The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate


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Andy Slater
(here as AG 2006)

The Orleans Beauce Sologne Rotarians returned to Irvine on their third visit - a seriously good relationship developing! President Andy later visited each of the host spouses to thank them for assisting with hospitality - unbeknown to some of the relevant members!

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Also . . .

Charities supported this year included:
Abacus Appeal for a scanner for Ayrshire Maternity Neo-natal Unit (allowing consultants at Yorkhill to witness examinations at Irvine) (£600),
Blind Golf Society (£400),
Action for Children (£500),
LEPRA (£250),
Ayrshire Deaf Youth Club,
Greenwood Academy Brass Band,
and assistance to Kathleen Bennett to attend the World Deaf Games in Rome.

Eight Seagate members competed in the May 2001 Scottish Rotary golf championship at Carnoustie - following instructions not to win (as that would lead to organising the subsequent competition), one of the team recorded a score of 11 at one hole in his round.

Seagate Rotarians welcomed their first lady member (Gillian McCreadie), one of four new members that year, the others being Robert Travers, Satyesh Sharma and Billy Dickson. Since then, in no particular order, other ladies have joined - Geraldine O'Donnell, Lorna Sharples, Fiona Lee and Pamela Lodge. Three are still with us for our 21st anniversary, and the Club would be delighted to welcome more.

The Club presented Honorary Membership to Bill Nolan, a founder member and major contributor to the activities of the Club over the years. His new duties with the World Rugby Board would not leave time for regular attendance at Seagate. Over three years as Speakers Convener, he persuaded nearly 100 people to entertain, educate or enthuse the membership.

Club support for youth and schools led to distribution of the 'Coping with Life' CDs to every school and public library in the Irvine area. An initiative of D1030 (NE England), the CDs covered Bullying, Family Change and Citizenship. Rotary Clubs distributed 75,000 across the UK.

The Nov. 2000 Sportsmen's Dinner, chaired by President Andy, was entertained by speakers Tony Higgins, Chairman of the SPFA, and Willie Allan, then head of PE at Buckhaven High School, and by comedian Billy Kelly. Venue was the Redburn Hotel. Leonard Kerr of Arthur E Collins Ltd was auctioneer again this year.

Five members enjoyed a 'booze cruise' from Largs to the Kyles of Bute, unfortunately arriving at Colintraive just after closing time. The subsequent press item reported: "On-board rations saved the day however and a good time was had by four. Secretary Andy Lynn is now a confirmed landlubber." At another point in the year, there was a return visit to the Cairngorms for a bout of extended walking.

The Marymass hot dog and bottle stall made £800 - it could have been more, but "while the servers were watching the parade go past a hungry person (that is a toned down description) helped themselves to a newly opened tin of 100 uncooked hot dog sausages. If they would like to contact the Club they can now have 100 stale rolls." The Christmas press report hoped that "he [why not 'she', or a dog?] has recovered from his surfeit of sausages."

Press reports, as always, captured the Seagate joie-de-vivre. In one and the same report, we see that "Hugh o' the Mearns and Hugh of the Ties were seated opposite one another . . there were no spare rolls left at that end of the table" and that a vote of thanks (to a lawyer) by Gordon Robertson "was both erudite and philosophical with big words and deep meanings as befits a learned lawyer". Hugh H was known for eye-catching ties, now a distant memory as male couture has altered with the times.

The Pensioners' outing 2001 went to Edinburgh - as in the previous two years, and again with 180 pensioners. The photo includes Rtns President Andy, Franco and Willie Carson, aka the bus driver.

The Weekend Away headed to the Hilton in Dundee, where a party of Welsh rugby players and fans were also in residence. Unfortunately, for reasons unspecified but probably predictable, Seagate high spirits were less in evidence on the Sunday.

The Club continued further into cyberspace this year, changing to a new web address (which is no longer in existence).

The 2001 Burns Supper enjoyed an Immortal Memory proposed by David Smith, curator at Irvine Burns Club. Hugh Drennan toasted the Lasses, replied to by Marnie "in gently barbed verse".

The 2001 YouthSpeaks attracted two local teams, Irvine Royal and Marr; the latter went forward to the Area Finals.