The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate


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Donald Watson

The Club held an 11th Anniversary Charter Dinner on Mon 2nd June 2003. Special Guests were DGE Ian Campbell & Nettie, ADG Jim Copland & Nina, Iain Shaw & Lynn and George Donaldson from RC Irvine, Hugh Drennan (our Sportsmen's Dinner chairman), and Hon. members Hugh Barr & Bill Lymburn.

Rtn Pat McGlynn transferred into Seagate in April 2003. Less than a year later, he moved to Lanark. The idea of a fund-raising Zipslide was Pat's, though he left before being involved in organising it!

Andy Slater and Franco Callistri were recognised as Paul Harris Fellows in June 2003. Andy was described as"Past President, Past Secretary, allegedly past most things but still involved in organising everything." It was presented at Seagate's 11th anniversary, when George Watson wittily analysed the membership both of his own and of the Seagate clubs, and Willie Carson "spared nothing in his demolition of the dignity of each and every Seagate member".

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Also . . .

President Donald led a small group of Seagate Rotarians to our twin club in May 2003 (see 1993).

The 2003 March weekend away went to Dunblane.

President Donald served the District as webmaster for some years.

The Nov 2002 Sportsmen's Dinner in the Redburn Hotel featured speaker Bert Thomson (Retired Chief Inspector), Alan Rough, Scottish football internationalist, and comedian Joe Camay.

From Orleans, students Charlotte Bonnet, daughter of Christophe and Sophie, and her fiancé Ben came to Scotland for a week's visit, a pleasant extension to the regular exchange visits between Rotarians.

The Garden of Remembrance was adopted in President Donald's year as the project to meet a challenge set by Rotary International - that each Club should carry out, by Rotary's Centennial Year of 2005, a one-off, special community service project which would provide a permanent solution to an identifiable need in the community and would involve the active participation of Rotarians. The Watson Memorial Garden on Burns Street was gifted to the people of Irvine in 1952, but was in need of rejuvenation. The two Irvine Rotary Clubs formed their first ever joint committee to plan and carry out the work. Planning started in 2003, but much of the work was carried out in 2005. See that year's page for more detail.

We show Rtn Donald here at the 2006 District Conference in Aviemore, with a bonny lass on either side.

The main charity effort by Seagate this year was on behalf of CHAS - the Children's Hospice Association Scotland. Over the autumn months Rtn Dan Moriarty organised the LOOSE CHANGE APPEAL, putting spare change cans in locations throughout the town. A total of £4,500 was raised.

President Donald rejuvenated committees, to actively involve all Club members so that committees would each make a meaningful contribution to Club activity. One objective was that the degree of activity would ensure there was rarely 'no report' from a chairman or deputy. He also - with less success - tried to break up the "sitting cliques" within the Club. Further, he launched a newsletter 'Seagate View' to act "as a means of communication between the club and the community it serves". Unfortunately, such a venture needs someone with spare time to gather items, prepare them and publish them, so its first issue never enjoyed a successor.

Charity fund-raising of £11K led to major donations to CHAS of £4.5K and to the RI polio campaign of £2K. These two charities were only two of 22 donations listed for the year. The Redburn Youth Group had a visit by VP Hugh and Santa on the same evening near Christmas.

The 6th April 2003 Sponsored Walk took intrepid walkers off on a novel route - starting at the Harbour Arts Centre, we crossed the Big Idea footbridge, and followed the beach round to Ardeer Point, thence to return. Seagate was the first organisation ever to 'do' this route and, following the closure of the Big Idea and its bridge, the only one ever to do so - a totally unique event which raised £1,350 for Rotary's Polio Eradication Programme.

The 2003 Burns Supper featured an Immortal Memory by Michael Murray, Irvine Burns Club Past President. The Toast to the Lasses was proposed by "Hugh the Joiner (Past President of IBC, Trades, Rugby and Sub Aqua Club)" and "very adequately countered by Gillian Drennan".

This year St Michael's Academy, taking part in YouthSpeaks for the first time, won the local heat, against Marr and Irvine Royal. The venue continued to be 'Wellwood'.

The annual Senior Citizens Bus Trip this year took 180 by coach via Loch Lomond, Loch Awe and Lock Eck to Dunoon, followed by high tea and entertainment at the Redburn Hotel.