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Notes on Last 6 Club Meetings

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Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 9th December 2019

Club President Colin Mackenzie welcomed 31 members to the first meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar in 2019 on Wednesday 9th January. The informal business meeting had the opportunity to thank those who had given their time to facilitate the planning of a very successful number of activities leading up to the festive season.
Santa's Sleigh had created much excitement on its visits to Cupar and the surrounding area, thanks to the commitment of Rotarians John Morrow and Bill McSeveney, the coordination of Past President Michael Hendry and Rotarian helpers working alongside local voluntary groups collecting for charities. Thanks were also given to Past president Sandy Mitchell for his work in arranging the annual Rotary Carol Singers who had visited local homes and hospitals to bring some Christmas cheer.
Club Treasurer Willie Nicoll reported that the total raised through Santa's Sleigh amounted to £7,815.60, an increase of around £500 from the previous year. Those organisations who assisted with the collections will be presented with a proportion of the funds raised, according to the sums raised on the night they assisted. The meeting agreed to two approaches for financial assistance. Funds were awarded to East Fife Sports Council towards sponsorship of a trophy and play equipment for the nursery at Castlehill Primary School.The club sought further information concerning a water project in Malawi led by the Inverness Culloden Rotary Club. Once the business plan is considered, the club could look at partnering this overseas project.
The Club also approved taking forward contacts with the Rotary Club in Cupar's French twin town, Ste Menehould in the Argonne Region.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 5th December 2018

The Rotary Club held an informal meeting on Wednesday, 5th December with Club President Colin Mackenzie in the chair.
Past President Vince Fusaro brought welcome news from his contacts in the St Andrews University Quaich Society. They will be giving the Rotary Club of Cupar a substantial donation towards the club's Water Fund which is used to undertake overseas projects bringing clean drinking water and sanitation to communities in need of assistance.
A discussion took place within the club about a planned Rotary Day for members and families during the summer of next year at Craigtoun Park. Further information was being sought from neighbouring clubs regarding the details of this event. Club officers brought members up to date on developments in their areas of responsibility. Rotarian Ian Rutherford reported on a very successful Shoe Box appeal, with good cooperation from local schools. This appeal involved the donation of toys, stationery and household items that could be fitted into a shoebox size container that is shipped through Rotary to benefit overseas communities.
It was highlighted that club members would be particularly busy in the period leading up to Christmas, with carol singers visiting local residential homes and manning Santa's Sleigh as it calls around the local area. For parents and children hoping to see Santa on his travels, a tracking device is now available at that allows the Cupar sleigh to be followed, using Google Chrome or Firefox.
A full list of each night's planned routes for the sleigh has been posted on the Rotary Club of Cupar Facebook Page.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 28th November 2018

Past President Graham Pirie was in the chair to welcome members and visitors to the meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 28th November.
Past President Peter Mackinnon introduced Ian Rankin as the keynote speaker for the evening. Ian, whose day job is managing Edenwood Farms locally, has had a lifetime of involvement in rugby both as a player and coach. Playing for Scottish Schools in 1973 -1974 led to entering the Edinburgh Wanderers team, then as player and captain of the Howe of Fife and North and Midlands until an eye injury caused him to move into coaching in 1990. He had spells as Head Coach at Edinburgh Wanderers, Kirkcaldy, North and Midlands, the Caledonia Reds and Edinburgh Reivers. Management and further coaching positions with Edinburgh, and at national level with Scotland Under 21s and other representative Scottish teams garnered a wealth of touchline experience which he later applied in the administrative side of the game, culminating in his appointment as President of the Scottish Rugby Union in 2014 - 2015. He reminisced about his experiences as President, the high level contacts that the position afforded and the opportunities to influence matters in the game.
His evident love of the game shone through in his presentation and in particular, his passion concerning the importance of club rugby as a starting point for young players, where talents can be developed and nurtured. He had benefited from a visit to New Zealand early in his coaching career and gained an understanding of total commitment to the game in that nation. The importance of having Murrayfield as a national stadium where sponsorship, television rights and a concert venue that can generate funds that will support the game across the country was emphasised. The professional game had raised standards and he felt that the Scottish game was in a much better place than it had been for some time. He understood the motivation of Scottish players who were being sought after by teams elsewhere with lucrative contracts, but also the opportunity to test themselves against other elite players.
Ian also commented on his role as chair of the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation, an important aspect of rugby where an injury can limit earning capacity and at the extreme, change lives. Since 2016 he has been the Scottish representative on the Celtic Rugby Board. Ian was good enough to take questions from the audience, debating some recent refereeing decisions. He pointed out that match officials were under intense scrutiny these days, with television and assessors watching every move and decision.
The Club's vote of thanks was given by Past president Bill Nicoll. Club activities in the weeks leading up to Christmas were outlined, with a full programme for the Rotary Carol Singers.
Arrangements for Santa's Sleigh were also well in hand, with visits around Cupar and district commencing on Thursday 6th December. The Club Facebook page will carry up to date details of routes and dates on which they will take place.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Past President Willie Nicoll gave an account of the activities of the Scottish Rotary Curling Team who had been hosting a visiting Canadian team of Rotary Curlers for some four weeks. The overall result was in favour of the Canadians, but Willie took some pride in having a win with his original 2016 Scottish touring side.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 21st November 2018

The meeting on the 21st of November was chaired by President Colin Mackenzie who welcomed 21 Rotarians and one guest - Derek McRae from the Rotary Club of Inverness Culloden. After dinner, Colin presented a cheque for £1000 to Gaye Blair, who had spoken to the club in October representing TCCL - Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia. This sum will fund two weeks at TCCL house in St Andrews for families of children with these conditions.
Reports were received about various club activities, including the project at Kilmaron School (which is nearing completion), the Rotary Shoebox appeal (filled boxes to be sent on for distribution the next day), the programme of Carol Singing visits to local care homes etc., and the visits of Santa’s Sleigh to Cupar and the surrounding area, which begin on the 3rd December.
Rotary International has a system of grants which can more than double the funds raised by individual clubs for charitable projects. There is a minimum sum that must be raised to qualify for the grants, but one host club may coordinate the efforts of several to reach this target. Colin McRae spoke of just such a proposed project, to provide a water supply and toilet facilities for a number of primary schools in Malawi, and he described previous successful projects in the area. At the centre of these projects is the involvement of local people in construction and maintenance. A village must commit to providing labour and locally-fired bricks for the wells and toilet blocks, and the pumps used are deliberately low-tech products, based on a 2000-year-old Chinese rope and washer design. Villagers must also commit to training in maintenance and hygiene before a project can go ahead, under the supervision of UK charity Pump Aid.
The benefits to local communities are dramatic, with an 80% reduction in infant mortality and sickness absence from school. Girls benefit in particular because they are relieved of water-collection chores which often result in their being kept away from school.
Past President Dermot Stewart thanked Colin on behalf of the club, which already has a commitment to water projects and funds ear-marked for this purpose.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 14th November 2018

The Rotary Club meeting on 14th November, chaired by Club President Colin Mackenzie, welcomed a number of Rotary Presidents from neighbouring clubs who had gathered for their area meeting.
Assistant Governor Isobel Clifford who was present, took the opportunity to present a certificate of achievement to the Club for its contribution to the Rotary International Polio eradication programme.With the withdrawal of the presidents to conduct their meeting, the rest of the evening's proceedings were conducted under the chairmanship of Past President Brian Bayne.
The members were then treated to a version of the old television game show, " Name that Tune", with Pat Mitchell in charge. She recollected that the programme had a lengthy and popular history, hosted by Pete Murray, Jackie Ray, Ken Platt and Ted Ray under the original programme title "Spot the Tune". It was revived as Name that Tune, hosted by Tom O'Connor and later Lionel Blair. Pat at the keyboard then tested the members' powers of recall, playing a selection of introductions to tunes that quite a few were able to guess. Past President Graham Findlay thanked Pat on behalf of the Rotarians present and praised her for the preparation that had gone into her entertaining session. Past President Bill Nicoll complimented Brian Bayne for the part he had played in the Service of Commemoration at the Cupar Old Parish Church on Saturday, 10th November.
Members were reminded that on Wednesday, 28th November, there would be a special speaker at the club meeting, Ian Rankin, Past President of the Scottish Rugby Union. The meeting would be open to visitors and guests from the community, with a start time of 6.45 p.m. Anyone interested in attending should make contact with Rotary Club Secretary Roy Marsden by email at

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 31st October 2018

The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 31st October while an evening of informal fellowship, also managed to conduct some aspects of club business.
President Colin Mackenzie reported that work that the club had agreed to meet at Kilmaron School had been paid and anticipated the project to be complete by the end of March, 2019. Vacancies for club officers for the next Rotary year were highlighted and members were invited to to give attention to these prior to the upcoming Special General Meeting on 21st November. At that meeting, Derek MCrae of the Rotary Club of Inverness Culloden would be giving a talk on a water project in Malawi.
The arrangements for Santa's Sleigh would be discussed with those community groups who give assistance at a meeting on 22nd November, in Watts of Cupar at 7.00 p.m.
Rotary shoe boxes, to be filled with small gifts for underprivileged households overseas, were distributed by International Services lead, Ian Rutherford, with a reminder that they should be ready by 21st November. Past President Peter Mackinnon announced that the keynote speaker at the club meeting on Wednesday 28th November would be Ian Rankin, Past President of the Scottish Rugby Union. Visitors and guests would be very welcome at this meeting and anyone requiring details should contact the club via the web site.


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