March Chatters

2010 News from the Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull  

Printable Version



March - what a month! A hesitant spring and a spring in the step of Andrew and his committee. After month's of planning, two of our biggest events are now behind us. This relief has been hard won and, from what I hear, they were probably two of the most successful events organised by the Club. The satisfaction of about a hundred and twenty members and guests at the dinner can only cap a great year for President Janet who will soon be handing over the baton. And after Harry's  gentle persuasion (he's certainly named correctly), everyone will be delighted with the full house at the Concert Hall. The program sellers were busy up to the last minute. I have added a couple of new links to the web site. First, the Perth 800 events have been published; you can get the link by clicking the Perth 800 icon at the top of the Home Page. Second, considering the changing weather, I've put the Met Office 5 day forecast for Perth on the News Page. Enjoy. I'll be away 'til the end of April so see you all after the AGM.  




Community Service

  • Kids Out: we are in the process of identifying a group of disabled/disadvantaged youngsters who would benefit from our support. 
  • The family room at Cortonvale Prison: we have agreed to fund this project.
  • Starter Pack: we would still appreciate more basic furnishing donations, such as towels, blankets, pillows.  




Youth & Vocational Committee  

  • RYLA: With the assistance of Nick Du Boulay, and the last minute provision of a venue by Eddie Anderson, the selection interviews for RYLA 2010 took place on Sunday 7th March. Eleven candidates were considered in conjunction with the Perth Club and two were selected for sponsorship by our Club - Katie Lindsay from Perth Grammar School and Tom Hodge from Perth High School, with Bradley Anderson from St John's Academy as a reserve.
  • Strathallan Mock Interviews: The second and final series of interviews were held on Monday 8th March. Many thanks to Nick Du Boulay for again making the arrangements and it was very interesting to hear from his colleagues just how much the school appreciates our efforts. Thanks also to the Rotarians who participated.
  • Primary Schools Quiz: After hosting this event for the last three years District has decided that other clubs should take their turn. Alloa have now volunteered to run the Zone 7 final this year and it is hoped that all cubs will take their turn in future on an annual basis.
  • Young Singer Competition: This is our next major event and as previously advised it will be held on Tuesday 1st June at the Royal George.



Our Perthshire League curlers have done us proud. Having beaten Pitlochry, they waited for the result of the Dunblane game. Dunblane won so we finished second in the League. I am sure that everyone will join me in thanks to Ian whose innovation and hard work has borne enjoyable fruit   

  March - in like a lion, out like a lamb. Some lamb!




 President's Dinner 



The Annual event on 12th March 2010 went with a swing from the moment Ian piped in the guests and received his reward to considerable cheers. President Janet certainly gave her guests something to remember. Heads and Tails under Julia's control proved to end with a competitive edge and the George Hotel provided an excellent meal. Jim Robertson, district fiscal for the Kirkcaldy area, pulled on his wealth of knowledge to give the toast and entertain with well-timed anecdotes, keeping members and guests in stitches. George McNeill's reply did not drop the pace with an equally entertaining presentation based more on his personal experience; the story of the chartered surveyor from Kirkcaldy competing against the world's best sprinters at a US meeting will remain with me for some time. 


Concluding the event was an excellent raffle organised by Andrew and his team, and a quite magnificent auction organised by Douglas and Bob which must have broken all records. The prizes were genuinely special and their value was highlighted by the auction bids. More to come.....................



Book Sale


In addition to the great sum collected at the earlier booksale in Perth, Michael has now collected a further £240 for the sale of the remaining books to Bookdonors. The spare CDs will be donated to the St John's Restoration Fund.


Haiti Fund


Half the fund has been donated to RIBI for future projects in Haiti and the other half to Mercyships, an organisation at the forefront of the Haiti rescue efforts. This donation will be matched under a current scheme. 



Black Dyke Band Concert


The Black Dyke Band made a very welcome return to Perth on Saturday 27th March. This exclusive visit to Scotland of the Black Dyke Band was met by a packed house at the Concert Hall who were entertained to the wide range of serious, humorous and outstanding music of the world class band. People had come from all over Scotland for the event including a large attendance by other Rotary Club members. Members of the Rotary Club of Perth Kinnoull are to be congratulated on such a successful event, from the planning, advertising and ticket sales to the program design and selling; a joint effort with a tangible reward. You can stop worrying now, Harry.


Some comments


Great concert last night in Perth, Scotland. Thanks for all the lovely comments. Was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.


Fantastic night at Perth Concert Hall. It was packed out and had a fantastic atmosphere. Some amazing pieces - That's Amore was really funny! Within Blue Empires was totally jaw droppingly fab!

Review from Sigurd Scott

What makes this band unbeatable? An analogy. Olivier’s approach to his art was cerebral, in building a character his attention to detail was unsurpassed, he was a master of his craft. Compare with Finney whose performances were infused with irrepressible joie de vivre, intuitive, played straight from the heart. Cool and hot, head and heart, combine in the playing of Black Dyke, consummate technical command of instruments allied to exuberant thrilling zest in performance. Thanks to Perth Kinnoull Rotary Club a capacity audience was able to appreciate these talents when the band performed in the Concert Hall last Saturday.

There was the march, here Queensbury, lovely and sprightly, a fine signature tune of the Band. A selection was included of those lingering melodies, The Lady is a Tramp, Luck be a Lady, That’s Amore, flugel horn player Alex Kerwin having fun, Autumn Leaves, persuasively pensive playing from Sandy Smith on tenor horn. A sweet little Victorian tune, Jenny Wren, was the ground for the obligatory variations to feature the lead cornet, a dazzling bravura performance from Richard Marshall. Tuba soloist Joseph Cook stamped his unquestionable authority on the premiere of Klezmorim.

Band composer Paul Lovatt-Cooper contributed the most substantial work, Within Blue Empires, a fascinating piece evoking the depths of the ocean and its inhabitant, a great whale – no Moby Dick but a loving mother, rousing affection in the listener. Paul Lovatt-Cooper lived in Perth with his parents between 1983-1986.His father still lives in Perth and Paul visits regularly but last Saturday’s concert was his debut as a professional musician and, aptly, where he gave the Scottish premiere of his major work, Within Blue Empires, based on the blue whale and its life. 

Few first rank composers have written for brass bands, Malcolm Arnold, Gordon Jacob, Elgar on an occasion, but arrangers have pinched some of the best tunes from the orchestral repertoire. Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla, bright and breezy leant itself splendidly to the treatment, but Saint Saens’ mighty Organ Symphony’s Finale, how would it fare? Brilliantly, as it turned out, the majestic thundering organ sonority thrillingly reproduced, bringing a grand closure to the programme, though Vidor’s Toccata provided a bright tailpiece.

The Band’s Director, Dr Nicholas Childs, a relaxed and witty interlocutor, took the chance to underline the quality of his players. No need really, they spoke most eloquently for themselves.

Leonard Cheshire Disability

The Club has made a considerable donation to the Leonard Cheshire Disability Charity which is the largest voluntary sector provider of care and support services for disabled people and exists to change attitudes to disability and to serve disabled people around the world. Their principal activity in the UK is the provision of services in support of disabled people in the widest context. These services include care homes, supported living, domiciliary support, day services, resource centres, rehabilitation, respite care, personal support and training and assistance for those looking for work.

In the UK, Leonard Cheshire Disability operates through twelve service groups across England and a national office and individual structure for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All of the services are managed professionally and are supported by local and area volunteer support groups, who provide practical assistance to the disabled people. Internationally Leonard Cheshire Disability has over 255 partners globally and is part of a Global Alliance of non-governmental organisations in 52 countries. It works though its six regional offices based in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean.

 Sponsorship (with the assistance of Terry Quadling, Volunteer)         


 Infant Pamela at the Inba Seva Sangam Girl Town

Infanta is one of 11 girls sponsored by the John Homan Charity who are still at the local Panchayat Union Primary School. She follows the recently introduced Action Based Learning system with students pursuing their own studies and pace in the given subject, largely by discovery rather than teaching.  

A typical school day in Girls Town starts with sweet herbal tea at 5 am to kick-start their brains followed by prayers and, personal and joint chores. Finally they dress for school, lock their rooms then attend a session of private study from 7 to 8 am. Breakfast next and off to school for a 9 am start, home for lunch and finishing at 4.30. The next half hour is the compulsory Spoken English programme at school, after which they enjoy half an hour of games. Popular games at Girls Town include volley ball, shuttlecock, kabade (a version of British Bulldog) and board games like chess and carom. ISS girls currently hold 1st at district level sports for 1000 metres relay (and entered for State championships), 1st at district level for swimming, with another at state level for long jump, Their repertoire further includes discus, javelin and shot-putt.


Following discussions with The Joe Homan Charity (occurring normally twice annually), career guidance will commence at 8th standard in future. Earlier career guidance focuses the child’s thinking but crucially makes parents aware of their daughter’s potential, with time to absorb, adjust and get committed to the idea.  


Muthu Pandi at the Nilakottai Boys Town

Mutha is one of 70 pupils at this Boys Town and is currently in secondary school locally and likely to move on to higher secondary school and transfer to Tirumangalam Boys Town where he would take an apprenticeship. The boys live in five stone-built flat-roofed bungalows. Back in Boys Town there’s extra tuition in five subjects, 6 evenings each week for 2 hours; A Handicraft teacher visits every week and a PT Instructor twice monthly. A Computer Teacher has visited twice monthly, but from next term boys will instead attend the Training centre at Tirumangalam in groups of ten over a weekend. Their own 3 computers are available for practice daily and 10 boys are particularly keen – starting with Paintbrush and moving into Microsoft Word. Outdoor sports include cricket and volley ball, with two local specialities; kabade – a version of British Bulldog and, khokho – resembling aggressive musical chairs but with neither music nor chairs. A whole range of indoor and outdoor clubs and activities encourage broader interests and relaxation after study.

The annual medical check-up early in September gave a clean bill of health. Chikunkunya, a debilitating mosquito-born illness with no prophylaxis, later struck down 1 boy with fever and aching joints; he spent 15 days at home. 10 boys needed iron tablets and all receive multi-vitamins weekly and have vermifuge tablets twice yearly. The government programme on adolescent health and AIDS awareness hasn’t hit local schools yet. Diet is a mixture of vegetarian and ‘non-veg’ with menus determined by head office and chicken, mutton and egg treats appearing regularly.  


The principles of whole-boy development and achieving full educational potential, as first laid down by Joe Homan, have been refined over the years, adapting to need, change and opportunity. As exponential change reshapes 21st century India, the need sadly is undiminished but here and with the help of our partner schools the means continue and the lucky few realise the opportunity to change their lives – thanks entirely to their sponsors. Seeing where our boys study and meeting their teachers is revealing and hopefully will augur well for a bulge in numbers in higher and further education for the future. It’s what our youngsters and their families want, what their sponsors expect and what India needs; given the will to surmount the challenge, Boys Town can deliver the goods.


Sri Lanka

Here are the pictures of the kindergarten built at Kayankerni by SOS Children and a close up of the display board showing that "It was constructed with the generous financial support of the Perth Clubs and the Community of Perth Scotland". As Neil Townend indicates, it has taken a long time but this joint effort by the three Perth Clubs of mounting the Tsunami Appeal is one of the greatest successes for Rotary in Perth. (Many thanks to Michael for the pictures)



Charles Kiddie & Janet Grant - Balnacraig 2nd March

The Headmaster of Balnacraig School, which the Club is presently supporting, gave a thorough talk introducing the members to the purpose of the institution. He laid out a set of statements as a mission to making positive and meaningful changes in the lives of young people in his care.

  • Keeping individuals safe and protected;

  • Improving health and well-being;

  • Developing the range and quality of learning and care experiences for all;

  • Raising standards of performance and achievement;

  • Developing active and responsible citizens; and

  • Developing a caring and confident community.

Though these statements may appear to be the current standard criteria in any school, it is not so easy at Balnacraig where each of the twenty-four pupils has had a very difficult start in life.  Charles brought the school's Head of Care, Janet Grant, to explain and encouraged a dialogue with one the pupils, James, who proved to be a delightful addition to the evening and a credit to the work of the school; even able to make a few knowledgeable corrections himself.  


Swarthick Salins -  19th March

Swarthick Salins returned to the Club to give an update about the 2nd phase of the Leprosy Project which he started in May 2009. The proposed 33 houses are under construction.  The Velemegna Hospital is located in Bidar, a city of some 150,000 people, in the northern part of Karnataka State, 150 kms northwest of Hyderabad and 650 kms east of India's largest city, Mumbai. Community health workers, surveying the villages around Bidar, reported a variety of health problems, including leprosy, tuberculosis, blindness and malnutrition among children and pregnant women. If a rural hospital could be constructed in Baridabad village (20 kms from Bidar) it could serve the medical needs in thirty-nine villages After acquiring ten acres for a hospital in Baridabad, the Salins purchased additional land in other villages for agricultural development. Jawar, sugar cane, maize and grass for fodder were cultivated. And the poorest, most needy people were given a chance to support themselves and provide for their families from their own labors. Velemegna is a glowing tribute to that vision, commitment and endurance. 

Navjeevan Leprosy Centre at Chatnalli village (20 kms from Bidar town) houses 60 leprosy families  The endeavour is to see that they return to normal society, as it was the older generation who had Leprosy. The present generation and children are disease free. Presently 10 women are learning tailoring and sewing classes. 7 children are in a residential school. We have helped the village head to start a grocery shop. 3 acres of land is being developed. Simon Peter, a Pastor looks after the spiritual activities of the residents. Most of the residents have their own small businesses supported by the Leprosy Mission.

 Mark Bush - Cooking Oil  23rd March

Mark had worked for seven years for an investment bank in London when he embarked on a new venture. He returned to Perthshire to his father-in-law's farm where he and his wife Margaret started a business based on vegetable oil; rape seed oil to be specific. In just two years, the Madderty-based Summer Harvest Oils was delighted when its product Summer Harvest Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil was filmed for the next series of ‘The Great British Menu’.  

The oil has similar qualities to olive oil and can be used for dressings and marinades, as well as for roasting and stir-frying. Last year Summer Harvest won two awards at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellent Awards and it is now available in more than 100 farm shops and delis and more than 30 restaurants throughout Scotland. Mark, now managing director of Summer Harvest stated that he owed a lot of the thanks to the huge amount of local support he has had have for the products.

The products are now widely recognised as shown by the acceptance by a national magazine of the Rapeseed Oil; said to be unique, as it is grown in the fields at Ferneyfold Farm at Madderty in Perthshire, with a rich, fresh taste that is well balanced and surprisingly pleasant on the palate compared to other British rapeseed oils. It has many different uses as a result of its high burn point.  Frying, roasting and baking for example. Perthshire Rapeseed Oil is also fantastic for making marinades and dressing with a range of locally produced fruit vinegars, such as  Raspberry or Bramble. 

 Some Dates & Links for you



  • 5th                Perth Farmers Market
  • 12th              Crieff Market
  • 24th - 27th     Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh


  • 2nd - 4th       Scottish Game Fair, Scone
  • 3rd               Perth Farmers Market
  • 10th             Crieff Market


  • 7th                   Perth Farmers Market
  • 14th             Crieff Market



  • 4th              Perth Farmers Market
  • 11th            Crieff Market
  •  19th           ScotFest, Alva, Stirling


  • 2nd                  Perth Farmers Market
  • 9th              Crieff Market
  • 22nd - 24th   BBC Good Food Show - Glasgow


  • 6th              Perth Farmers Market
  • 13th            Crieff Market


  • 4th             Perth Farmers Market
  • 11th           Crieff Market
  • 18th           Perth Farmers Market


And finally............ couldn't resist sharing this.


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