Rotary Year 2017-18
On this occasion our speaker was our own Roddy Greig, who had used his investigative powers, plus his professional genealogy skills, to track down the history of the coat of arms on Firth House. This building is near Roslynn Chapel and Roddy explained how he had used the combination of his skills and knowledge, with a little help from Google, to identify the arms as that of Col. Francis Duncan. He provided details about the Duncan family background and his search.
18 July 2017
On a summer evening our guest speaker was Lt. Colonel Graham Meacher, formerly of the Royal Engineers, seen outside with President Paul and Dave Roberts. Graham spoke about the work of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. Established in 1885, the charity’s main aim is to relieve need, suffering and distress amongst the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. It acts as an important strategic umbrella organisation, pulling together efforts by the host of other forces charities, and most importantly ensures that veterans really do obtain the right kind of help and assistance to meet their circumstances.
11 July 2017
Our guest speaker, introduced by Robin Rippin, was Cupar businesswoman Jennifer Martin. Jennifer outlined for us her thirty year business career from leaving school, determined to be self-employed, through to the present. She acknowledged how fortunate she was to embark on an IT career at a point where it was innovatory, enabling her to build JEM Computers into the successful enterprise it is today. In addition her entrepreneurial drive led to the creation of the Little Beehive chain of nurseries started in 1998, joined more recently by the Drive & Store self storage business at Cupar Trading Estate.
4 July 2017
On this evening we were delighted to welcome Lewis Scotherne, the Distiller, from Ogilvy Vodka, an interesting farm diversification business. Members were more than happy to hear about how this business developed as a way of utilising surplus potatoes to produce Scotlands only genuine potato vodka. Palates were tickled when tasty samples were offered round! Lewis is seen showing our Barbara Acheson the unique bottle design and a bottle of their fruit cocktail product.
27 June 2017
Work at Dunbog PS on the gardening project with the pupils has drawn to an end for this school session and work will restart next school year. Above are Amanda, Monique and Dave in the garden, in front of the "bug hotel" at Dunbog.
As part of our continuing support to Mary's meals, Aileen and Andrew Kennedy recently delivered eight backpacks to the Inverkeithing Mary’s Meals charity shop: some made up by club members; others by Aileen using cash donations from club members. Jackie Brown, the manageress of the shop, is seen receiving the packs.
20 June 2017
Humour was the theme of Paul Furniss' talk about another of his favourite comedians, Les Dawson. Like many comics, Dawson came from a poor background and left school to work in the local Co-op. Nevertheless he had innate talent as a musician and writer, claiming to have worked in a Paris brothel at one stage. Again like many entertainers, television "discovered" him and Dawson was a regular face on the small screen until his untimely death at the age of 62 in 1993.
17/18 June 2017
Thanks to the organisational efforts of Dave Roberts, we were welcomed for a two-day fundraising effort at the recently-opened Caulders at Cupar Garden Centre. To mark what we hope will be an enduring partnership, President Andre presented Colin Barry of Caulders with a plaque to mark the link. Colin assured us he would display it prominently in the Garden Centre.
Seen happily manning the impressive Club display in the glorious sunshine are Sandy Davis and Paul Furniss.
13 June 2017
Speaking with enthusiasm President Andre shared aspects of his recent cycling holiday in Majorca. A keen road cyclist, Andre graphically illustrated the challenges he undertook in tackling some of the islands breathtaking routes to the highest points of then island. Using video taken on his helmet camera he showed why lesser mortals do not tackle such routes! Guests Alan Smith and Marsha Hicks from Seattle were suitably impressed by Andre's prowess.
6 June 2017
Our MPRC Chair, Monique Sanders, gave us a comprehensive talk on Public Relations. Monique covered the rationale and practice of PR, especially as it applies to the Club and our current efforts to increase our profile and membership. She outlined the challenges we face re press coverage, target audience, media, etc. Although we have the MPRC committee it is the responsibility of all Rotarians to try to present the Club as favourably as possible.
On a blustery Sunday morning, Rotarians from four clubs - North Fife, Cupar, St. Andrews and Howe of Fife - took part in organising the 2017 CycloFun event. Starting from Tayside Football Club grounds, cyclists and family groups of all ages set off under a cloudy sky, following a route through Tentsmuir Forest. Howe Rotarians - with a little help from their friends - also set up the ShelterBox tent, which attracted much interest and some kind donations.
25 May 2017
Blessed with a sunny day for this year's Charity Golf Event at Elmwood College Golf Course on Thursday 25 May, ten teams took part in a competition Texas Scramble, returning to the clubhouse for a buffet lunch and a post-mortem of the play. A number of players happily received bottles of whisky, including the winning team seen above with President Andre and their prizes. The Club Charities fund benefited from the raffle raising a generous £239.
16 May 2017
We welcomed a visitor from Australia: Bob Eadie, President of the Kyneton Rotary Club in the state of Victoria. Born and bred a Fifer, he was on a trip back to 'the old sod' and decided to take the opportunity to enjoy some 'craic' at our meeting. Bob brought with him a club banner, which he presented to President Andre Hawryliw along with the best wishes of the members of the Kyneton Rotary Club.
9 May 2017
Like many Club members, Sandy Davis is a Bell Baxter High School Former Pupil. An active member of the FP Association, Sandy has helped compile an extensive website devoted to information about individual past pupils from the history of the school. He chose to speak in detail about the amazing achievements of a few of the FP's, many of whom have played significant roles in British public life and elsewhere.
2 May 2017
Revealing to us her enthusiasm and knowledge of Twitter, our own Cathy Adamson shared some of her entertaining and amusing discoveries. Cathy favours Twitter most for its brevity and amusement, finds like "Donald The Unready", historical material and the Levenmouth Police. Cathy went on to tell us of the number of other Twitter users who now "follow" her postings, having built up a following since she started to write on it.
25 April 2017
This evening we were taken down memory lane – for some, quite a long lane – by Andy Patterson, who was introduced by Dennis Beattie. Andy showed members slides of old film posters, as well as portraits of the stars of yesteryear. Testing the memories of most of us, it was a very entertaining evening in aid of MacMillan Cancer.
8 April 2017 Cabaret Evening
Entertainer, Danny Phoenix, gifted us a very full evening's entertainment, providing a huge range of popular music, delivered in his friendly and professional style. It was kind of him to give his services free and to offer to do so again. Kevin and the staff at The Village Inn provided excellent stovies to sustain us.
4 April 2017
The subject chosen by John Bonington was the development of the satirical political cartoon. Starting with examples of humorous images from the past, John led up to the invention by James Gillray of political satire cartoons. John then came up to date, with a particular focus on the work of Bill Leak, a famous Australian cartoonist, and rounded off with a short satirical poem by Barry Humphries, an admirer of Leak.
Here is an example of our Purple4Polio crocus campaign in the Howe of Fife. There were also displays in Freuchie, Auchtermuchty, Strathmiglo, Dunshelt and Balmalcolm.
25 March 2017
Ladybank Golf Club Charity Raffle
The Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife organised their annual raffle at Ladybank Golf Club last Saturday. This occasion marked the Season's Opening Match, when teams headed by the Men's Captain and Ladies' Captain play those of the Vice-Captains respectively. And this year, the matches were played in glorious sunshine.
Game over, Howe Rotary President Andre Hawryliw was put to good use, presenting trophies to the winning teams. In the photo, Andre presents the silver plate to the winning Ladies' team, that of the Vice-Captain who was represented by Ladies' Secretary, Myrtle Gilbert. Andre also presented the raffle prizes: a bottle of Champagne and a bottle of Aberlour Single Malt whisky, donated by Howe Rotarian Dennis Beattie, as well as other 'goodies'.
Howe Rotarian Cathy Adamson, who organises the raffle each year, said: "A wonderful sum of £345 was raised for the charities' funds of the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife, thanks to generous the members of the Ladybank Golf Club who always give us a grand welcome."
21 March 2017
Delivered at a brisk pace, Andy Boddice gave us a detailed account of the life and rise to fame of a famous Fifer, John Campbell (1779 – 18610), who hailed from Cupar. A multi-talented individual, and first Baron of St. Andrews, Campbell was a theologist, trainee reporter, barrister, law-maker, Parliamentarian and Lord Chief Justice. A true polymath - and at break-neck speed, Andy covered every aspect of his talents.
17 March 2017
Purple 4 Polio Collection Cupar
Thanks to Rotarian Dave Roberts and his organisational skills, we were able to hold an "End Polio Now" collection at Tesco, Cupar on Friday 17 March 2017. Working an all-day rota in a testing chilly wind, our members managed to raise the substantial sum of £368 towards the Club's Polio fund. Pictured are President Andre with Amanda Fleet and Bob Henderson.
28 February 2017
Our own Amanda Fleet gave a comprehensive update on Chimwemwe, accompanied by pictures showing the very real progress in the centre building. The walls and roof are now in place, with doors and windows to follow soon. Equally importantly, Amanda showed just what has been achieved with the help of District funding, including several hundred text books to sustain and develop an effective curriculum. It is heartening to see images of the furniture, fittings and, most of all, the enthusiastic and happy children who are being assisted and developed through the Chimwemwe project.
Best news of all, the Blantyre City Council has been inspired by a trail-blazing Chimwemwe to set up study corners in churches, community halls etc. to encourage reading, with the help of funding from the USAID (United States Agency for International Development). Chimwemwe will also be in line for some of that funding.
Well done, Chimwemwe, well done Macdonald Nkhutabasa, well done a smiling Amanda, well done Rotary!
21 February 2017
After a slight delay, Dave Roberts was able to breathe more easily and introduce our guest Gary Grant, a serving soldier and expert piper. Gary spoke about the development so far of an Auchtermuchty pipe band, which the Club has already assisted financially. It is proposed to call it The Sir Jimmy Shand Memorial Pipe Band. Gary outlined his vision and the initial progress in developing some young players. He acknowledged that there is still a great deal to do to put the project on a long-term footing, which will require further help and assistance.
14 February 2017
Speaking with his usual drive and enthusiasm was our own Wilf Cameron. Wilf presented an in-depth account of the development and use of Ordnance Survey "Trig Points", the pyramid-shaped structures that play such an important part in the mapping of our UK landscape, as well as parts of the British Empire. Wilf outlined their purpose and development by referring to those he has visited and used. In stunning images, Wilf demonstrated their practical and interpretive functions.
17 January 2017
Once again our annual Burns Supper, organised by Ian Cowie and presided over by President Andre Hawryliw, proved to be a superb evening of fellowship and entertainment. From the piped entry of the haggis through to the singing of Auld Lang Syne, it was another memorable event. Notable contributions included the Address to The Haggis and Tam O'Shanter by Dr. Boby Robertson, both rendered with his usual flair, and a very amusing Immortal Memory delivered by the Rev. Brian Tomlinson. Our own Sandy Green excelled with his Toast to The Lassies, while Cathy Adamson responded in superb form with her Reply from The Lassies. Leigh Berridge, mine hostess of The Pilessie Village Inn, revealed her musical talents by singing two of Burns songs in beautiful fashion. All in all, it was a triumph of an evening!
10 January 2017
Our own Sandy Green, seen above with Duncan Pickard, called his talk “No Man is an Island”. Starting by pointing out that Britain is the seventh largest island in the world, Sandy explained that has been fascinated by islands all his life. Choosing to focus on three of Scotland's that he has visited, he spoke in interesting detail about the Isle of May, off our coast, then the Brough of Birsay, an ancient Orcadian pre-Christian seat of power, and finally the great granite mass of Ailsa Craig at the mouth of the Firth of Clyde. Sandy described their geology, their fauna and the history of their early settlers, their industries and their later lighthouses.
16 December 2016
James Storrar welcomed guest speaker, Patrick (Paddy) Crawford, of Utility ROV Services, an unusual and innovative Glenrothes-based business. Paddy gave us a stunning illustrated talk covering his development of a world-beating company in the field of deepwater salvage. Paddy explained how his farming background and degree had given him drive, expertise and practical problem-solving skills. These enabled him to overcome many seemingly intractable problems in finding, accessing and recovering multi-million pound cargoes at extraordinary depths in the world's oceans. His development of innovative kit, costing eye-watering sums, has made Utility ROV the first choice for many multi-national companies in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
11 December 2016
The lovely guys and gals of Cantamus entertained Howe Rotarians and friends in Letham Hall on Sunday. Their varied repertoire included songs from the shows, as well as seasonal offerings.
9 December 2016
Chris and Charles Dickinson will leave us in the new year to return to Yorkshire. They will be sorely missed.
President Andre conferred a Paul Harris award on Charles ('like an overactive ferret') for all his work, in many guises, over the last eight years.
Chris was given bouquet in recognition of her support to Charles, as well as for starting the Cogwheelers, a monthy meeting for Rotarians' partners.
This all took place following an excellent appreciation of the comedian Ken Dodd by one of his biggest fans, recently-appointed President-Nominee Paul Furniss. Unlike Ken, Paul did not mind being upstaged, and even less like Ken, he timed his talk to perfection to enable the PHF presentation to go ahead!
2 December 2016
The merry members of the U3A (University of the Third Age) ukulele orchestra serenaded patients at Tarvit Ward, Adamson Hospital, last Friday, at an event organised by members of the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife - and everyone was in festive mood and costume!
29 November 2016
Robin Rippin introduced the speaker for the evening, Dennis Hopper of St. Andrews Rotary Club. He revealed the links between Scotland and Russia over the centuries, starting with Scots who served Ivan the Terrible as mercenary soldiers, to the armed forces, including the navy, to engineering and building, and even medicine. John Kerr proposed thanks.
22 November 2016
Boys will be boys? Howe Rotarian David Jack set out to prove the truism of that statement with a few tales of his schooldays at Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland, where his eccentric education sounded like something out of 'Lord of the Flies' – a survival of the fittest!
While there, David may or may not have learned much that formed part of the curriculum, but he certainly learned a great deal about life. That included seeing more of Prince Charles than one might reasonably expect; helping to lay the founds at the John Ridgeway School of Adventure at Ardfern, and taking an oar on John Ridgeway’s open dory, English Rose III. The best days of his life? David certainly appeared to think so, while praising the inclusivity of masters and pupil alike.
Andy Boddice proposed thanks for David’s entertaining series of anecdotes.
15 November 2016
Treasurer-elect Roddy Greig entertained with his tale of the last duel in Scotland - or was it? In 1824, a 12 year old John Hay was unwitting witness to the shooting of a man in a duel, following a dispute. The successful duelist was never found, so did not stand trial for his 'crime'.
But in August 1826 the same pistols were used once more in another duel. In that incident, a Kirkcaldy banker, George Morgan, who had maligned respectable local businessman David Landale, was shot and killed. It could be said the banker received his just desserts! As for David Landale, he fled to England, but later returned to Perth to face the music. He was tried and acquitted, with character 'unsullied'. Ironically, the two families were later reconciled by marriage.
Thanks to his expertise in genealogy - as well as a couple of books on the subject - Roddy's patient detective work revealed this little known bit of Fife history. There's also an interesting BBC documentary about the Kirkcaldy duel, the last one to take place in Scotland, in which BBC2's chief political correspondent, James Landale, traces the story of his ancestor. It can be viewed on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snm5bxfJphI
1 November 2016
Guest speaker this evening was Niall Duncan, PT Employability from Bell Baxter HS, seen with Bob Henderson. Niall explained that although he is a Business Studies teacher he has this interesting additional role. We already partner with Bell Baxter including mock interviews, RYLA, etc. and Niall reiterated how much the school values these inputs, but that they hope to continue and build on such links as they are a vital element in the vocational curriculum and preparing pupils for the world of work and employment.
25 October 2016
The purple theme extended to the inside of the Village Inn tonight as we gathered with partners and guests for a Purple4Polio supper. Everyone was wearing at least one item of purple, and the Inn had decorated the tables with a purple theme. Diners were delighted to find that this extended to the fare on offer, with virtually every choice on the menu having something purple. Mashed Purple Majesty potatoes courtesy of one of our honorary members, Ronnie Bartlett, were an excellent accompaniment to the boeuf bourguignon. Some were disappointed to find that the ubiquitous chips, delicious though they were, had been made from a less regal variety of tuber.
Janet Lowe, District 1010 End Polio Now coordinator, provided the company with a very informative update on the progress being made towards eradication. Her description of the Endgame Strategy inspired us all to continue our efforts towards the day in the not too distant future when the WHO declares the war over. There will definitely be purple chips on the menu that day!
24 October 2016 - WORLD POLIO DAY
23 October 2016
22 October 2016
21 October 2016
20 October 2016
19 October 2016
18 October 2016
Our Club is gearing up for World Polio Day on 24 October. Foundation Chairman Dave Roberts has mounted an eye-catching banner onto the eastern gable of the Village Inn. In this picture our friendly electrician is stringing up the purple rope lighting system to illuminate this side and the front of the Inn.
11 October 2016
Andy Boddice gave us an interesting update on developments in offshore wind farming. The UK is leading the world in deploying this technology.
4 October 2016
Our guest speaker this evening was John Fraser, seen enjoying a pre-dinner refreshment. John, an ex-teacher is a keen walker, biologist, climber and longstanding member of the John Muir Trust. John spoke engagingly about his enthusiasm for the aims and goals of the trust, an enthusiasm that led him to volunteer for one of their re-wilding projects. Illustrated with shots of spectacular scenery he described activities such as dry stane dyking, path building and removal of invasive plant species.
27 September 2016
Our guests on this occasion were our 2016 RYLA attendees from Bell Baxter HS, Ellena Green and Andrew Nimmo. We were delighted to welcome their parents and Jo Melville of Bell Baxter staff. Ellena and Andrew described how they met the challenges of the RYLA environment and activities, how they responded to them, and how the experince has changed them. They both expressed their thanks and appreciation for the opportunity and all they gained from it.
20 September 2016
Our speaker this week was our own member Paul Northway, who gave us an enthralling account of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire tried to conquer the island of Malta. The island was then, as now, a small strategically important territory. In 1565 the island became the bulwark against the ambition of the Ottoman Turks ambitions to conquer more and more of the Mediterranean and mainland Europe. The successful defence of the island lay with The Knights Hospitaller, better known today as The St Johns Ambulance corp of volunteers. With a small force of knights, soldiers and locals, the Knights held out for months their final stronghold at Fort St. Michael. The defence of Malta proved a turning point in halting the Islamic invasions of Europe at that time.
Captain Ian Anderson, a retired master mariner, gave us a resume of his career at sea, including being in command of a vessel that was arrested in Grand Bahama. Latterly Ian's career was as a Harbour Pilot at Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands. Immediate Past President Roger Guy, who spent as much time under the waves as Ian did cresting them, proposed the vote of thanks.
We were treated this evening to some little known information about the Tay Road Bridge, which has just celebrated its 50th birthday. Tayside Marine Services, aka Dennis Beattie, has had a contract for the last several years assisting engineers carrying out remedial work on the concrete piers of the bridge. Dennis explained how the action of the tide creates a harsh environment for concrete structures and how modern repair techniques and monitoring systems were ensuring the safety of this iconic structure.
Peter Whyte had many of us drooling as he gave an erudite presentation on the delights of gin. He 'illustrated' his talk with a vast selection of different brands of gin, many of which were open bottles enabling the nose to be checked. Rotarians showed great resolve by not demanding a tasting.
We were privileged tonight to listen to a talk on the Battle of the Somme by Andy Middlemiss, a retired Kings Own Scottish Borderer. Andy brought the conflict to life and in the process corrected many misconceptions that have gained currency during the intervening hundred years.
Sandy Davis gave us an abridged version of one of the stories from this book, a copy of which he donated to our newly-established hiring library. This was definitely one of the scary tales, concerning as it did an engineering officer who inadvertently got airborne in a supersonic fighter when carrying out a ground test! Hire the book for £1 - or buy from H4H or the RAFBF - to read the full stranger than fiction story.
District Governor Roddy brought some decent weather down from Aberdeenshire with him this week. We were joined on this occasion by President Michael and a number of members from the Rotary Club of Cupar. It was also another stop on our Round the World Tour and we toasted the health of the Rotary Club of Kalamunda in Western Australia.
Bill and Linda Breckenbridge, authors and organisers of the wonderful Frisson Foundation, gave an update last week on their Show Choir challenges for Primary School children.
In 2016, 56 primary schools, 2000 children and 5000 parents and supporters took part in four areas. Workshop tutors are sent to schools to help them prepare, judges organised and venues booked. It's a full time (voluntary) job for Linda and Bill.
President Andre (on the left) and Treasurer Charles (on the right) helped out at this year's Fife challenge, with the Howe of Fife Rotary Club funding medals and certificates for all participants.
The lovely Jo Middlemiss inspired Rotarians and partners last Tuesday with an account of the charity, the Ethiopia Medical Project.
Set up by Jo and her cousin Mareen, the project aims to assist the Buccama Clinic in its work in healing thousands of mothers suffering with uterine prolapse. As Jo says: 'Hygiene, clothing, medicine and a simple operation can sort it.'
To that end, Pounds for pants has been one of the slogans of the charity. Never have M&S knickers been put to such good use!
This worthwhile charity is supported by the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife and its members.
Howe Rotarian Monique Sanders last week told the tale of family member, and 'a sturdy specimen of a Britisher', Captain Haydn Sanders - the First Man to Fly in Suffolk.
A captain in the merchant navy, at the tender age of 21 Haydn took control of a three masted barquentine on its voyage from Prince Edward Island, Canda, to England, before his imagination was fired by aeronautics. The American Wright brothers and Englishman Samuel Franklin Kody made inaugural flights in 1908; that same year, Haydn and his brother Hampden commenced their experiments with flight in the small fishing village of Kessingland in Suffolk.
Their exploits drew much attention both from the local fisher folk and the local press. Several flights ended in crashes, fortunately without loss of life or limb. One of their 'planes even raced the Lowestoft train, reaching the astonishing speed of 35 miles per hour! Eventually, the Sanders brothers showed their Type 2 bi-plane at the 1911 Olympia Airshow, where it carried the price tag of £1000.
After patenting several inventions relating to flight - e.g. the first retractable undercarriage, a mechanical teaching machine - WW1 intervened and Haydn joined the Royal Naval Air Service and later served with the Royal Flying Corps.
After the war, Haydn turned his inventive mind to other projects and never seems to have regained that early enthusiasm for flying.
A sort of 'singing waiter' is how last week's speaker, Robin Ozog, described himself, in his career spent in hospitality and amateur dramatics.
Managing hospitality at some of the UK's biggest events (e.g. the Open at St Andrews, Henley Regatta, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show) was hard work, entertaining and always interesting, according to Robin.
His talk was equally entertaining: full of gossipy insights into close encounters with some of 'the celebs', but at the same time showing Robin is a man with a strong work ethic and pride in achieving the perfect performance, whether serving champagne, or acting on stage.
What's in a Name?
An afae' bonny photo of Howe Rotarian, Cathy Adamson, who entertained our 5 July meeting with a talk on the origins of surnames.
In the Middles Ages, due to increasing population and taxation, a clearer system was needed to identify the populace. Surnames were based on patronymics (Johnson meaning 'son of John'); the place where a person lived (e.g. Abernethy); occupation (Tailor, Baker etc.); nicknames (White, Black); immigrant names (e.g. the Flemish Bremner).
Cathy ended her talk by commenting on each of the surnames in the Howe Rotary directory. There were a few surprises for some Rotarians on learning the theory behind the origin of their surnames! Bob Henderson (son of Henry?) proposed a vote of thanks.
Sunday 3 July
A great time was had by all at the annual barbecue at Gorno Grove last Sunday to mark the start of the new Rotary year. Thanks to President-Elect Ian Cowie for organising it and demonstrating such prowess with the spatula; especial thanks to Dianne Matthew for once again hosting the event.
A gallery of photographs of this event can be viewed on the fly-out Club Barbecue tab under this one.
Saturday 2 July
The first event of RY 2016-17 was the second open day of Barbara Pickard's lovely garden at Straiton Farm. A number of photographs of this are on our Home Page. This was organised in conjunction with the Scotland's Gardens scheme, which receives 60% of the proceeds. Barbara earmarked the remainder to go to Rotary Polio+ through our Club Benevolent Fund.