Weekly Meetings

5th July 2011 Annual Barbecue at Gorno Grove


The picture shows the group who attended the event

Our regular meeting on Tuesday 5th July was our Annual Barbecue courtesy of Sandy and Dianne Matthew at their wonderful home Gorno Grove. This event has become the clubs way of thanking our outgoing president for their efforts over the past year and to welcome our incoming president for the ensuing twelve months. The weather did hold out and all present had a great time. The food was up to its usual high standard with Sandy acting as our Barbecue King produced his superb chicken and lamb kebabs. A big thank you once again to Sandy and Dianne for providing us with another great evening of fun and the usual good chat.

 12th of July 2011 Adamson Hospital update.

Aileen White receiving a cheque from president Ann Bain

Members of the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife welcomed to their last meeting at the Village Inn, Pitlessie, the Locality and General Manager of Cupar’s Adamson Hospital, Aileen White. Closely involved with the project to upgrade facilities at the Adamson Hospital, which started in 2009, Aileen reported on progress so far.  Phase 1, scheduled to last 12 months but overdue by 5 months due to atrocious winter weather conditions, will end by 22 July 2011; two days later, Phase 2 starts and is expected to last 6 months. Eventually, the hospital will offer 23 beds, as opposed to a previous 39 beds, with a children’s unit upstairs and a history wall as part of the refurbishment program.  Lyn Brady, in the meantime, had been appointed Hospital Chaplain. The philosophy behind the hospital’s design, Aileen said, was one where structure was led by function.  The whole project is funded by the NHS and it is hoped that all hospital facilities will have returned from their temporary home at Stratheden Hospital by January 20102. Another reason for Aileen’s presence at the Rotary meeting was to receive a cheque for £1000 from President Ann Bain for the Adamson Hospital Community Café appeal, first launched on 15 July 2010.  This sum had been raised at the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife Charter Dinner held in May and brings the total sum of monies raised for the café to £725,000.

26th of July 2011 Wilf Cameron

Wilf Cameron a long time club member and retired Geography teacher entertained the members with the most enthusiastic of talks on Major-General William Roy the Scottish military engineer, surveyor, and antiquarian. Wilf described Roy as an innovator who applied new scientific discoveries and newly emerging technologies to the accurate geodetic mapping of Great Britain. He stated it was Roy's advocacy and leadership that led to the creation of the Ordnance Survey in 1791, the year after his death. His technical work in the establishment of a surveying baseline won him the Copley Medal in 1785. His maps and drawings of Roman archaeological sites in Scotland were the first accurate and systematic study of the subject, and have never been improved upon even to this day. After a vote of thanks from Duncan Pickard the members showed their appreciation for Wilfs talk with a hearty round of applause.

26th of July 2011 New member

Picture shows Andy being welcomed to the club by president Ann Bain

 The club welcomed its first new member of the Rotary year. Andy Boddice was born and bred in the ‘Black Country’ in the West Midlands but now resides in Glenrothes. He has been married to Wendy for 32 years. He has two adult sons currently both living and working in Edinburgh.  The elder, Richard, is about to depart to the Cayman Islands for 2 years with PriceWaterhouseCoopers; the younger, Luke recently married. Andy’s working background is predominantly in media, advertising, marketing, sales and business development. He has been self-employed since 2006 offering consultancy services on organisation development and structure, leadership and management to drive growth and performance; and offering interim management services to organisations that need resourcing, skills and knowledge for discrete periods of time. Andy also offers coaching services to business executives as required. Andy’s hobbies include hill walking, dry stone walling, botanical painting, and reading on a wide variety of subjects both fact and fiction. Andy enjoys watching rugby (he is an RFU qualified coach and referee) and cricket. He was an Archer for many years. 

2nd August 2011

Our guest speaker for this evenings meeting was David Taylor from Power2Change a company specialising in Hypnotherapy & Neuro Linguistic Programming. David has set up the company some years ago and has developed it into one of the foremost organisations in its field. He proved to be quit a character and entertained the members with his charismatic talk on how the programmes that he has developed and runs have helped many people from all walks of life including famous sports stars. After a lively question and answer session a hearty wrote of thanks was proposed by Peter Whyte on behalf of the members.

9th of August 2011

Our scheduled speaker District Communications Chairman James Martin had to unfortunately cancel at short notice as his wife Sharon was involved in a motor accident; fortunately she was only badly shaken. The members had an impromptu question and answer session which proved to be a lively and enjoyable experience for all.

16th of August 2011

Dennis at the controls of one of his boats

The members enjoyed a talk from one of our own members Dennis Beattie. Who enlightened us about the role his company Tayside Marine Services performs in the maintenance of the two bridges on the Tay. Also a brief refresher on his early life and how for as long as he can remember has involve the sea. A vote of thanks was proposed by Rick Bond on behalf of the members

 23rd August 2011

The picture shows President Ann with Eilidh

The club had the pleasure of hearing an address from Eilidh Grieve who talked to us about her role as Development Officer for the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institute. She informed us that the organisation has been supporting people in land based work and their dependants since 1897. She intimated that 550 people had been assisted last year through times of extreme hardship. Another part of the organisations work is offering a support and counselling service to those in need of it. The organisation is non government funded and relies on fundraising to run these vital services. Eilidh then enthralled us all with her humorous illustration of her fundraising efforts as  on of The Tractor Girls who drove 5 tractors from John O' Groats to Lands End and raised £125,000 each of the girls were between the ages of 19 and 30. The vote of thanks was proposed by John Bonington on behalf of the members.

30th August 2011


The picture shows President Ann, DG Iain and Iain's wife Winnie

Tonight’s meeting was indeed a special one with the visit to the club of District Governor Iain MacDonald and his wife Winnie. One of Iain’s first duties was to bestow a Paul Harris Fellowship on a very surprised Dr John Kerr. John has been a member of the club since 1992 and has been a stalwart member having held various posts over the years from International Committee Chairman to President and Secretary. Not only has he loyally served the club he has served on several other projects such as Raleigh Sailing Project, Amazon Hope Project and is currently the District 1010 Shelterbox Coordinator. Well done John, a well deserved accolade. Iain went on to give the club members and partners an outline of his goals and aspirations for his term of office which tied in with the goals of RI President Kalyan Banarjee. Iain’s wife Winnie also thanked the members for their generous donation of books for her project in conjunction with CHAS. Before the meeting closed Rotarian Charles Dickinson and his wife Christine presented President Ann with a cheque for £590 to purchase a Shelterbox. The money was part of the proceeds of the couples Play & Plonk day which has become an annual event in the clubs calendar, the remainder will go to the Rotary Foundation.

The picture shows DG Iain with John

The picture shows President Ann with Charles & Christine Dickinson

6th September 2011

Picture shows Cindy Nutley, John McKenzie, President Ann Bain, Alissa Brabin, Neal Molineaux and Stacey Miller

Tuesday 6th of September saw the club host the incoming 5 member Group Study Exchange Team from Rotary District 9700 New South Wales Australia. The team was lead by Rotarian John McKenzie an Agricultural Consultant from Orange and consisted of  Neal Molineaux a Construction Supervisor from Wagga, Stacy Miller a Journalist from Forbes, Alissa Brabin an Educational Designer from Wagga and Cindy Nutley a Communication Officer from Parkes. They were welcomed by President Ann Bain and after a fine meal Secretary David Rankin introduced the team. They will spend a month in Scotland travelling around District 1010 working with counterparts in their various vocations. The team gave an entertaining insight into their vocation, family and their country. After a question and answer session the vote of thanks was proposed by Bill Inglis on behalf of the members.  

13th September 2011

The club were treated to a talk by founder member of the club John Ewan a retired Police Chief Superintendant. John had decided that it was such a long time since he had given his original vocational talk that because there were such a lot of new members had joined the club it was time to deliver it again. Dr Amanda Fleet gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the members.

20th September 2011

No Speaker:         Committees Meeting

27th September 2011

The picture shows Andre and Club President Ann Bain

One of our new members Dr Andre Hawryliw gave an interesting talk on the origin of his surname as part of his introductory vocational talk. Andre informed the members that the name can be traced back to a Cossack General and had eventually migrated into Germany from where his parents and grand parents came. The journey of the name which is pronounced HAW RILL YOU was most enlightening and interesting. Sandy Green proposed a humorous and witty vote of thanks on behalf of the club.

The picture shows L-R Paul with President Ann Bain and Past President Dennis Beattie

Another new member was inducted into the club at this weeks meeting, Paul Furniss a retired Probation Officer originaly from England now living in Fife. Paul has been a keen helper at various club events in the past and was finally invited to join the club by Past President Dennis Beattie.

4th October 2011

The picture shows Andy and Club President Ann Bain

This weeks meeting featured a talk from another new member to our club Andy Boddice. Andy gave the members a potted overview of his career to date from begining his working career in London as a Jewlers Assistant, to his time spent in media, newspapers and TV and finally through to his current position of Management Consultant. Andy's career has taken him through many interesting times including a period with Rupert Murdoch. He currently lives in Glenrothes with his wife Wendy, the couple have two grown up sons. Bob Henderson proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the club.

11th October 2011

The club enjoyed a visit from two members of the District Conference Team led by Conference Chairman Stewart Wilson accompanied by Sergeant at Arms PDG Gus McDonald. As our own member DGE Robin Rippin will be District Governor in 2012-13 the team came along to give the members an overview of the duties that will be carried out by the club during the conference. A vote of thanks was proposed by Dr John Kerr on behalf of the members.

18th October 2011

The picture shows Mac, President Ann Bain and Narcisse

It was serendipity that brought two travellers from the heart of Africa to visit the Howe of Fife Rotary meeting on the same evening.  Narcisse Ndayambaje is a park ranger at the Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda and MacDonald Nkhutabasa (Mac,) a social worker and founder of Chimewemwe Children’s Project in Malwai.  Introduced by Dr. Amanda Fleet, both brought messages of hope from their respective countries. Narcisse has been hosted during his visit by members of both the St. Andrews’ as well as the Howe Rotary Clubs. In excellent English, his third language, Narcisse shared his passion for preserving the environment in Rwanda.  His special knowledge and interest is the 275 species of bird in the park, a safe haven for wild life and a popular destination for Europeans, British and Americans.  Anyone entering the parkland must have a permit; this is a measure to help cut down on poaching.  Narcisse explained that, to prevent local community members straying into the parkland in their necessary search for natural resources, 10% of the tourist revenue taken by the park is ploughed back into the community in the form of domestic animals, aid for building schools and so on. Narcisse also has an educational role, a responsibility for sharing his knowledge and promoting environmental causes with a group of thirty or so school age youngsters.  With such an advocate for the cause, the future of indigenous wildlife looks secure.

Rotarians were especially delighted to meet Mac, founder and organiser of Chimwemwe, a project supported by the club for over two years..  In another articulate presentation, Mac explained that 12% of the 14 million population of Malwai is affected by HIV/AIDs.  That has led to a high proportion of street children, made orphans because of the disease. To prevent them from drifting into a life of prostitution, the project aims to encourage as many as possible into education, as one step in helping them to improve their lives. The project raises funding for the obligatory school uniforms, and aims to give each child under its care at least one good meal a day.  Recreational activities are also encouraged: a recent donation from the Howe Rotary Club enabled the purchase of team strips for netball and football teams, of which Chimwemwe has twelve of each.  Now, with community involvement, work has begun on building a shelter for those children for whom no other home can be found. Rotarians were in awe of the commitment, energy and enthusiasm of both speakers.  After some interesting questions for each speaker, Monique Sanders gave a vote of thanks, seconded by President Ann Baine, who wished both Narcisse and Mac well for the future.

For more information on Chimwemwe, please go to: http://www.chimwemwe.net/

25th October

No Speaker:                         Club Council Meeting

1st November 2011

The picture shows Club President Ann Bain with Tom

The club welcomed local man Tom Morton from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Tom gave the members a rather enthralling talk on the history of brewing Real Ale. Tom indicated that over the years the emergence of large National Breweries saw the demise of the small Real Ale producers of which Fife have had hundreds. However today with the converse now happening the Real Ale producers are begining to flourish once again. Tom likened Real Ale to a good wine and compared the enjoyment of both as equal. He even went on to mention our own meeting place as a purveyor of a good Real Ale. A vote of thanks by Paul Northway was given on behalf of the members.


8th November 2011

The club members were treated to an interesting talk from one of our lady members entitled "Don't Panic Captain Mannering" If many club members were expecting a talk on the exploits of the eccentric commanding officer of Dads Army the they were in for a shock. Cathy talked about the need for constant Contingency Planning by every organisation or individual for that matter. In her former occupation of Director with Fife Health Board she was responsible for ensuring these plans were in place. She gave the members an enlightening and humorous talk on being prepared for the worst. Andrew McCafferty gave a witty and humorous thank you to Cathy on behalf of the members.

15th November 2011

No Speaker:         Club Elections & Committee Meeting

22nd November 2011

The picture shows Rotarian Oliver Will, Alistair Andrew and President Elect Sandy Davis

This week, Rotarians welcomed Chartered Engineer, Alistair Andrew to talk about some of the challenges he faced as part of the Design and Management team on the Forth Road Bridge. The main challenge was the number and weight of vehicles using the bridge.  In the last year the ferry was used to cross the Forth, it carried 896,000 vehicles; in its first year, the Forth Road Bridge carried 4 million vehicles; in 2010 that had escalated to a staggering 24 and-a-half million vehicles.  The weight and size of loads also escalated: from lorries weighing 22 - 38 tonnes in 1983, to 44 tonnes in 2011.  Now abnormal loads, which mean closing the carriageway, can weigh as much as between 120 - 180 tonnes. Health and safety had increasingly tightened up over the years: crash barriers must be able to withstand a car impact of 50 mph; cradles instead of a bo'sun's chair are used when painting the structure. Another constant challenge was counteracting the loss of strength due to corroded wires in the main cable. The technology of the bridge, Alistair said, had been based on the Brooklyn Bridge; in its mid-span, the wind can cause the bridge to move much as 23 and-a-half feet. The condition of the bridge, however, was the envy of the Americans - £10 million of tolls collected until now not only paid for the construction of the bridge, but also its upkeep. Now tolls have been abolished, it's necessary to cut costs; as part of that, a staff of 120 has been reduced to 70. Now retired, Alistair is watching the next stage with interest - a new bridge crossing for the Forth. Dr. John Kerr thanked Alistair for his interesting talk, saying that Rotarians would look at the Forth Road Bridge in a different light.

29th November 2011

Our speaker this week was our very own member Robin Rippin. Robin will be taking over as District Governor on the 1st of July 2012. The subject of his talk was an introduction to his conference which once again will be held in The Avimore Conference Centre in September 2012.  Every District has an annual conference which is the opportunity for Rotarians from all over District 1010 to meet and have a fun weekend  whilst enjoying a raft of good speakera and various other forms of entertainment. Robin gave the members a taste of what can be expected at the conference, the 62nd in District 1010. A vote of thanks on behalf of the members was give by Charles Dickinson.

6th December 2011

Our speaker this week was our most recent member, Paul Furniss.  Paul spoke about his life in the Probabtion Service.  A vote of thanks was given by Duncan Pickard.

13th December 2011

Our speaker this week was our member Bob Henderson.

20th December 2011

Tonight was our Christmas Dinner.  All Members' spouses were invited, as well as this year's Citizen of the Year, Irene Cumming from Newburgh. 

10th January 2012

This was our first meeting of the new year, as there were no meetings either side of the year end. This meeting was given over to the work of committees where plans for future events were made.  Committee chairs then gave their reports to President Ann and the rest of the club.

17th January 2012

Our speaker tonight was Stuart Miller.  Stuart has a keen interest in the life and migration habits of eagles.  Stuart is currently raising funds to travel to China to further his interest.

24th January 2012

Burns Night

31st January 2012

Our speaker tonight was Paul Miller from Elmwood College.  His subject was 'The Geography of Golf'.

7th February 2012

The picture shows Guthrie Hutton and President Ann Bain

The members welcomed author, Guthrie Hutton to the club who talked about setting up the Cupar Heritage Centre. For over a hundred years, such a centre had been a cherished dream of many Cuparians. Then five years ago, a dedicated committee, which included Guthrie, received an offer from First Scotrail to rent the railway worker's cottage, part of the ‘B' listed Cupar Railway Station, for the peppercorn rent of £1 a year.  "It was too good an opportunity to miss," said Guthrie. With himself as chair, and Iain Copeland as treasurer, the committee rewrote the constitution with the help of VONEF, then sought funding sources to help with renovations. One was a government grant specifically available for anything to do with old railway stations; another, which helped with actual money as opposed to pledges once work was completed, was the Fife Leader fund. With the help of architect Ron Kidd and building contractors, Willie Findlay of Kingskettle, the centre was on its way. Sufficient renovations had been carried out by 4 September 2011 for the former railwayman's cottage to take part in the Fife Open Doors' Day, when 288 visitors crossed the threshold to see progress for themselves, as well as artefacts uplifted for display by the Castle Furniture Project. As a result, in 2011, the centre subsequently helped the station to win an award for community effort, while Guthrie and Iain each received the accolade of Citizen of the Year. Now the committee is applying for charitable status for the Cupar Heritage Centre, as well as establishing displays in time for its official opening on 14 April 2012, when it is hoped former Cuparian Sir Bob Reid will perform the opening ceremony - co-incidentally, during the 100 year anniversary of the only time the Highland Show came to Cupar. After questions, Dr. Amanda Fleet proposed thanks.

14th February 2012

Our picture shows Past President Rod McCall, Melanie and Euroscola lead Andrew Kennedy

In the absence of President Ann, Past President Rod McCall welcomed the club’s chosen Euroscholar, Bell Baxter student Melanie Orr, to the meeting. Members were enchanted as much by Melanie’s bubbly presentation on her experiences in Strasbourg at the European Parliament, as her charmingly authentic French accent. Conscious of her Scottish roots, Melanie proudly informed the club that, while the Scottish contingency made up just 6% of the 500 present on their day visit to the European Parliament, they made up 25% of the speakers there, while three Scots were elected rapporteurs to give feedback on the debate on European issues. The Scots also made their mark on a day trip to Germany by engaging in traditional dancing on the bridge at Kiel and by holding a Ceilidh to which Euroscholars of other nationalities were invited; that finished with a joyous Orcadian Strip-the-willow, Melanie said.  The experience gave Melanie the opportunity to engage with the people of Strasbourg (by helping to survey them on their knowledge of Scotland); to mix with young people from diverse nations; and to learn about the European Parliament.  All this would stand her in good stead in furthering her ambition to become a translator in an institution such as this. In thanking Melanie for her enthusiastic presentation and praising her confident presentation, Rotarian Barbara Acheson remarked that she was sure that ambition would be more than realised in the future.

21st February 2012

Our speaker tonight was our own member Duncan Pickard.

28th February 2012

President Ann Bain and Fife Ranger Tony Wilson

The members welcomed back Fife Ranger, Tony Wilson, as guest speaker last week.  Tony is an enthusiastic member of the Fife Ranger Service that ensures the sustainable management and usage of over 40 countryside sites and nearly 300 kilometres of access routes throughout Fife. Tony spoke about his educational role in helping to enthuse and train young people in environmental work.  A Ranger’s qualification is awarded to those who successfully complete a year’s course, as well as an opportunity to go on a four day trip to engage in environmental projects elsewhere.  Iceland has been a past destination; this year, Tony hopes to take a group of Bell Baxter pupils to Knoydart.  Some fund-raising is carried out by the youngsters, while the group must rely on donations for the rest.  The advantage of such a course for young people, Tony said, is that it teaches them skills that can be transferred into their future employment. Next, Tony spoke about the International Ranger Federation World Congress, to which 65 countries belong. The first congress took place in Poland in 1997, with this year’s arranged to take place in Tanzania in November. Funded by donations and charities, the congress provides a forum in which to share information and ideas on environmental and conservation matters. Tony feels it is particularly important to encourage the attendance of rangers from undeveloped countries, like Narcisse from Ruanda - a recent visitor to the Howe Rotary Club - but again funding is needed for that.  Any donations go straight to the congress to buy a place, rather than to the individual, Tony explained. As Paul Furniss said, in thanking Tony for his talk, he had provided Rotarians with food for thought, as both charitable efforts were worthy of support. Members appreciated his knowledge and enthusiasm in talking about the wider aspects of his job as Fife Ranger.

22nd May 2012

President Ann Bain with Robert Balfour

The members welcomed Robert Balfour to the club last week to talk about climate change and methods of reducing greenhouse gases in agriculture.  Introducing Robert to the club was no easy feat, as he has so many strings to his bow:  20 years a Chartered Surveyor, Robert remains in charge of Balbirnie Home Farm; he is Chairman of the Coast and Countryside Trust, Director of Paths for All; and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Fife.  Recently, Robert has become involved in helping to fight a bid to turn Kinloch Farm into a sand and gravel quarry. Robert first dealt with the controversy about whether or not there is such a thing as climate change and global warming, given that world temperatures and levels of CO2 have varied throughout the world’s history.  But, Robert asserted, whatever the truth of that, humans cannot continue to use up natural resources as they have been doing and there is a need to reduce greenhouse gases. Robert used Quaker, who produce potato crisps where a third of the CO2 comes from growing the potatoes, as an example of a company that aims to ease CO2 emissions.  Two years ago, Quaker launched its policy of CO2 reduction and hopes to reduce its CO2 output by 50% in another two years’ time. With several farmers in the audience, a lively debate ensued. Non-farming Rotarians were astonished to learn that tractor drivers are guided by GPS systems to ensure not a millimetre of land is lost between drills as they plant their crops. Ron Black gave a vote of thanks, seconded by President Ann Bain.

12th June 2012

President Ann Bain and Rotarian Bill Cran

The club welcomed Aberdonian, Bill Cran, to last week's meeting at the Village Inn, Pitlessie. Since 2007, Bill has made his home in Idaho, where he is a member of the Rotary Club of Boise Sunrise in Idaho District 5400 USA. After some general information about Boise, Bill used the main part of his presentation to describe his club's involvement in a project  with the Indians on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, on the Nevada/Idaho border. Though many might be surprised to learn it, Bill said, there is a great deal of poverty in America and some of the worst is suffered by the native Americans.  Realising that government handouts are not the answer to improving their status as third class citizens, members of the Boise Rotary Club are forging links with community leaders of the nearby Shoshone Paiute Indians.  The ultimate aim is to encourage them in a self-help project, building a community centre which the Indians would fund-raise themselves. The members admired Bill's enthusiasm and commitment in what is likely to become an ambitious undertaking.  After many questions concerning the plans, James Storrar gave a vote of thanks on behalf of those present.

19th June 2012

President Ann Bain presents a cheque for £1000 to Petra McMillan of Marie Curie Cancer Trust

President Ann Bain presents a cheque for £1000 to Tim Granthum of Help for Heroes

President Ann Bain with speaker Charles Samson Jnr

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Breaking News

We are pleased to be sponsored by:
Tayside Marine ServicesThe club is once again happy to have Tayside Marine Services as one of their sponsors.
Bartlett PotatoesMany thanks for the help and assistance given once again to enable our major potato sale fund raising to continue for another year.