The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate


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Sandy Niven

New meeting venue
(from Aug. 2009):
The Ship Inn
(after 22 months in Annfield Hotel)

In June 2010, President Sandy awarded recognition as Paul Harris Fellows to three members. He presented a sapphire to Andy Slater, in recognition of his year as District Governor, and Paul Harris pins to Past President Donald Menzies, Rotary international golfer, and to Honorary Member Bill Lymburn for exceptional support of Rotary.

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Also . . .

Orléans Beauce Sologne President Jean Claude Rabasse brought his group to Scotland for two nights at Peebles Hydro, followed by three nights Rotarian hospitality. Glengoyne Distillery - and its product - was enjoyed.

The weekend away took members to Dumfries - a major successful fellowship event.

Dumfries was popular - it was also the destination of the Pensioners Bus Trip.

Rtn Donald's hill walks continued, now often joined by Rosie the dog. His walks aimed to ensure that speed-walker Rtn Pamela climbed her first Munro - the Merrick was the penultimate test walk - the achievement was Ben Vorlich with the Rotarian team.

Rtns Donald & Franco were part of the Scottish team in the Rotary International Golf Challenge at St Andrews. Although leading the field on the first day, the team slipped back thereafter. However, Donald came away with the St Andrews Trophy, a substantial trophy for the best individual golfer in the competition.

District 1230 Governor this year was Seagate's own Andy Slater, so the Club worked with him to deliver the District Conference, held at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow, in October 2009 - the location chosen in the hope that it would encourage a greater attendance. The Conference committee was chaired by Andy Lynn, its members including Secretary Jim Anderson, Treasurer Jim Fairgrieve, Support Services John Brown, Chief Steward Fiona Lee, Marketing Scott Gallacher, and Events Control Sandy Niven 7 Andy Slater. The Sergeant At Arms, always resplendent in kilt, and accompanied by his wife Ann, was Jimmy Walker. Rtn Geraldine organised a very successful House of Friendship.

Several of the club were involved at District level in these years, and they are grouped under year 2011.

The Haiti earthquake of January 2010 affected about 3 million people in one of the world's poorest countries. Rotary responded marvellously world-wide. Locally, our street collection at Irvine Cross, quickly organised by Rtn Ian, the then District International Chairman, realised £1,200.

President Sandy recalls his year as a busy year, initially focussing on the Conference, but thereafter managing all the regular events such as Sportsmen's Dinner, Xmas Party, Burns Supper, Primary Schools Quiz, YouthSpeaks and Pensioners' Trip, as well as all the social events so important in maintaining the cohesion of the Club, such as the 'Nine & Dine' fun golf and the visit to Stairway Trees. Also, Donald's efforts at keeping the club fit included a cycle round Cumbrae and walks by coast (Stevenston; Fairlie), by Troon Smugglers' Trail, and by hill (Merrick & Goat Fell) - building camaraderie in a diverse group.

at the Orleans visit - Sandy, Jimmy, Michel & Jim F.

The two Irvine Clubs jointly set up and ran a display in a vacant shop at the head of Bridgegate, for one week in February around Rotary Day. A ShelterBox tent was set up, with its allied displays, along with displays of photos highlighting the clubs' successful projects, both local and abroad. This well-placed showcase was visited by many passing members of the public. The 'Irvine Herald' reported Irvine's "first ever Rotary shop", officially opened by MSP Irene Oldfather, under the full-width headline "Discover all the worldwide works of Rotary in store". Earlier in this Rotary year, the club took a pitch at the Carters Gala Day to demonstrate a Shelter Tent, though the low number attending hardly made the effort worthwhile.

The hastily-organised move to The Ship Inn, once established, proved a better venue for the weekly meetings, especially as their upstairs function room has the capacity for partners nights and other social functions.

In June 2010, a Sponsored Walk raised funds for Olivia Giles 500 miles charity, dedicated to providing and fitting prostheses and orthoses in Zambia and Malawi, and since then in Zanzibar. Organised by Geraldine's International Service Committee, it followed a route devised by Ian, whose lateral thinking devised a "Two Rivers" walk following the Annick to Dreghorn and following the Irvine back to Marress. The cloudless day (summer that year was 19 June) almost cooked a few heads, and parts of the route were new even to some who thought they knew Irvine. Despite lots of leafleting and lots of publicity, numbers were low, but the amount raised nevertheless made the effort worthwhile.

The six couples from the club's twin club in Orleans were Michel & Helene Pioux, Jean Claude & Viviane Rabasse, Alain & Maryse Pleau, Claude & Arlene Joly, Christophe & Veronique Demorgny, and Francois & Chantal Gonnet.