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Notes on Last 6 Club Meetings

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Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 24th Jan 2018

Wednesday 24th January saw the Rotary Club of Cupar celebrate our national poet in time honoured fashion. Past President Rennie Ritchie was in the chair to welcome the assembled company at Watts of Cupar.
The haggis was piped in with Pat Mitchell taking on the role of Poosie Nancy. The address to the haggis was in the hands of Past President Brian Bayne who delivered it with some style and verve.
The toast to the Immortal Memory of Rabble Burns was proposed by visiting speaker Emil Pacholek. His view was that Burns was an artist, albeit with words with his descriptive accounts of life with an artists's eye. He said that a book of Burns poetry is like walking through an art gallery, meeting landscapes and characters, and also self portraits of the poet himself. His gifts of artistry could be expressed through verse, either long or short. Tam O' Shanter was described as a satanic still life.His impeccable eye for detail brought us wonderful visions of people, and as an example he quoted the description of Willie Wastle's wife from the poem, Willie Wastle.
All these examples were illustrated with copious quotations from Burns verse. Friendship was captured, sometimes through the prism of the bottle. His mentor, The death of James Cunningham, 14th Earl of Glencairn devastated Burns, as it was Glencairn who became his patron and introduced him to the cultural circles of Edinburgh. This led him to write a lament, taking 18 months to do so. 18 months before he died, died, Burns, A Man's A Man for A' That was produced in 264 words, a simple but so effective poem valid throughout the world to this day.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 17th Jan 2018

Past President Dermot Stewart was in the chair to welcome a good attendance of Club members on 17th January. Guest speaker for the evening was the Rotary District Governor, Graeme Archibald, from the Rotary Club of Elgin, accompanied by his wife Carol. Also present was Assistant Governor for the area, Isobel Clifford of the Rotary Club of Kilrymont, St Andrews.
Graeme expressed his pleasure in returning to Cupar after attending the Club's 85th Anniversary Dinner in November. He welcomed the range of activities being undertaken by the club and its plans for the future. The Club's service locally and internationally has made a difference, but he also highlighted that this was only because there were skills and volunteer hours given freely as in-kind service to benefit others. Accounting for these volunteer hours would make impressive reading, both locally and nationally. It was what is important to the local Rotarians that needed to be given priority and that could only be achieved by recruiting new blood.
Working together in partnership with others does make a difference. He welcomed the fact that Cupar had benefited from grant assistance from the Rotary Foundation towards local projects. The End Polio Campaign was an international health initiative supported by Rotary International, challenged by Bill Gates to match fund his contributions, and Graeme speculated about how many people around the world would have been affected by Polio if Rotary International had not taken on the challenge 30 years ago.
Past President Michael Hendry was presented with a certificate in recognition of the Rotary Club of Cupar's contribution towards the eradication of Polio during his year of office. Graeme went on to speak about new models of Rotary Clubs which were emerging, including one established at Bentley Motors to achieve their commitment to social responsibility. Open your arms to change, but do not lose sight of your values was the message he finished on.
The vote of thanks was given by Past President Ian Copland.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 10th Jan 2018

The first meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar for 2018 was held on Wednesday, 10th January, when Club President Colin Mackenzie welcomed back all members with his best wishes for the coming year.
All present stood in tribute to one of the senior members of the club, Jim Robertson, who had passed away since the last meeting.
"I have too many guitars" was the intriguing title of Past President Michael Hendry's musical presentation to the club, when he explained his love of the instrument which had started at the age of 15 in his schooldays and continues to the present day. His first guitar was purchased for £3.00 by a friend who was in Barcelona on holiday. His talk included a quiz for members who were asked to recognise a range of musical introductions from a range of tunes. A further example was bought in 1972 and used to accompany a production at Edinburgh Festival.
Members revealed their in-depth knowledge of performers from the sixties, seventies and eighties as Michael demonstrated his talent using some of his classic instruments, including a Fender Stratocaster and a Les Paul guitar. He explained that design of guitars evolved to introduce electric pick-ups and create more volume.
Past President Bill Low gave the club's formal vote of thanks.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 13th December 2017

The weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday, 13th December heard reports of the festive activities being carried out by Club members.
The Rotary Carol Singers, led by Past President Sandy Mitchell, now in their twenty fifth year, have been entertaining residents at local hospitals and residential, homes while Santa's Sleigh has been visiting streets in Cupar and district to bring early cheer and taking a charitable collection to assist local community organisations and Rotary good causes.
The speaker for the evening was Past President Dereck Thomson. His topic for his talk was the life of Vincenzo Lunardi who achieved fame through his pioneering exploits as a hot air balloonist. Born in in 1754 at Lucca Italy to family in genteel poverty, he eventually attained a post in the diplomatic service in the service of the Neapolitan Court. He was posted to London, where he enjoyed the social scene. At that time there was great enthusiasm for the new possibility of manned flight and Lunardi decided to demonstrate a balloon flight in 1784 in London that gathered a huge, rather unruly crowd. The flight of 24 miles brought him fame and inspired the fashions of the day. Even Robert Burns referred to Lunardi Bonnets in his poem, "To a louse". He made several more flights in England before moving on to Scotland, where his first flight drew a large crowd to the grounds of George Heriot's School in Edinburgh. He took off and his flight of 46 miles over the Forth made landfall at Callange in Ceres Parish, where a plaque commemorates the event.He was met by astonished local residents and later escorted to Cupar where he was entertained and honoured by the Town Council and local society.
Centuries later when a choice was being made for new street names, it was very appropriate that Lunardi's name should be given to Lunardi Place and Lunardi Court care home.
An unfortunate occurrence at a flight demonstration in Newcastle led to a fatality and damaged Lunardi's reputation, causing him to leave Great Britain for the continent where he continued with his ascents, including a two hour flight in Sicily. He eventually died in Lisbon in 1806.
The vote of thanks was given by Past President Michael Hendry who referred to James Tytler from Angus who became the the first person in Britain to ascend in a hot air balloon in Ediunburgh in 1784, a month before Lunardi.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 6th December 2017

President Colin MacKenzie opened the meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar at 6pm on Wednesday 6 December 2017, welcoming the Rotarians and guests in attendance.
The Rotary Club’s Santa’s Sleigh is on the road, and Santa will be touring the district until December 18: and the Rotary Carol Singers have started this season’s engagements.
Club member Béla Simandi introduced his invited speaker for the evening. Musician Gillian Craig explored the links and relationship between the University of St Andrews and music. Her presentation, encompassing the past, present and future, centred on the St Andrews Music Centre, a University-hosted facility open to everyone interested in learning, practising, playing or listening to music regardless of their instrument, ability, or preferred genres of music.
The University, which is sometimes referred to as the Singing University, can trace its links to music back to its foundation more than 600 years ago when its first students included choral scholars; and today MUSSOC, the Music Society, which dates back to 1875, is one of the largest, oldest and most active of the student associations.
In 1945 the University appointed celebrated musician and composer Cedric Thorpe Davie as “Master of the Music” and, having developed academic courses and degrees in addition to fostering a range of performance groups and events, he became the University’s first Professor of Music in 1973.
As a result of financial pressures the Department was closed in the late 1980s, and was superseded by the St Andrews Music Centre based at the Younger Hall, initially with a part-time academic head, bringing in teachers from outside to teach, as well as organising a range of extra-curricular events and performing groups. This was followed by the development of academic modules than can be linked to various other degree subjects, although not currently the awarding music degrees. The Centre now hosts a wide range of musical genres – including classical, rock, pop, and jazz, for singers and players – and provides support, facilities and teaching to singers, players and performers of all levels of ability, not restricting its services to those working for or studying at the University. In addition it hosts a wide range of concerts and performance events to raise money for charity.
One of the Centre's flagship groups, as evidenced by a recording played by the speaker, is the professionally directed St Salvator’s College Chapel Choir – which performs on a par with Cambridge’s King’s College Choir. The future of the Centre now looks bright, with planning for a new purpose built Centre in the heart of St Andrews already underway.
A vote of thanks was delivered by Club member Vince Fusaro.
The Rotary Club of Cupar meets at Watts, Cupar, at 6pm each Wednesday. Those wishing to know more about the Club and its activities, or wishing to join the Club, should visit the Club’s web-site – The Club’s Christmas Dinner will take place at Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood Golf Club, on Wednesday December 20th.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 22nd November 2017

At the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 22nd November, Club President Colin Mackenzie welcomed six visiting Rotarians from the Anstruther Rotary Club who were on a "scatter week".
The speaker for the evening, Rotarian Tim Baker from the Rotary Club of Dundee was introduced by Past President Ian Copland. Tim has responsibility for Youth Service activities offered by his club which include Rotakids, Interact and Rotaract for different age groups. All these clubs were established to enable young people to pursue the ideals of Rotary and it was Rotakids that Tim had been invited to speak on.
Rotakids has been established to provide young people aged 12 aged under with opportunities to participate in active citizenship and improve the quality of life for their school, local and global communities. He explained that his club currently sponsored two Rotakids Clubs, one at St Peter and St Paul R.C. Primary School and the other at Dundee High School. Key to the success of establishing these clubs is to have the commitment and enthusiasm of a member of teaching staff. The Curriculum for Excellence objectives are fully met within the activities offered by Rotakids, building self esteem, developing leadership skills and introducing young people to community service. Regular contact takes place between representatives of the Rotary Club and the board members of the Rotakids Clubs to listen to their plans and report back on achievements. As a feeder school to St John's High School in Dundee, the pupils from St Peter and St Paul who have taken part in Rotakids can progress and continue their activities in the Interact Club at that school.
A short video presentation by the Rotakids Club of St Peter and St Paul's gave a colourful account of the fund raising and fun activities they had undertaken, including a sponsored bridge walk and a coffee morning which raised £1333 for a housing project in India.
Past President Brian Bayne gave the club's vote of thanks.


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