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Notes on Last 6 Club Meetings

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President's Reception at Fairways Restaurant, Elmwood College Golf Course, on Wednesday 10th October 2017

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 27th September 2017

Club President Colin Mackenzie welcomed visiting Rotarians Jim Boyd from Glenrothes and Bill Tennant from Lanark to share the club's fellowship on Wednesday 27th September. A number of the club members had been visiting other Rotary clubs to publicise the 85th Anniversary Dinner on 10th November and reported back from Kirkcaldy, Kirkcaldy Raith Club and Kirriemuir. Club Treasurer Willie Nicoll updated members about the proceeds from the club's fundraising wishing well at the Scottish Deer Centre which had produced £219.07, along with a selection of foreign coins.
The speaker for the evening was Kevin Simpson representing Malawi Fruits, a Scottish charity founded in 2011 that seeks to encourage smallholder farmers in Malawi to grow cash crops rather than subsistence farming. By supporting farmers grow a cash crop, this brings in income to households quite often for the first time, allowing them to use the money to pay for school fees at secondary education level, buy livestock or make other investments in their business, or acquire more robust roofing for houses and solar lamps to improve the quality of their domestic life. The charity introduced a pilot programme involving the growing of Paprika as a cash crop and this has grown to the extent that some grant aid was received from the Scottish Government and involves 600 farmers.
Recently, Malawi Fruits has been focusing on irrigation, allowing farmers to grow two crops per year and further improve the household income. They are also aiming at young farmers by providing training and support as they often find the odds stacked against them in facing the challenges presented by the economy and the elements. Irrigation is seen as the way forward to transform farming from subsistence to being a viable business. Kevin spoke about the partnership they are developing with an innovative company, Futurepump who produce solar powered pumps. These pumps when put in the hands of farmers can irrigate half an acre of ground and give food security and a cash crop for a family.
Past President Dereck Thomson gave the club's vote of thanks and this was followed by a proposal to those present that the club should purchase two Futurepumps at a cost of £1000 to be sent to Malawi and allow the work of Malawi Fruits to be expanded.

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 20th September 2017

Club President Colin Mackenzie welcomed a number of visitors to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on 20th September. Honorary member Jackie Taylor was present to update members on the club's projects in Nepal, Julie Brownlie, President of Leven Rotary Club brought her club's greetings and the speaker for the evening was Jordan Kirchacz, who had been sponsored by the club to attend the 2017 Rotary Youth Leadership camp for girls at Abernethy Outdoor Centre. In introducing Jordan, Past President Ian Copland remarked that Jordan had responded at very short notice to the offer of a place and he was full of admiration for her positive attitude.
Jordan provided the members with a comprehensive account of the outdoor and indoor activities that were aimed at developing leadership qualities, confidence and sense of pride in achievement.The initial awkwardness of getting to know around seventy new people was soon overcome when participants became immersed in outdoor activities, including hill walking, kayaking, challenges such as raft building and sports events. She heard from a variety of motivational women speakers each day and was impressed by their achievements, often overcoming challenging circumstances to get to the pinnacle of their chosen field. Bonding with members of her group had developed new friendships with girls she would not otherwise have met and for this and the whole experience Jordan expressed her thanks to the club for sponsoring her. Past President Graham Findlay in giving the club's vote of thanks said that it was evident from her polished presentation that Jordan had derived great benefit from the whole experience.
The Rotary Club of Cupar will once again be sponsoring two places at the 2018 Rotary Youth Leadership Camps for boys and girls of sixteen to seventeen years of age and any interested young people can send expressions of interest to

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

The Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday 13th September was an occasion for fellowship and an opportunity for members to report back from their visits to other clubs in the area where they went to promote the Club's Charter Night Dinner that takes place on Friday 10th November. Club President Colin Mackenzie remarked upon recent natural and man-made disasters overseas and took the lead in suggesting that the club should acquire four Shelter Boxes for dispatch to affected areas. The club has sent these boxes on numerous occasions with the support of other local organisations and individuals. At a cost of £600 each, these compact units include a tent that can accommodate a family and withstand the elements, cooking utensils and the means of cooking in areas where infrastructure is lacking and tools to start preparing homes where possible. More information on Shelterbox may be found at
President Colin also announced that he had been approached by Kilmaron School to see if the club could help with some basic tools for the school garden. Again, this was agreed to by the members present. The gardening theme was continued with the announcement of some dates arranged to tidy up gardens at Balmullo School, Kilmaron School and the Gavin Reekie garden at Duffus Park. During the final part of the evening, members concentrated on drafting a mission statement for the club.

Scatter Week (no meeting at Watts)

Scatter Week

Evening Meeting held at Watts Restaurant on Wednesday 30th August 2017

Rotarian Maurice Shepherd was the speaker at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Cupar on Wednesday the 30th August. His topic was the publishing firm of W and R Chambers and its origins. Two brothers, William and Robert were born into a Peebles family in 1800 and 1802 respectively and they grew up at a time when the country was at war with France. Both were born with 6 fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. While surgical intervention was used to good effect on William, Robert was partially lame, causing him to stay indoors but giving him the opportunity to read and study. A set of Encyclopaedia Britannica that had been purchased by their father proved to be an immense aid to his education.The family became impoverished due to a business misjudgement by their father and in 1813 the family moved to Edinburgh. Robert continued his education, but William had to work to support his parents. He was a keen reader and found an apprenticeship with a bookseller at 4 shillings a week. Robert too, moved to Edinburgh, rented a one room shop and set up as a bookseller at the age of 16. When William turned 18 he joined Robert in his venture.
From modest beginnings they began to do well. In 1832 they published Chambers Journal, a weekly newspaper containing articles on diverse subjects, many of which were written by Robert. It was an immediate success and circulation figures rose to the extent that their lives became more comfortable. Between 1859 and 1868 they published their most important work Chambers' Encyclopaedia issued in parts. Other titles included the Gazetteer of Scotland.
William went on to found a museum in Peebles and became Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1865 to 1869, William Chambers was responsible for the restoration of St Giles Cathedral and other major improvements in the city, including the street named in his memory, Chambers Street, where a statue was also erected in his honour. A memorial stained glass window was placed to commemorate him in the North Aisle at St Giles. William died in 1883.
Robert, who died in 1871 was a great thinker and author of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation which brought out ideas in advance of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution.The book was so controversial that his authorship was not acknowledged until after his death. Robert had a holiday home in St Andrews and was buried in the Cathedral burying ground within the ruins of St Regulus Church. Rotarian Béla Simandi 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.