The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate
In August, RIBI President Mike Webb and his wife Alison, accompanied by DG Jim Copland and wife Nina, made Seagate one of their ports of call. The evening's printed programme included mentions of the Club's links with RC Orléans Beauce Sologne, with RC Mzuzu, and with D7610 (Virginia, USA).
Rtn Andy Lynn produced a Powerpoint presentation of Seagate's fund-raising and local and international community projects. This has since been well used, being shown to many groups.
Also . . .
The Christmas Party was in experimental ceilidh style at the Bowling Club - it attracted only seven couples, but it was still a good night, with room to birl!
Chaired by snooker referee Hugh Brown, diners at the Sportsmen's Dinner in the Gailes Lodge enjoyed entertainer Alastair McDonald and speaker Joe Camay and raised over £3,500.
Four Seagate Rotarians plus spouses attended the RIBI conference in Belfast - President Eric, Pres-Elect Raymond, Junior VP Ian and ADG Andy.
The Pensioners outing took 100 senior citizens to Callendar and Aberfoyle, followed by dinner and refreshments in the Golf Hotel.
The Club this year bought its Christmas cards from Malawi - supporting craft-worker Hastings Mkandawire.
The Watson Memorial Garden, in Burns Street, was refurbished as a joint project by the two Irvine Rotary Clubs (initiated in 2002/03) to meet the Rotary challenge of carrying out a community project for Rotary Centennial Year.
Most of the work was done in 2005. The Rededication ceremony on Sunday 12th February 2006 was attended also by British Legion representatives, the North Ayrshire Provost, and Rtn Rev Travers and Fr Boyd. Work had been carried out by Rotarians (over 400 hours of time), with assistance from North Ayrshire Council and Irvine Royal Academy. The Rotary Clubs also did local fund-raising. Several donors assisted in cash or in kind, such as Hillhouse Quarry with materials. The official handover to NAC was carried out later in the year.
The garden had been a traditional Victorian kitchen garden attached to the house ('Cottagefield'), with crocus-filled gardens, where Crocus Grove is today. Its owner, Mrs A M Watson, gifted the garden to the people of Irvine in 1952 to commemorate not only two of her family who were killed during WWII but all local people who had died in the service of their country.
On the occasion of the 8th exchange visit with our French 'twin', in Irvine in June 2006, Michel Pioux was made an honorary member of RC Irvine Seagate in recognition of his efforts in maintaining the link - in the photo are Presidents Philippe Dal Molin & Eric Greig. Hospitality in Irvine followed three nights in Rtn Franco's Royal Hotel at Ullapool, where "the entente cordiale was well and truly drunk, as the bar ran out of Glenmorangie and Bunnahabhein". The St Michael's mini-bus facilitated a trip to Inverewe Gardens as well as a scenic route home via Loch Ness & Glencoe. The sailing scribe reported that Rtn Ian, who orchestrated the visit, "received honourable mention for his sterling efforts to keep the anarchic individualists of Seagate to an agreed programme". NAC and Provost Drew Duncan hosted a civic reception on the Tuesday morning in the area displaying the Eglinton Trophy. Seagate hosts were Rtns Bobby, Jim F., Wilson, Sandy, Andy L., Franco & Donald W.. The visit postscript refers to a certain 'M. Catastrophe', who left a jacket behind - unfortunately, it contained his house, car and business keys, and more unfortunately, his fellow travellers had, for safety, left their car keys in his house - they were very, very safe!
In December the Club was visited by Jane Whitlock, the British teacher who was working in St Peter's, Mzuzu, and had masterminded implementation of the Seagate project - she reported that everything was being fully utilised. In March, Mr Ziba, the Head Teacher, attended the Club with another member of his staff and some pupils. He thanked the Club for equipping science labs; he commented that the motto of Nyasaland had been 'Lux in Tenebris', and said that Seagate's provision of science labs had brought Light in Darkness - not only widening the curriculum but enabling the school to be an exam centre and encouraging pupils to aim for university. He presented the Club with a wooden bowl and a pair of candlesticks. During their Ayrshire visit, Arran Rotary Club organised some sightseeing on Arran - but the pupils probably remember the ferry journey on a choppy day more than the aromatics and cheeses of Brodick!
The Club continued to help the Friday Night Youth Club - organised by Lorna Sharples, Jim Fairgrieve and others. The Club assisted with an August BBQ, with Easter eggs for an Easter party, and for ++++
The Primary School Quiz was won - for the second year running - by Glebe Primary - of whom we had two photos. This is the one with most smiles - all except one young man! Another photo was taken, but the smiles had faded by then, so we're using the first!
The 2006 Burns Supper had a wealth of talent - incl. piper Jimmy Cook, flautist Willie Young, Pres. of Kilwinning Burns Club, an Immortal Memory by Rtn Raymond Fitzgerald, VP of Irvine Burns Club, a reading by Angus Middleton, VP of the World Burns Federation, and the Lasses Toast and Reply by John Duncan of Kilwinning Burns Club and Margaret Cook of Irvine Lasses Burns Club. Anyone guessing that it was organised by Rtn Ian, an Irvine Burns Club Past President, would be right!
In May 2006, the club became reachable through www.seagaterotary.org.uk, easily found by entering Seagate Rotary to reach where it is hosted on the RIBI club system.
Marymass caused red faces for Seagate Rotarians - who "spent the whole glorious day facing into the sun, and no none had thought to bring a hat". In any case, it raised £850. Later in the autumn, Seagate members helped to man the Rotary stand at the Ideal Homes Exhibition, where the Shelter Box display prompted overall donations of £4,000.