 'their box', its status and final destination. All equipment will be new and unused and has been selected for its usefulness and quality and will have a long and useful life once distributed by international aid agencies. These robust standardised multi-functional Shelter Boxes are secure, easily stored and transported and once on site can be used in many other varied and useful ways.......water, storage, baby's cot, table, etc. 


Actress and campaigner Miss Joanna Lumley OBE has just become a ShelterBox Patron. She said she was keen to be associated with the charity, which she "really loves and admires". 


ShelterBoxes sent to Sri Lanka


448 ShelterBoxes are being sent to Sri Lanka to provide shelter to those who have lost their homes in the current conflict. The boxes were despatched from prepositioned stock in Singapore and Dubai and arrived in the country by 7 May. ShelterBox Operations Manager Pete Sykes said “I am pleased to say that we now have permits to start operating in the field. A big thanks to local Rotarians for their help in liaising with the appropriate authorities.” The UN estimates that more than 150,000 people have been displaced in recent months as the fighting has intensified.


First consignment of aid reaches Pakistan


ShelterBox is reacting to the growing humanitarian crisis in the country as hundreds of thousands of people flee the fighting between the army and militants in the north west of the country. ShelterBox Response Team member Mark Pearson (UK) is in the country to oversee the distribution of 112 ShelterBoxes which have been prepositioned there since March and an additional 250 ShelterBoxes, 250 heavy duty tents and 380 ‘family kits’ of essential equipment arrived in the country on 22 May. Mark will also assess the need for further shipments of aid. ShelterBox is currently working there with local Rotarians, the National Rural Support Programme and other agencies. “There is clearly a great need for emergency shelter in the country,” said ShelterBox Operations Manager Pete Sykes. “The first consignment of aid is already being distributed and we are preparing to send more.” Click on the logo to the right to download a copy of the July 2009 Newsletter.


Thursday 6 August 2009 - Additional aid sent to Pakistan  

An extra 400 ShelterBoxes have been sent to Pakistan to further assist the people who have fled the fighting between the army and militants in the north of the country. The latest consignment of boxes are in addition to the boxes sent to the region in May and June to help the estimated 2.4 million people displaced by the fighting. They will provide emergency shelter for up to 4,000 people. 



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

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

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.





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