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Notes on Last 6 Club Meetings

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Joint Meeting held at Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 4th March 2020

Club President Roy Marsden welcomed 30 Members, Honorary Member Jackie Taylor and guest speaker David Hurman to the meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 4th March. David, a retired oncologist from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is the Medical Director of the Nepal Trust, a Scottish Charity and Nepalese Non Governmental Organisation which has worked throughout Nepal since 1994, particularly in the district of Humla in the North West of the country.
The Charity was established by Alan Jacobsen, who had witnessed at first hand the courage of the Nepalese Gurkhas during the Second World war. David had first visited Nepal in 1979 as a trekker. Later he met a Nepali Doctor who was a Rotarian who brought the public health issues of the region to his notice. One of the projects that the Nepal Trust delivered was to acquire Radiotherapy Equipment to establish a cancer clinic near Kathmandu. Links with local and international Rotary Clubs met the fundraising challenge, with the first patient treated in 1999. The clinic employs 200 people and visiting radiographers from Scotland and elsewhere have delivered training. This clinic is still delivering healthcare after 20 years with a new wing recently added.
The mission of the Trust is to deliver healthcare, renewable energy, education, eco-tourism, and preserve culture and heritage. All this has been achieved despite turbulence in the government of Nepal, earthquakes and the difficulty in reaching the remote areas where they operate. The Nepal Trust rose to the challenge at the time of the earthquake in 2015, helping business become re-established, re-connecting water supplies, providing training in building skills, introducing small hydro-electricity schemes, rebuilding education facilities, and working alongside other charities.
The Nepal Trust supports local communities to utilise water in a sustainable way, with the acronym WASH, (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) acquiring clean drinking water, sanitation measures. A recent project is the 100% Girls to School project, which seeks to address the social stigma that is deeply rooted towards girls in rural areas at the time they are having their periods. The plan is to target 120 schools in one district of Nepal, benefiting 10,000 students. The aspiration is to reduce the dropout rate from school by dealing with period poverty. A further innovative health programme that has been ongoing for 20 years is the Little Doctors, teaching basic health concepts to children, who can then pass them on to their families. Results from the programme led to a reduction in respiratory and stomach complaints being more than halved
Rotarian Euan Barbour gave the vote of thanks.

Joint Meeting as guests of Inner Wheel held at Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 26th February 2020

Members of Cupar Rotary Club joined members of the Inner Wheel Club at their meeting on Wednesday, 26th February in Fairways Restaurant at Elmwood Golf Course. Following a welcome by the President of Inner Wheel Elspeth Smith, the company enjoyed a meal prior to a presentation by guest speaker James Dawson.
James has recently joined Fife Coast and Countryside Trust as Head of Communities and Engagement. His presentation focused on Fife's Pilgrims Way, explaining how the route was chosen and the features that can be enjoyed while following the pathways. He also explained the background to the concept of Pilgrimage and the many reasons people undertake a pilgrimage. Pat Robb, on behalf of those present gave the vote of thanks.
On Thursday evening, the local heat of the Rotary Primary School Quiz took place at Castlehill Primary School. Pupils representing Balmullo, Castlehill, Ceres, Dairsie and St Columba's R.C. Primary School entered eight teams, with a combined reserve team also taking part. Over a series of ten rounds, the lead changed several times and at the close of the contest, there was a tie between a team from Castlehill Primary School and St Columba's R.C Primary School. Following a further tie break round, St Columba's emerged as the outright winners and now go on to represent the Cupar area against other winners from Dundee and North Fife. The teams were supported by staff, parents and family members during what was an exciting and enjoyable evening.

Evening Meeting held at Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 19th February 2020

The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club on Wednesday, 19th February was a business meeting chaired by Club President, Roy Marsden.
The meeting agreed to give financial support to the North East Fife Schools Triathlon Event. In addition, it was agreed to provide funds to Médecins Sans Frontières, and two Scottish based charities, PAMIS and Changing Faces, all of whom had given presentations to the club recently.
The Club involvement in supporting Cupar Gala was outlined, while arrangements for KidsOut Day and an organised outing for elderly residents was agreed to. The Club had a number of events to raise funds for good causes in the near future, the annual golf day at Elmwood Golf Course on 22nd May and a Fashion Show on 28th May. Support for overseas initiatives that were being undertaken on an ongoing basis included collecting bikes for Africa, support for Books Abroad with the collection of textbooks that are no longer in use, and plans to involve the wider community with filling Rotary Shoe boxes to send basic consumables to those in need.
The club had arrangements in hand to select candidates for the annual Rotary Youth Leadership weeks in the summer and the Primary School Quiz for the Cupar area would take place at Castlehill Primary School on 27th February.

Evening Meeting held at Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 12th February 2020

A late call off by the scheduled speaker saw Club President Roy Marsden step into the breach at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 12th February. Roy chose to give his fellow members a presentation on "Cats of the World".
He gave an insight into this personal interest by explaining that we are probably very familiar with the big cats of the world but less familiar with the small cats. He illustrated this by drawing attention to a new species of cat that had been discovered, a clouded leopard that was classified as an entirely new species through genetic testing. Another fact that was brought to the notice of the audience that there are only four big cats that can roar, lions, tigers , leopards and jaguars, while every other cat can only purr. This is because the big cats voice boxes have a part than can be stretched, to create a larger sound-producing passage. So in the world of cats, cheetahs and pumas are not seen as big cats, but overgrown small cats.
There are 36 wild cats of the world according to a specialist cat specialist group sponsored by ICUN , the World Conservation Union, with numbers declining in certain habitats due to local circumstances.For example the Iberian Lynx is suffering because of the loss of the rabbit population that is part of their food chain. Conservation funding largely goes to big cats, with the consequential decline in population of some small cat species.Roy also demonstrated the use of technology in observing wildlife. He follows the Zooniverse community online, which gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in real research with citizen science projects. One such project is the South Sudan Diversity Cam, which invites participants to identify the species that are being recorded by camera traps.
Past President Graham Pirie gave the Club's vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 5th February 2020

Club President Roy Marsden welcomed members and one guest to the meeting of the Rotary Club on Wednesday 5th February.
Past President Peter MacKinnon , who had a career change within the farming environment a number of years ago provided members with an account of his work on behalf of Quality Meat Scotland. His job takes him on to farms to carry out assessments to ensure that farmers are meeting the high standards expected in caring for their livestock, with matters such as animal welfare, traceability and environmental issues are being adhered to. Quality Meat Scotland is a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, promoting the red meat sector and marketing the Protected Geographical Indication Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands. It was set up to provide assurance to industry and consumers that animals produced for the food chain meet certain standards. To carry the the industry's premium brands, the livestock must have been born, reared and slaughtered in Scotland and spent their entire life on QMS Assured holdings. The chain also requires the livestock to be given approved feedstuffs, transported by approved livestock carriers and sold at approved auction markets, with slaughter by approved processors. He also provided an account of the separate arrangements for pigs and the management of large scale production.
Cereal production was another aspect of Peter's presentation, where he dealt with the environmental aspects and the controls in place to improve crop quality and production.He also set out the many pressures that the farming industry faces to ensure quality that will satisfy the industry bodies and the retailers who market the end product.
Peter's talk generated a variety of questions and he was thanked at the close of the meeting by Past President Pat McInally.

Evening Meeting held at Fairways Restaurant on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Club President Roy Marsden welcomed members and guests to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday 22nd January, celebrating the Bard, Robert Burns, in traditional style.
The haggis was piped in by Douglas Provan of Cupar Pipe Band, with Pat Mitchell taking the role of Poosie Nancy. Past President Brian Bayne addressed the haggis which was toasted by all present. Past President Colin Mackenzie gave the Selkirk Grace.
Entertainment and tribute to Burns was provided by Aaron McGregor, a very talented violin player. With his roots in Kirkwall, Aaron studied at Edinburgh University, where his talent was rewarded with prizes for playing and his final year dissertation. He has a varied performing background in orchestras and smaller ensembles, but it was his solo playing that created admiration among the audience. As a PhD student at Glasgow University, Aaron is researching the history of violin playing in Scotland, leading to the popularity of the violin emerging as a popular instrument in the time when Burns was taking an interest in traditional songs. As a regular guest at traditional gatherings at this time of year, the club were very fortunate to benefit from Aaron's knowledge and talent. It was recognised that Burns was one of the most prolific songwriters and collectors of music and it was explained that Burns sought out composers and performers so that he could add to his knowledge. Aaron's tribute to Burns and his musicality was interspersed with a series of well chosen violin tunes performed with skill and feeling.
The vote of thanks was given by Colin Mackenzie and the company concluded the evening with "Auld Lang Syne".

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Thanks to Roger Siddle of the Carnforth Rotary Club for his revolving Rotary wheel.