The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate


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Franco Calistri

New member Glyn Davies joined in June 1999

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Also . . .

President Franco led Seagate Rotarians to Orléans Beauce Sologne (see 1993).

Two major charity donations (£1,000 each) in this year were to Macmillan Cancer Care and to Ayrshire Central Hospital Stroke Support Group as part of the conservatory appeal.

One press report records: "President Franco opened proceedings with a round up of the Italian football scores. This only seems to happen when Fiorentina are winning." A frequent occurrence????

The Sportsmen's Dinner, in the Redburn Hotel, was chaired by Sandy Brown. The two speakers were George McNeill, former professional athlete, and Jim Leishmen, General Manager, Livingston FC; the comedian was Clem Dame. B Clements from T McTear & Co was auctioneer. Scottish Blind Golf was one of the beneficiaries.

A spring 1999 Sponsored Walk (Irvine to Barassie and back) raised £1,000, enabling a contribution of £500 to the Rotary International Kosovo appeal.

The Pensioners Outing took 180 old folk to Edinburgh in four coaches. On their return, they had a meal in the Redburn Hotel and dancing, before being driven home by volunteer Rotarians.

At the end of his year, Franco held the traditional President's Party. The press item reported: "Poor Franco picked the worst or best day of the year . . the final of the open golf . . for most of the day the chaps were planked in front of the telly with glass in hand leaving their good ladies to discuss the finer points of moving house, decorating and holidays." The annalist suspects that gender roles have altered a little over the decade and a half since then.

The Winter Walks continued this Rotary year, the first, in November, being to the Earl's Seat, the highest point in the Campsie Fells. Later in the winter, organiser Donald, on a reconnoitre, "fell into what might politely be termed a sheugh . . driving back in a state of dishabille . . his bunnet gave an outward appearance of respectability".

At the 1999 Burns Supper, Bill Carson proposed the Immortal Memory, and John Hamilton the Toast to the Lasses, ably replied to by Margaret Cook. Irvine Brass contributed to the musical entertainment.

The Feb. 1999 Weekend Away saw eight couples staying at the Gantocks Hotel at Gourock - "being on holiday so far from home was a novel and educational experience for some whose more usual vacation is a cut price flight to Florida for the golf".

The Kilwinning Academy team won the local YouthSpeaks heat, competing against Irvine Royal, Arran High and Marr College - the judges were ex-Deacon Conveners Hugh Drennan and Eric Park and Glebe PS Depute Head Margaret Cook, and the organiser was Rtn Hugh wearing a Tasmanian Devil tie.

The Club continued its journey into cyberspace towards the end of this year, assisted by Rtn Donald Watson, with a new web address.