Origins of Rotary in Cupar

The Rotary Movement in Cupar owes its existence to the initiative and drive of R.G.Brown, former Provost of Cupar. R.G.Brown, by virtue of his business interests in St Andrews was a member of the Rotary Club there and in 1932 he discussed with a few friends in Cupar the advisability of forming a Club in the town. He made up a list of business and professional people who he thought would be worthy representatives of their calling. These he interviewed individually and then called them to a meeting in the Masonic Hall, when Rotarians from Dundee Edinburgh and Glasgow explained the aims and working of a club.

In consequence, a club was formed in Cupar with R.G.Brown as its founder President, an office he filled with such efficiency and to the satisfaction of Members that he was given the unusual honour of being asked to continue in office for a second year.

On November 16th 1932 the Club held a dinner in the Royal Hotel when the Club's Charter was officially handed over to the President.
On that occasion more than 100 were present, Rotarians and their ladies, when Rotarian W.S.Draffen, Dundee, Chairman of the Scottish District Council presented R.G.Brown with the new Club's Charter.

The hall of the Royal Hotel was beautifully decorated for the occasion by Mr.D.Balfour of Messrs Laird and Smith, with a wealth of greenery forming the orchestra alcove, while the tables were specially lit by Mr.G.Rae-Arnot. The comfort of the company was further assured by the provision of gas radiators which the Cupar Gas Company had installed. An excellent dinner purveyed by Mrs.MacDonald followed Grace said by the club's minister, Rev Robert Alexander, and during the dinner music was provided by A.B.Duncan’s band.

After the toast of ‘The King' had been pledged, Mr.A.G.Scott, President of the St.Andrews Rotary Club, informed the company that St.Andrews had a good deal to do with the formation of the Cupar Club and he felt like the mother of the Cupar Club. A mother was always interested in her child and he observed that his daughter had no mallet to rattle on the table. He desired to remedy that, and, on behalf of the St.Andrews Club, he asked the President to accept an ivory mallet which he hoped would be used by way of moral persuasion.

Immediately afterwards Mr.Kidd rose and said,’You have got something to chap wi', so here’s something to chap on' and handed Mr.Brown a handsome oak reading desk for use at Club Meetings.

President Brown in accepting the gifts on behalf of the Club said spontaneous acts of kindness such as these were surely proof, if proof were required, that there was something in Rotary. He accepted the gifts as sacred symbols - emblems of goodwill and brotherly love of their near neighbours in the Grey City and across the water in Dundee.

The Charter in a handsome frame was presented by Mr.W.S.Draffen Dundee. Mr.Draffen said the motto of Cupar was Unitas and the motto of Rotary was Service before Self. If they took these two things together and kept them constantly in mind the Rotary Club of Cupar would go from strength to strength.

Greetings by telegram and letter were read by Club Secretary A.S.Robertson received from Clubs across the world.

The Clubs which sent greetings were

Canton, China
Portsmouth and Southsea
Shamukin, Pennsylvania
Horicon, Wisconsin
Stockton and Thornaby
Huntingdon, New York
St.John's, Michigan
Opelika, Alabama
Smethwick
Cali, Colombia
Winona, Minnesota
Do Para, Belem Do Para, Brazil
Arbroath
Franklin, Massachussets
Bilston, Staffordshire
Liverpool
Hull
Cardenas, Cuba
Havana, Cuba
Nakskov, Denmark
Kansas City
Tacoma, Washington
Vinita, Oklahoma
Bradford
Morrisville, Pennsylvania
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Calgary, Alberta
Orange, New Jersey
Denver, Colorado
Camden, New Jersey
Turin, Italy

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