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Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 8th May 2019
The Rotary Club of Cupar met at Watt’s of Cupar on Wednesday 8th May and President Colin Mackenzie took the Chair.
Colin introduced the speaker for the night, Club member Euan Barbour, who gave an intriguing talk about “The Ball Bearing Run”.
The Ball Bearing Run was the nickname given to the war-time Stockholmsruten flights between Leuchars aerodrome in the war-torn United Kingdom and Stockholm in neutral Sweden across a hostile and occupied Europe between 1939 and 1945.
Euan gave a detailed account of the various aircraft used in this clandestine operation, which included Lockheed Lodestars and modified Mosquitos. The flights were run with unarmed aircraft and operated ostensibly as British Overseas Aircraft Corporation flights, the aircraft having civilian registrations and the crew wearing BOAC uniforms and carrying British passports.
It is probable that the Stockholmsruten was set up at the request of the Norwegian Government, which was then exiled in the UK. This may have had the main objective of bringing Norwegian personnel, who had escaped from Nazi-occupied Norway, to the UK and it may even have actually transported strategically vital ball bearings. The service also carried other passengers, one of the more notable being the Danish nuclear physicist, Niels Bohr, who was flown out from Sweden in a de Havilland Mosquito in 1943. The whole operation was conducted, for obvious reasons, in strictest secrecy and a there is still a distinct lack of official information to this day - a fascinating story.
A vote of thanks to Euan was proposed by Bill McSeveney.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 1st May 2019
Club President Colin Mackenzie welcomed Rotary Club members and presided over an informal club business meeting on Wednesday 1st May.
Brian Bayne reported on the £332 earned at the April Farmers’ Market selling ducks for use in the Duck Race. The Duck Race will be part of Cupar Gala on Sunday 19th May. Donald Cameron pointed out that there are more ducks to sell and some should still be available on the day of the Race.
Pat Mitchell spoke of the Cupar Rotary Golf Day on Friday 10th May, which will be held at the Elmwood Course with 10-12 teams taking part starting at 8.30. She welcomed contributions from members.
President Colin passed on grateful thanks from Headmistress Isla Lumsden of Kilmaron School on the completion of the new Cupar Rotary sponsored greenhouse and garden facility. The greenhouse will allow simultaneous access for up to four students with their wheelchairs within the greenhouse and is expected become a very valuable asset to the work of the school.
The meeting concluded with a series of reports from individual club members on their visits to various other Rotary clubs during the previous week. These clubs included Alloa, Duns, Leven, North Fife and St Andrews. This was part of the annual Rotary Scatter week where, instead of the usual weekly meeting in Cupar, members of the Cupar Club set off and visit other clubs.
Scatter Week (no meeting at Watts on Wednesday 24th April 2019)
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 17th April 2019
President Elect Roy Marsden took the chair at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday 17th April.
Rotarian and former Bridge Master Alastair Andrew gave those present an account of the life and achievements of John Augustus Roebling, a German born civil engineer who designed and built wire rope suspension bridges. Born in 1806, he had studied architecture, engineering and bridge building in Prussia, but difficult economic conditions caused him to emigrate to the United States where he purchased land in Pennsylvania, intending to create a settlement called Saxonburg and for a time he took up farming.
He returned to his vocation of engineering and commenced producing wire rope at Saxonburg in 1841. His reputation as an engineer grew, building suspension bridges and aqueducts, moving to Trenton to build a large factory to produce wire. He completed another large bridge in Pittsburg in 1859, but the American Civil War halted his progress. In 1867, he started design work on the Brooklyn Bridge spanning the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn and it was during its construction he suffered an injury that led to him contracting tetanus from which he died in 1869. Alastair went on to describe the dimensions of the Brooklyn Bridge which was completed in 1883 under the supervision of Roebling's son who had followed in his father's footsteps.
Alastair revealed that the bridge towers were built by utilising two caissons. Many workers became sick due to the extreme conditions and Washington Roebling also succumbed.
He was, with the aid of his wife, able to supervise the work on the bridge from his apartment overlooking the river. Past President Donald Fisher gave the club's official vote of thanks for enlightening those present about the iconic structure.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 10th April 2019
Wednesday 10th April was the Annual General Meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar. Chairing the meeting was Colin Mackenzie, Club President.
The meeting received reports from the Treasurer showing the status of the Club Account, Charities Account and the Account for Water Projects overseas. The meeting agreed that the target contribution of $100 dollars per member to the Rotary Foundation would be met by supplementing any shortfall from club resources. Also agreed was the sum of £1000.00 towards Rotary International's Polio Eradication Campaign.
Locally, the meeting agreed a donation to Balmullo Scouts to assist with the acquisition of replacement tents. The club membership subscription was retained at its existing level. Future Projects were highlighted, with a planned revival of the Rotary Cheese and Wine event in Autumn, the Club Charity Golf Day on 10th May and international activity involving the collection of tools, bicycles and books for good causes overseas.
Local community activities that would require a good turnout of Rotarians included the sale of ducks for a Duck Race in aid of Cupar Gala, at Cupar Farmer's Market on 20th April, assisting at the Duck Race on 19th May, contributing to Cupar Gala on 8th June, followed by KidsOut Day with Kilmaron School on 12th June. President Colin thanked the club for their support during his term in office and handed the meeting over to President-Elect Roy Marsden to confirm the office bearers for the Rotary Year, 2019-2020. In addition to Roy Marsden as President, the Club officers would be Acting President-Elect: Bill McSeveney; Acting President Nominee: Brian Bayne; Secretary: Ian Copland; Treasurer: Michael Hendry; Immediate Past President: Colin Mackenzie; Communications Officer: Maurice Shepherd; and Council Members Bill Nicoll and Doreen Gray.
Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 3rd April 2019
|Benny Duncan and Colin Mackenzie|
The Rotary Club meeting on 3rd April chaired by Club President Colin Mackenzie was convened as an informal business meeting. Colin reported that on the previous day, Tuesday, he had the pleasure of presenting a cheque on the club's behalf to Benny and Isobel Duncan to help restore and preserve their horse drawn machinery.
Benny and Isobel Duncan run Balmalcolm Stables and show off their Clydesdales at every opportunity. Other activities involving the horses include school cart rides, meeting elderly people, gala appearances, agricultural shows including Fife Show and The Highland Show, weddings and funerals with their horse-drawn carriages. Colin is pictured with Benny presenting the cheque, while a patient Clydesdale looks on.
During the course of the meeting, Secretary Roy Marsden provided information about the Nepal Trust for the consideration of members, as the club were seeking guidance before deciding on their next water and sanitation project overseas. This Scottish Charity and Non Governmental Organisation in Nepal has a good track record of delivering primary healthcare, renewable energy, education and literacy as well as water and sanitation, with recognition that the local people are the ultimate custodians of their communities. Past President Dermot Stewart undertook to progress the club's interest and seek a speaker at the club at some future date to hear more about the Nepal Trust.
Dermot also reported on a recent message from Honorary Member Jackie Taylor about her visit to one of the club's previous projects in Maulathar, Nepal, where the villagers are very happy with their water supply.
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Thanks to Roger Siddle of the Carnforth Rotary Club for his revolving Rotary wheel.