The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate


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Ian Dickson


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Members in June 2020 (18):
Jim Anderson, John Brown, David Cousar, Billy Dickson, Ian Dickson, Jim Fairgrieve, Pasan Gooneratne, Eric Greig, Hugh Hutchison, Raymond Jamieson, Fiona Lee, Pamela Lodge, Alec McConnell, Robert McMillan, Allan Morrison, Sandy Niven, Sanchana Senanayake, Andy Slater

The culmination of Club efforts came, predictably, at the end of the Rotary year, in June 2020, when outgoing District Governor Jimmy Johnstone announced his awards. Andy Slater received one of four Best Secretary awards, Seagate Rotary received one of seven Service Project awards (for the Caring Trees) and one of eleven certificates for completing Rotary Central data, and Andy also received one of five Service Above Self awards recognising his contribution to District activities in the year.

The Safari Supper was organised by Sandy in October 2019, ending with a party hosted by Allan and Sandra.

The Club made contact with the Arran Rotary Club, our daughter club, spending a pleasant lunch exchanging Rotary news and views. DG Jimmy Johnstone made a special effort to attend, and was welcomed.

The 'Caring Trees at the Portal' was again organised - this year's committee being Jim Anderson, Robert Macmillan, Fiona Lee and Andy Slater, and this year's two charities being Irvine & Troon Cancer Care and the Chernobyl Children. Again, there were 24 organisations and businesses helping to spread festive fun and colour, with the added bonus being that, since the trees had been safely stored (by David Cousar) from the previous year, the amount raised for charity was greater. The event was extended in several ways. Fiona a created an eye-catching display for the Portal's electronic display board. Special events included magician David Ennis entertaining a group of children, and an evening entertainment for sponsors and supporters in the main hall upstairs. A competition for 'Favourite Tree' was won by Dreghorn Primary School.

November saw Club members assisting Poppy Scotland by manning collection tables at supermarkets and by co-ordinating the efforts of other organisations. This was afterwards marked by a certificate from Poppy Scotland confirming that £4,300.63 had been raised in the Irvine Supermarket Collections.

The annual Night Wi' Burns provided the seasonal light-touch mark of respect to the Bard.

The Sportsman's Dinner in February 2020 was well attended, with the speakers being Jimmy Nicholl and Murdo MacLeod, and the main charities being the Crosshouse Children's Fund and the Alzheimer Scotland Unit at Ayrshire Central Hospital.

Jim Fairgrieve proposed a Weekend Away to Perth in March 2020, but a combination of low take-up and the imminent epidemic scuppered it.

From the end of March, meetings became fortnightly on the Zoom platform, a new discovery for most people. Meetings since then have suffered from real contact, but have benefited from being able to involve members and guests from wherever they happen to be. Instead of the (return-match) April pool competition with the Skinner Craft, Deacon John Hale joined a Zoom meeting on that evening.

This year would have included a visit to our French Rotarian friends, at Orleans Beauce-Sologne, in May 2020, but the Covid epidemic wiped that off the programme. Instead, we were joined, on the evening we would have been in France, by four members of Orleans Bueauce Sologne – President Charles Coffin, President Elect Guy de Montmarin and members Bertrand Debray and Elysabeth Catoire - a very friendly meeting was enjoyed by all.

Projects Convener Eric ably captured the wide range of Club activities in his end of (Rotary) year report. Social events 2019/20 were: Race Night in Ayr, Safari Supper, Skinners Pool Challenge, Christmas meal in the Riverside Hotel, A Nicht wi' Burns, and a visit to Arran (a daughter club). Projects 2019/20 were: the Gro Group (an attempt, unsuccessful, to start a satellite club, over coffee at Gro cafe), the Chernobyl Children's Crepe night, the Marymass hot dogs and crepe stall, Poppy Collections, Caring Trees, Christmas presents for Barnardo's, Crocus planting (done by Council staff) for Foundation, entering a Young Artist (runner-up at District), a Young Photographer (winner at District), a Young Writer, and a Young Musician, Bag packing for Crosshouse Children's Fund Baby Appeal, and the Sportsman's Dinner. Eric ended his report by writing: "The sum of our collective efforts is always greater than that of individuals."

The Club took space at the Fourth Port gala afternoon, where passers-by were encouraged to draw a nail from a sandboard, hoping to win a Golden Nail for a cash prize. Two people pulled the Golden Nail, so the Club decided to give two prizes, awarded prior to a Rotary meeting in September.

In November, the Club made a donation to the Girdle Toll Foodbank.