The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate
With the arrival of Eric Greig and Hugh Hutchison in November, the strength of the club reached its peak of 34 members - a total reached again in 1998 and again in 2006.
Also . . .:
Rtn Donald M. is well known for leading walking and cycling groups, but perhaps some spirit fuddled his sense of direction at the end of the Arran Inaugural Dinner - commanding the Seagate troops to follow him, he promptly fell into an unmarked ditch.
At the third Sportsmen's Dinner the career of a 'comedian' came to a farcical end - after over half the audience had disappeared to toilets or bar, he was the first (and, we hope, last) paid 'turn' to be offered a bonus to quit the scene early. Chaired by Bill Cowan (the President's father-in-law!), speakers were Jim Bone, manager at East Fife and a Scottish football internationalist, and John Beattie, Scottish rugby internationalist.
Four members of our French twin club visited Irvine (see 1993).
The 1997 Weekend Away took members to the Gantocks.
Youth Exchange: The club sponsored Brendan Moriarty to attend a Youth Camp in Italy in 1997.
A happy event this year - a daughter - we went overseas to the Isle of Arran and helped Hamish Thomson, their first President and 26 other members to establish the Rotary Club of the Isle of Arran. In particular, we supported them by developing their speakers' programme and syllabus. At the Inaugural Dinner, in the Auchrannie on 6th September, Seagate President Andy proposed the Toast to the Interim Club of the Isle of Arran; the evening finished in time for Seagate members to catch the 9.40 pm ferry. At the Charter Dinner on 4th October, President Andy replied to the Toast to the Guests (pictured here).
The International Convention of Rotary International came to Glasgow in June 1997, bringing 16,000 delegates, plus partners, an attendance twice as large as the previous largest conference in the SECC's then 11-year history. Several club members, Bill Nolan in particular, participated, Bill handling Public Relations for the event. On the Monday, Seagate Rotarians entertained 24 overseas Rotarians at their homes for the evening - guests from as far away as the southern states of the USA and Bolivia. Ibrox Stadium marked a first for Rotary - it was the first time at a Rotary International Convention that the opening ceremony was not split into two sessions - Ibrox comfortably accommodated almost 30,000 people.
This year also saw the start of a long connection - still continuing - with Blind Golf Scotland, not only assisting financially but also participating in the World Championship held at Troon Lochgreen, won by Gerry Kelly - President Andy had the pleasure of acting as his marker/scorer.
Christmas hamper packing is pictured, in Rtn Jim's garage as always. The minutes for this Rotary year also record a Race Night, a successful BBQ, Kilwinning Academy being sponsored for the District Youthspeak, the monthly 'winter walks' of Rtn Donald, indoor bowling at Ardrossan, and ten-pin bowling with RC Irvine. They also record the award of "Outstanding Youth Leader in the Community" to Youth Cafe Leader Jim Faddes. At Marymass, hot dogs were sold out by 3 pm, and over 500 balloons were released. The Burns Supper attenders enjoyed music by Greenwood Academy Brass Band, after an Immortal Memory by Eric Park, a Past president of Irvine Burns Club, a Toast to the Lasses by Walter Lyall, and a reply by Debbie Flannigan. No Pensioners' Bus Trip took place in 1997, as RC Irvine were organising a Train Outing.
The Club met the Presidential Citation requirements of two achievements in each of the Four Avenues of Service. One of the Club Service items is: "In addition to new members sponsor, the club appoints a 'mentor' shadow to develop new members interest in the club". One of the Community Service items is: "Organ donors recruiting at local supermarket by invitation by Rotary members". The Citation criteria change regularly - some years they are beyond the ability of many clubs.