24 June 2014

Our meeting this week was the final one of the Club year 2013-14, and the last one chaired by Peter Whyte. As retiring President, Peter presented his summary report of this club year's activity, touching on the wide range of successful social events, activities and fund-raising initiatives carried out under his leadership. The outcomes of all this effort and commitment have been significant within the Howe, with our helping a range of community projects, young people and local causes. We also reached our targets for contributing to the international Rotary Foundation and also to the disaster relief ShelterBox organisation. Peter thanked the members for their support throughout his year of office. He also welcomed our guest Assistant District Governor Malcolm Horner from the Rotary Club of Claverhouse, Dundee. Malcolm Horner congratulated the club on our year and the warm welcome and fellowship he received. He is pictured presenting to Peter Whyte a Rotary “Presidential Citation” certificate, an award given by Rotary in recognition of the achievements of The Howe of Fife Rotary Club during 2013-14.

17 June 2014

We were delighted and privileged to be addressed by Rev. Jan Steyn, a South African exchange clergyman currently based at St. John's Church, Cupar. Jan spoke about his South African heritage with deep knowledge and affection, having been born and living through the rebirth of the country as we know it, in this and the last century. South Africa is certainly one of the cradles of early mankind with evidence of humankind from over twenty thousand years ago, a country with a vast range of flora and fauna. Geographically five times bigger than the U.K., South Africa has with nine seperate provinces. It also has many different native peoples in addition to those more recent arrivals of European stock including Portuguese, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, French, and British who arrived in subsequent influxes from the 17th.c onwards. Jan traced the development of his country from these early times through to key modern landmarks including the founding of the African National Congress through the struggles that brought Nelson Mandela to world renown. Key milestones were the de-banning of the African National Congress and the Pan African Congress in 1990 and the democratic elections of 1994. Jan Steyn concluded his talk by stating his optimism concerning the future of South Africa as it continues through tides of change and power shifts, firm in his belief that the checks and balances available will ensure a good future for his country and for him and his family when they return.


10 June 2014

Our speaker this week was our own Dr. John Kerr. An enthusiastic skier, John explained the differences between downhill and cross country skiing techniques and equipment. With the aid of a series of stunning snow scape images, mainly from south Norway, John explained what is involved in the sport of cross country skiing. The skiis used are different in design from downhill skiis, being narrower and having a definite camber, with only a toe binding to aid movement. Akin to hill walking, but done over extensive snowfields, the skiers cover considerable distances in expeditions lasting one or more days. Like hillwalkers, cross country skiiers often need overnight shelter, and John explained that in Norway they have access to a well maintained network with some shelters being large, staffed establishments whilst others are quite basic as John showed. Cross country skiing is clearly not for the unfit or those lacking in stamina!

16 May 2014

Thursday 16th May 2014 saw our annual Charity Golf Day, held at Elmwood Golf Course, organised once again with his usual flair and skill by Bill Inglis. An enjoyable day of play was followed by a delicious post-match buffet provide by the staff of the Golf lub Restauarant. The players were generous in their support of the raffle , the draw being led by Cathy Adamson. The raffle made nearly £380, boosted by one raffle winner auctioning off his prize of a large bottle of Gin to the highest bidder.

Winning team was “Tracey's Boys”, comprising mum, dad and two sons from the Beattie family. Winner of the nearest to the pin was Allan Anderson, and of the longest drive, Jim Peebles shown with their prizes. A special prize was also awarded this year to the best woman golfer in a mixed team of four, the winner being Tracey Beattie. Tracy is seen holding her prize, a limited edition print of the original watercolour by John Bonington “Afternoon Sunshine, The R & A”.


6 May 2014

The club is fortunate to have a variety of interesting speakers none more so than Jennifer Roy. Like many people Jennifer Roy did not arrive at her vocation immediately on leaving school. She explained how she arrived at the decision to embark on this career after having already completed training and working in occupational therapy. As a mature entrant to what is very much a niche vocation she had to overcome obstacles of access, location, and probaly finance. She her path began by completing further education vocational qualifications, training with a Master Saddler before running my own repairs business for 3 years and then going to the famous and long established Cordwainers College. After her HND in Saddlery Technology, then C & G courses in Bridle Making, Saddle Making and Harness Making she became a Master Saddler and full member of the Society of Master Saddlers. Jennifer gained experience in leathergoods making first at college then in bespoke luxury goods workshops in London. Jennifer admitted to discovering that she has a fiercely competitive streak and she has won awards for her work regularly at the Society of Master Saddlers Annual Competition. She brought along several examples of her work which we had the pleasure of examining.

22 April 2014

Dave Roberts once agin gave us a fascinating insight into an unusual aspect of his Army career. After leaving the service Dave decided to maintain his connection by becoming involved with Bomb Disposal! Dave explained his motivation behind the decision to take up training for, and actual practice of, what seems to others as a risky activity. Dave explained that after detailed training he did not regard it as so dangerous and outlined some of the methods used. He also illustrated his talk with full size training models of bomb fuses.

2 March 2014

Bill Inglis kindly agreed to step in as our speaker this week and what a speaker he proved to be! The topic of Bill's fast paced and very amusing talk was his experiences as a National Serviceman. Bill's talk covered the panoply of experience of this formative part of his life from the initial pre-service inspection through to his expectations of foreign service... unfortunately realised in Blyth, Northumberland and more locally at Dunfermline. From eating porridge without cutlery to the rigours of tackety booted square bashing Bill provided a series of insights into the life of a National Service conscript.

25 March 2014

This meeting marked the Club's appreciation of the wonderful hospitality we have enjoyed at The Village Inn, Pitlessie during the time that Mr. & Mrs. Randy Wallace have been hosting the Club. We were joined by the Cogwheelers and invited partners and served a delicious buffet meal – beautifully prepared by Susan Wallace and served by Randy and staff. Randy also provided pre-dinner aperitifs and canapés. President Peter presided in his usual magisterial way, ably supported by Secretary David who, among other items of business, mentioned the emailed invitation earlier to attend a tasting event at Elmwood College involving Abbie Clunie. Bill Inglis received an enthusiastic response to his announcement that he had read and immediately responded back via email! After Club business, we were joined by Randy and Susan Wallace.

To mark our appreciation of them as hosts over the past years, President Peter presented them with a gift of a framed limited edition print by Club member artist John Bonington. A bouquet was also presented to Susan Wallace. Randy thanked the Club on behalf of himself and Susan, and marked their appreciation by presenting a very generous contribution to the Club's Charity Fund to assist our community work.




22 March 2014

Newburgh Coffee Morning

Last Saturday there was a very full turn out of members of the Club, ably assisted by a team of formidable Newburgh community volunteers, for the very successful Coffee Morning in the Newburgh Institute. A wide range of items had been donated for the raffle, bottle stall, and other prizes. Club members helped the well practised Newburgh volunteers provide the teas, coffees, cakes and biscuits that refreshed the very large turn out. President Peter said a few words, just before raffle and other prizes were announced, and thanked all involved especially Dennis and Bronwen. An enthusiastic recipient of one raffle prize – several bottles of wine – was one P. Whyte, and his enthusiastic response can be seen below!



11 March 2014

If members didn't suffer from vertigo before Dave Neave started to speak at last Tuesday's meeting of the Howe of Fife Rotary Club, they probably did by the time he'd finished. Clinging to a rock face by his fingertips is what Dave does for a fun time - not everyone's cup of tea! Dave was introduced to the club by Rotarian and fellow enthusiast of the upward arts, Andre Hawryliw. A member of the 8 Mile High Mountaineering Club, Dave demonstrated some of the equipment that helps prevent an ascent from becoming an unplanned descent. He also referred to his favourite book on routes, the 'bible' that helps map various rock climbs throughout the UK, where all his climbs take place, his favourite place being the Isle of Skye. Those of a nervous disposition were interested to hear about Dave's other passion - playing the bodhran and singing folk music. A much safer pastime, many felt and one that Rotarian, Monique Sanders, was more comfortable referring to in her vote of thanks.

4 March 2014

A recent trip to Amsterdam was the subject of John Bonington's presentation last week, focussing on Rembrandt the famous Dutch artist. Even those with little interest in art found the talk fascinating, revealing as it did aspects of Rembrandt's life and work. As an artist John was able to speak with detailed knowledge of the subject. John is, of course, an artist himself, so knew whereof he spoke! After Charles gave him a bit of help with the technology, John got his talk started! Beginning with a slide of the Amsterdam waterfont John showed a sequence of images, including details of paintings, and how Rembrandt made his etchings.



19 February 2014

Primary School Quiz

Eleven teams participated in our heat of this year's Primary School Quiz competition. The team from Dunbog Primary School emerged victorious.

18 February 2014

Howe Rotarian, Monique Sanders, regularly spends two or three months of the year in the small Mexican community of Los Barriles, Baja California Sur, where her younger son runs a kitesurfing school called Exotikite. Monique talked briefly about the community there and, in particular, the Lord of the Wind Showdown Competition held annually offshore in the balmy  Sea of Cortez. Instigated  four years ago, the competition was formally adopted by the Rotary Club of last Barriles last year.  Their aims are not just to hold a world class prize-winning event for watersports, but to use the event as a vehicle to bring the indigenous Mexican community, and the more recent American community, closer together.  Its major aim, however,  is to raise funding  to help local youngsters gain better education. Last year, proceeds from the event enabled the Rotary Club to establish a Technology Centre where youngsters can access computers to help with their homework and research.  Open Monday to Friday, it is attended by 30 - 50 youngsters attend daily.  The result?  According to parents and the local Elementary School Principal, a desire to learn, increased motivation, and improved grades. To the 16 computers already available, profits from this year's competition will enable the purchase of 20 additional laptops.

Finally, Monique explained how one fund-raising activity employed by Los Barriles Rotary Club actually works.  Indiegogo is an on-line find-raising facility that invites sponsors to invest in idea, projects and dreams.

The slide above shows a community event during the four days of Lord of the Wind competition - a tamale cook-off in la cancha.

11 February 2014

An extremely interesting and colourful presentation was given by Cathy Adamson about a wedding she attended recently in India. Indian weddings are not single day events as here, but highly organised family occasions lasting four or more days. Cathy explained, with numerous colourful images and video clips taken with her iPad, just how such an event unfolds over the days. Outlining the how and why of the various stages of the Hindu wedding involving the son of a wealthy family - landowners and professionals - and the bride, Cathy's provided a wealth of information and insight into the customs of this quite different culture.

7 February 2014  Quiz Night

The Quiz Night was a “full house” event with teams of keen brains from across the Howe ready to demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge. Quite how knowledgeable they proved to be – or not - was revealed by the challenging array of questions set by quiz master Robin Nicolson. Over a very enjoyable evening the thirteen teams enjoyed a challenging and varied quiz, even if there was some dispute about which county Stonehaven is in! However the quiz was won by team CHAOS – the Wills and Cathy Adamson - emerging as runaway winners. The successful evening raised a total of £397 for Rotary Foundation funds.

4 February 2014

Recent member Dave Roberts gave us his Vocational talk, which proved to be both wide ranging and interesting. Not being academically inclined, and coming from a family with military connections, Dave decided to “take the Queen's shilling” and join as a Boy Soldier on leaving school. He did not want simply to be an infantryman, instead he wanted to be an armourer. As things turned out he became a specialist in explosives and construction work. The opportunity to be posted to exotic locations was somewhat delayed as he advanced up the ranks. After service overseas assisting construction of airfields and other tasks, he returned to the UK. After the Army Dave used these skills to work in the defence industry on projects that he still can't talk about! After a few more years the opportunity presented of moving up to Scotland and settling in the Howe of Fife.

28 January 2014

Burns Supper

Our Burns Night celebration was an evening of outstanding contributions from both club members and guest speakers thanks to Ian Cowie's organisation complemented by the service of mine host Randy Wallace and the staff of the Village Inn. Piper Robin Webster heralded the entry of the haggis, presented by Chris Dickinson as “Poosie Nancy”, after which Sandy Davis addressed the 'mighty chieftain' with his characteristic vigour and flourish. After dinner the evening continued with the “Immortal Memory” delivered by guest Willie Rennie, MSP., in a speech illuminating aspects of Burns early life, educational attainment and subsequent lierary success. A rendition by the company of “Scots Wha Hae” led by David Rankin, supported by Andrew Kennedy, prefaced a wonderfull rendition of Burns “Tam O'Shanter” delivered in suitably dramatic style by guest Dr Bobbie Robertson. Following a medley of piping by Robin Webster, a light-hearted and incisive “Toast to The Lassies” was given by our own Sandy Green in his inimitable style. Then Ann Bain rose to the occasion in her “Reply from The Lasses” - an equally incisive and pointed response, more pointed at some than others! Paul Furness then rounded off proceedings with a light hearted Vote of Thanks cleverly encompassing all contributors to what had been a most successful and memorable Burns Supper. 



21 January 2014

“Seeing is Believing.. or is it?”

Club member Dr. Amanda Fleet, a St. Andrews University lecturer, gave us an intriguing and at times eye dazzling and talk on visual perception. She explained how of our five senses, vision demands most in terms of brain processing resources. Using interesting and at times visually puzzling videos and illustrations, she challenged our understanding of what, and how we see, but may not believe what our eyes tell us. The examples included static paper dinosaurs whose eyes seemed to follow you and shapes that when moved seem to change to match others, proved just how much context and expectation can confound us by confusing our eyes and fooling our brains!

17 December 2013

Once again our Christmas Dinner was a wonderful evening of fellowship and fine food – the latter thanks to Randy and his staff – complemented by a delightful musical interlude. After which Cathy Adamson introduced us to Jack Henderson of the Lomond Tavern. Jack had been nominated for our award as Citizen of the Year 2012/13 by the Falkland Community Council but he had been unavailable to receive it then. Cathy explained that she discovered why he had been unavailable and why - “quite by chance I later discovered Jack had sold the Tavern and moved to Tenerife. He subsequently decided to return to the Howe and has since taken up - to the delight of the citizenry of Falkland - the lease of the Lomond Tavern from the company that bought it from him." She went on to explain that he was nominated for his many acts of kindness and charity to local people over a decade, both through hospitality offered by the Tavern and by his efforts in assisting the elderly members of the community. President Elect Bob Henderson is seen above presenting Jack with his framed Award.


10 December 2013

Empowering & Developing Community Assets 

Dr. Damian Williams, Lecturer in Public Health Sciences at The University of St. Andrews, spoke about his work in Community Psychology, a term new to most of us. Dr. Williams outlined the background to his current work reflecting his interests in violence and violence prevention, health promotion and community development.  He brought these academic terms to life  by explaining his involvement with an on the ground community development project in Alloa. Today there are many forms of community, virtual and real, touching on people's lives. But there are others for whom community means little because they are marginalised or live in very deprived areas.  Bringing about improvement means changing both individuals and policies affecting communities. A policy example is the smoking legislation, introduced despite resistance, but now accepted as improving people's lives. The “community assets” approach focusses on changing behaviours, such as unhealthy lifestyles, criminality, etc., by engaging directly with individuals and their communities.  Illustrating the practical project in Alloa, Dr. Williams explained that evidence gathered has shown positive improvements such as reduced rates of crime, improved health, improving lifestyles and reduced mental health problems. The hope is that by careful evaluation and reporting of the research into the positive achievements  of such “community assets” approaches, influence can be brought to bear on key policies affecting community developments.

3 December 2013

Boys loved it; girls pretended they didn't. And it was the subject of Alan Blair's talk last week. A trip down memory lane, it concerned his passion for Meccano!
A model mechanical engineering kit developed by Liverpudlian Quaker Frank Hornby in 1898, caught the imagination of both genders. It's even credited with engendering interest in engineering as a profession. The more recent demise of Meccano being linked to the serious decline in numbers of home-grown engineers in the UK. Meccano has had a chequered history. Production of the kit (originally called "Mechanics Made Easy") increased in the 1920's and 30' s with exports to France, Germany and the US. Hornby trains and Dinky toys were added to the company's repertoire, but by 1964, Triang had bought the company over and began manufacturing Meccano in plastic. In 1979, the factory closed and Airfix took it over. The Meccano brand was eventually bought by Meccano in France, who now produce model kits at their site in Calais.
A fan of the metal construction kit since a young boy, there is no prize for guessing what the young Alan Blair was to become in later life - an engineer. Currently an engineering lecturer he is keeping alive his love of Meccano by sourcing original parts and building ever more complex machinery models. Pictured with a replica model of the engine type that powered the Liberty ships in WW2, his latest project is building a large scale model of a locomotive complete with carriages. We look forward to hearing and seeing progress on this ambitious model.

26 November 2013

Aptly enough at the time of our annual potato sales, tattie expert, Alan Romans, gave us the life history of the tasty tuber at last week's Howe Rotary meeting. This root vegetable - nutritious enough Alan insists for humans to live off it without any other dietary supplements  - arrived relatively late in Scotland. The plant was originally discovered, so it's believed, in South America, with Sir Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh playing their part in bringing it from the New World. By the 1690's, it had reached Ireland, where it became the staple for 90% of the population. However, it wasn't until the 1800's that the crop was imported into Scotland. Alan, who worked for many years with seed company Thomson and Morgan, is passionate about potatoes. Not only did Alan source four of the heritage varieties in the national potato collection, but he has also spent much time promoting the work of Scottish potato breeder, Archibald Finlay, a pioneer in the potato field. Now there are more than 5,000 varieties world-wide, all descended from one original variety. What is Alan's favourite spud species? The Epicure, first developed in the south of England.

19 November 2013

An Iron Road of a Hobby

At our meeting on 19 November 2013 Club member Dr. Andre Hawryliw gave an illustrated talk on his favoured hobby activity of climbing. A lifelong enthusiast for the sport, Andre explained how he now enjoys visiting the Dolomites to participate in a form of oragnised climbs called" Via Ferrata", meaning "iron road". This refers to the carefully constructed routes up the rock faces of the Dolomites, routes which have steel cables - the iron roads - embedded in the rock. Using specially designed harnesses incor[orating carabiners to attach to the steel ropes, climbers can ascend without the need to be roped together. The climbing is not without its dangers however and there are fatalities each year. Situated as they are on an important frontier, albeit an extremely high one, Andre showed how the Germans had prepared strategic defenses for men and artillery. The extensive works tunnelled into the rock, similar in a way to Gibraltar, were for intended for use as a last redoubt. In the event this did not quite happen as planned. As seen above Andre demonstrated the type of equipment required for this demanding and exicting hobby.


12 November 2013

The Grand Prize Draw Happens!

The Club were delighted to welcome as our guest Sir Robert Spencer-
Nairn, who kindly agreed to be the independent adjudicator of our
Prize Draw. The Draw is one of our principal fund-raising activities
this year, sponsored by this year's President, Peter Whyte. As members
are aware, a great deal of effort has gone into the sales drive and we
have been delighted by the level of support shown by the Fife public,
many of whom already recognise the work we do in supporting our local
communities and their young people. The extent of that support is shown
above in the sheer volume of tickets sold and entered in the draw box.
Sir Robert delved deep and wide into the large entries box before drawing the
three prize winners. Although we received support from outwith the Club's
area, the winners are all, we believe, from Fife. The lucky winners were:
1st prize -  E. Brown
2nd.prize - R.McCrorie
3rd prize - S. Lee.

After the draw was complete the indefatigable Bill Inglis, our Gavel
Manager, opened a mysterious sealed package to reveal that – having
played three matches and gracefully lost three – we received the wooden

8 October 2013

Alec Guinness, A Bible and a Library Ticket

The links between Alec Guiness, the actor, a bible and a library ticket formed the keys to Rick Bond's talk about his father. Seeing as a teenager Alec Guiness in the famous film Bridge on the River Kwai led Rick to learn about his father's wartime WW2 past. A  serving officer stationed in the Army in the Far East, he was captured along with his younger brother, a private, at the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. Like thousands of others they were sent to serve on the notorious “ Death Railway” in Thailand. The extremes of experience as a prisoner – including torture and starvation – took their toll but served to bring about deep bonds among the prisoners, bonds which lasted – death aside – through release in 1945 and into the survivors' lives.  On one occasion Lieutenant Bond was tortured and punished, having all the fingers of one hand smashed. He put his survival down to determination,  friendships and fellowship, and keeping physically fit. Post-war he continued in the Army later working in publishing and as a Work Study Engineer.

7 October 2013

Update - Our Shelter Boxes in Action in North Korea

All  members will be familiar with the support we give to Shelter Box, with substantial contributions from the Play & Plonk events hosted at home by Charles and Chris Dickinson at Pitlair. Although we hear occasional references in news broadcasts to Shelter Box we rarely see first hand evidence of the deployment of the Boxes. The secretive country of North Korea was hit in August 2012 by Typhoon Bolaven which inundated vast coastal areas and left many dead and over 26,000 displaced. The money raised at Pitlair in 2011 & 2012 paid for two boxes which have been deployed, along with many others, to North Korea. The pictures above obtained by Charles show Alf Evans, Shelter Box Manager in North Korea, and illustrate the severe conditions in which our boxes have helped families and children in desperate need and are continuing to literally shelter and save lives.
More images re Shelter Box deployments in North Korea and elsewhere are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/shelterboxuk/collections/72157632524841799/

1 October 2013

In his past life club member Ian Cowie was a senior police officer. Ian was one of a very select band of officers selected for training in using mathematics to help determine the causes of serious and fatal road accidents.  However this expertise was developed in an era long before the widespread availability of computers and digital equipment, so one of the key tools – apart from the ubiquitous policeman's pencil – was a 100 foot tape measure. This was used, along with masonry nails, to measure and gather data at the crash sites – data then used for detailed calculations of speed, velocity, impact and other factors involved in such serious crashes. Conclusions drawn became evidence for examination in court cases and so had to stand up to detailed scrutiny. Ian pointed out that much of the onerous calculation and report writing had to be done at home once he had completed his normal shift duties! Advances in modern vehicle design have done much to improve accident survival rates, but as Ian pointed out, caution and care are still essential to avoid such outcomes.

24 September 2013

We were entertained by a very fast-paced and interactive presentation by our own Andy Boddice.  With his usual distinctive style and enthusiasm, Andy shared with us a perspective on the development of printing, focussing especially on the development up-to-date of newspapers. An array of testing questions to the audience – rewarded with accelerated delivery of chocolate bars for successful answers –  made for a lively talk, illuminated by interesting asides drawn from Andy's own experience in working in advertising. Working at Times Newspapers at the actual change-over point from traditional print preparation, using cast metal, to the newer flexible digital printing technology, Andy provided an eye-witness account of its impact. He concluded by forecasting the certain demise of printed newspapers as we know them, and their certain replacement by digital news delivery media over the next few years.

10 September 2013

At the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife members welcomed two RYLA students who had completed their outward bound leadership course at Nethybridge Field Centre in July.
The candidates, Holly Morris and Claire Wilkie, had been selected from local schools and colleges and, in a question-and-answer session, the girls described how much they had gained from meeting and working with complete strangers, as well as  having to complete a range of challenging and competitive physical tasks which included rock climbing, abseiling and canoeing.
Both girls agreed they had found the experience both valuable and personally rewarding and they thanked Rotary for their sponsorship. In recognition of their achievement they received certificates from president Elect Bob Henderson.


14 August 2013

Robin (and) the Tiger

As members will know, Robin Rippin celebrated his 75th birthday last month. Today he enjoyed one of his many birthday presents - a flight in a Tiger Moth only slightly younger than himself! The picture above shows Margaret looking on while Robin (in the front cockpit) gets ready for take-off.

http://youtu.be/crl0b7fbNNM shows the take-off, while the fighter-type rejoin for landing can be seen here: http://youtu.be/FVQXc8uz-v4 http://youtu.be/FVQXc8uz-v4.

Robin is all smiles afterwards, though it is not clear what manoeuvre Margaret is describing! The gentleman on the left kindly lent Robin his leather jacket to ward off the cold, and pilot David Cyster looks on indulgently, relieved that Robin didn't overstress the kite!

13 August 2013

Club member and ex-President, Dennis Beattie kindly stepped in at the last moment as our speaker this week. Dennis, as most members know, comes from an Arbroath seafaring family. He regaled us with anecdotes about his father, in particular about his bravery in volunteering on one occasion to secure a loose wartime mine washing about and endangering shipping at Arbroath – a good deed which was not apparently appreciated by many neighbours. As Beattie Senior returned home to change his wet clothing, the mine accidentally exploded and blew out the windows of many Arbroath houses!

10 August 2013

Tay River Boat Trip

Thanks to the generosity of  Dennis and Bronwen Beattie, club members enjoyed another wonderful voyage on The Maid of the Tay. After setting off upriver from Newburgh in pleasant sunshine, a  change in the weather meant a change of direction and Captain Beattie decided we should proceed downriver instead. The less choppy conditions allowing all to enjoy the excellent buffet and glasses of cheer organised by Bronwen and Dennis.  Travelling along the Tay offers the chance to observe interesting wildlife and activity on the banks, and some members came well prepared to spot anything of interest in addition to the beautiful spread!

6 August 2013

Dynamic young pharmacist Alisdair Shearer from Rowlands Pharmacy, Cupar outlined how he sees community pharmacies  developing their role as complementary health professionals by providing access to advice,  diagnostic services, and prescribing. By developing this vision for the future of pharmacies as complements to GP's he has been given the pfizer  "Pharmacist of the Future Award" in 2012.

4 August 2013


The Dogged Three, comprising Dianne Matthew and Ann and Sandy Davis, was the team that won this year's Howe Rotary Car Treasure Hunt, set by Rotarian Sandy Green who devised the route and set fiendishly clever clues to rhyme.
In glorious sunshine, with the Fife and Kinross countryside at its best, treasure hunters meandered through some of the Howe villages, before taking a left turn at Gateside to follow the single-track Bunnet Stane Road towards Balgeddie Toll, Kinesswood, Portmoak and Scotlandwell. From there, the trail headed to Leslie and Glenrothes, then 'home' for some rest and recreation, thanks to President Peter Whyte, Sheilagh and Debbie.
All proceeds will go to the charities fund of the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife.

Monique Sanders took this view over the Howe from the Dryside Road

30 July 2013

No meeting this week - we were all at the races! President Peter put together another fine evening at Perth Races, with most of us travelling by coach from Glenrothes via Kingskettle, Cupar, Auchtermuchty, Strathmiglo and the Bein Inn, where the party enjoyed good cooking and banter at that world-famous venue. The racing was good, too, though the on-track bookies were better pleased with us this year than last!

23 July 2013

President-Elect Bob Henderson presided over an 'Open Forum' after supper. Members were briefed on the strategy for our 'Grand Draw' and urged to support what is hoped will be a major fundraiser for 2013-14. The first outing is to Tesco in Cupar on 3 August, so let's get this project off to a great start by making sure we maintain a presence there throughout the day.

11 July 2013

Rumours of the theft of a bench donated to Birnie Loch by the Howe of Fife Rotary Club, as reported in the Fife Herald,  had been somewhat exaggerated.   The bench - well past its best, it seems  - was taken away for repair by Dunshelt blacksmith, Dave Millar, honorary Howe Rotarian.

However, Rotarian John Ewan explains that, after examining it, Dave found the bench to be in a state that was beyond repair.  "So Dave went ahead and very generously ordered a new one, complete with presentation plaque, " John adds.

On 11th July 2013 Monique Sanders, Sandy Davis, John Ewan and Ronnie Black  went along to give the new bench a 'seat of approval'  They declared it "comfortable" and "very sturdy".  Now anyone who wishes can take the weight off their feet as they walk around the perimeter of the Loch and, at the same time, enjoy the view of ducks, 'uptails' all, and families of swans with their cygnets gracefully gliding past.

Members of the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife are grateful to Dave Millar for such a generous gesture to the club, to Birnie Loch and to the public in general.

9 July 2013

Member Ronnie Black of Collessie spoke in an interesting and amusing way about how he has developed what was his early hobby with horses into the position he enjoys today as one of the pre-eminent breeders of pedigree Clydesdale horses. Familiar with horses from childhood, he owned his first Clydesdale, Lucinda, at age 15 – a horse with which he won first prize at the Royal Highland Show. Ronnie explained that each horse has to earn its keep and ideally be sold on to a new interested owner. This pragmatic approach combined with meticulous attention to key genetic aspects led Ronnie to develop the world renowned stallion Collessie Cutabove, a horse  whose progeny have on gone on to great success in the show ring and breeding.
Ronnie explained that he has always sought to widen the gene pool of his horses and he has always carefully brought in new blood including recently a part share in an American stallion appropriately named Benjamin Franklin.
Ronnie's success as a breeder has seen him travel worldwide and with a cosmopolitan range of clients amongst whom is the television actor Martin Clunes. Ronnie and Newton of Collessie featured in a recent Martin Clunes television series about horses. Ronnie is now often invited to be a judge at shows for the breed in the UK and across the world.

7 July 2013

BBQ at Gorno Grove

Howe Rotary Club members and partners enjoyed their annual barbeque at Gorno Grove, Strathmiglo, last Sunday. The event marks the end of one Rotary year and the start of the next, the first to be presided over by the new President.

President Peter Whyte (2013-14) welcomed everyone to the beautiful venue of Gorno Grove and thanked Dianne Matthew for her hospitality. During a warm, sunny afternoon, Rotarians took part in a treasure hunt, played tennis, croquet, petanque or just generally relaxed. Aware that Andy Murray was sweating it out in the Wimbledon Finals in London, several were spotted during the afternoon surreptitiously consulting their mobile 'phones for the score. Others relied on watching the match later on 'playback'.

President Peter (lightly disguised!) presented Dianne with flowers as a token of our appreciation.

We were introduced to the wonders of croquet by Duncan Pickard who acted as coach and umpire as we used the full size croquet lawn at Gorno Grove.

An excellent BBQ was enjoyed by all as the afternoon proceeded at a leisurely pace.

2 July 2013

The first meeting of a new Rotary Year saw President-Elect Bob Henderson give us an insight into what floats his boat. With the help of the magnificent working model of an RAF Air-Sea Rescue launch and a number of photographs, Bob told us about one of his fascinating hobbies. Club members now have a better understanding of why he has so many sheds in his garden!

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Breaking News

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