2016-2017 - What we did

What we've being doing

AS one of his last acts in office, outgoing president David Somerville named as Rotarian of the Year Dr David Fraser, the club’s retiring secretary but continuing co-treasurer, who had exercised oversight of the club’s charity and Gift Aid accounts while completing his fifth year as secretary. Dr Fraser is a previous winner of the Alistair Brown Trophy, of which he takes custody from last year’s Rotarian of the Year, David Steele.

THE leadership roles of the head boys and girls of Dunfermline’s four high school have been recognised by the Rotary Club of Dunfermline. Awards of gift tokens were presented by President David Somerville after they shared with Rotarians some of the highlights of their respective academic years.

Recipients were:

Dunfermline High:
Head girl, Sophie Kay (18), 12 Forman Grove, Dunfermline, who is to study interpretation and translation in French, Spanish andItalian at Heriot-Watt University;
head boy, Sean Malpas (18), 129 Jennie Rennie’s Road, Dunfermline, who is also heading to Heriot-Watt to study geography.

Queen Anne High:
Head girl, Arianne Holland (17), 5 Knockhouse Farm Cottages, Crossford, who is to pursue a degree in veterinary science at Edinburgh University;
head boy, Aaron Jack, (18), 25 Rose Gardens, Cairneyhill, who is to study actuarial science at Heriot-Watt.

St Columba’s High:
Head girl, Rachel Millar (in absentia);
head boy, Craig Moriarty (17), 103 Peasehill Gait, Rosyth, who is to study sports and recreational management at Edinburgh University.

Woodmill High:
Head girl, Emily Nicholson (17), 6 Halketts Hall, Limekilns, who is planning to take a gap year;
head boy, Robbie McLaren (17), 4 Kestrel Avenue, Dunfermline, who is to study medicine at Edinburgh University.

OVER 100 local children with additional support needs did not miss out on the 2017 gala season…thanks to West Fife Rotarians, who have just jointly staged their annual Kids Out picnic in Pittencrieff Park.





The Rotary Clubs of Dunfermline, West Fife and Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay laid on a fun-packed day out for youngsters from High Valleyfield, Forth and Gordon Cottage child development centres, as well as from the additional support classes at Cairneyhill and Pitreavie Primary Schools.



An indoor bouncy castle and ball pit were complemented by a wide spectrum of outdoor entertainment, including performances by Lochgelly High School Pipe Band, Scott Lovat’s magic and puppet show and the balloon artistry of Big Pete’s Magic Treatz. Fiona Horne and handlers from Tapitlaw Riding School, Comrie, provided escorted rides on ponies Monty and Jude, while volunteers from Pets AsTherapy introduced the youngsters to two PAT dogs - a German long-haired pointer and a Shih Tzu.

Many Raine and Gill Baird, the respective community champions of Tesco’s Duloch and Dalgety Bay stores, not only brought put their face painting skills to work, but enhanced the goodie bags with donations of fruit, water and snack bars from the store chain.


A police car and fire appliance also responded to the Kids Out call, and even Pars’ mascot, Sammy the Tammy, put in a special guest appearance.

The Kids Out convener of the Dunfermline club, Rotarian Ralph McCran, explained, “Rotary clubs nationwide have now adopted the Kids Out concept, which aims to bring fun and happiness into the lives of disadvantaged children. Dunfermline pioneered the initiative in Scotland and we and our partner clubs are grateful to all those, particularly the park and pavilion staff, who help us deliver an event which has become a highlight of our service calendar.”


Incoming President David visited Uganda for the unveiling of the plaque. He writes: We are just back from the Rwenzori foothills. On the first day I met with half a dozen ROCDiC members in their office. They looked bit drained from a year of pressure, and were anxious that I might be annoyed or disappointed, especially that the official opening day of the government might be months or more away.

Next day I met friend Ericana from Typhoid epidemic days. He is the influential chief inspector of the Department of Health, and lives only 3-4 miles away. He was quite sure the official opening would be soon, following the start of the financial year in August, and said that minor clinics could start immediately, once some furniture is provided. He also asked for a ramping up of the ‘Completion Ceremony'.

A week later the day did not disappoint. There was an attendance of 5-600 (many children) plus VIPs; stone plaque unveiling; banners, tents, dancing, fund raising, speeches, biscuits and sodas, ……….
A master glass in wine-tasting has poured over £900 into the coffers of Cancer Research UK - thanks to Dunfermline Rotary and Golf Clubs. Providing the professional tutorial at their joint charity fund-raiser in the Pitfirrane clubhouse was wine expert Jo Williamson, who uses his grapevine to recruit more volunteers to join him as a CRUK cancer campaigns ambassador.
Jo's commentary on a list of eight diverse wines was informed by over 50 years in the trade with leading vintners and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
The event, which attracted a company of some 70 people, was co-ordinated by Tom Arnott, the Rotary club's immediate past-president.
A new health centre - financed to the tune of £8500 by six Fife Rotary clubs and the movement's charity, Rotary Foundation - is now nearing completion in the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda.


The campaign has been spearhead by the president elect of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline, retired urologist David Lyth, and his teacher wife, Helen, who spent three years in the area during a five-year post-retirement mission to work among the poorest people in Africa.Mr Lyth explained, "Finances and the finishing trades are due to complete the project by early May…in time for Helen and I to attend an opening ceremony, scheduled for 24th of the month."
The Rotary Club of Dunfermline club was the first to commit pump-priming cash to the construction of the Burumbika Health Centre in a populous, hard-to-reach area of the Rwenzori mountain foothills of Kasese District of Western Uganda and additional support was pledged by five Fife sister clubs: Dunfermline Carnegie, Inverkeithing & Dalgety Bay, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.
Thanks to Rotary's intervention, some 13,000 subsistence-farming villagers will gain access to a permanent, government-run health centre with a medical officer, nurses, and pharmacist. This will provide basic in- and out-patient medical and maternity services, and outreach immunisation clinics.
THE quiz kids of Pittencrieff School were in top form at the Rotary Club of Dunfermline's qualifying round in the 2017 primary schools quiz competition, sponsored annually by Rotary clubs north of the Forth.
By holding off the challenge of four other Dunfermline primaries in the preliminary heat in Dunfermline's City Chambers, Pittencrieff's young quiz masters - Freya McKay, Juliet Wallace, Matthew MacKenzie and Matthew Wilson - secured the Rotary Club of Dunfermline trophy…and a place in the area finals on 29thApril at Balwearie High School.Townhill were runners-up, withSt. Leonard's and McLean in joint third place and St Margaret's fifth.
Event organiser was Rotarian Sean Doran, the club's inquisitor was local solicitor Ralph McCran and the questions were set by fellow Rotarian and retired headteacher John Anderson.
Overall, 500 schools, supported by nearly 80 Rotary clubs in District 1010, are expected to compete in this year's event, with the top two teamsfrom each area final advancing to the district finalat Aberdeen's Beach Ballroom on Saturday, 10 June.


DUNFERMLINE Rotarians have paid silent tribute to the memory of their 82nd president – West Fife’s former police commander, retired Chief Superintendent Alex Elder – who died on 7th February, aged 72, in a Kirkcaldy care home.

Mr Elder had been since 1990 a member of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline, of which he was president in 2005-06, and had been closely identified with the club’s entertaining of children from Chernobyl during their annual visits to Fife.

The former commander of Fife Constabulary’s western divisionwas an ex-police commissioner in the Caribbean volcanic island of Montserrat and was awarded the OBE in 1999 for his work as a regional police adviser in the Caribbean.

Raised in Aberdour and educated at Aberdour Primary and Dunfermline High Schools, Mr Elder joined Fife Constabulary as a police cadet in 1961. He rose to the rank of chief superintendent, completing the last five years of his service as commander of the force¹s western division, based in Dunfermline.

He retired from the force in 1995 to take up an appointment with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office¹s Overseas Development Administration, later to become the Department for International Development.

As regional police adviser, Caribbean, based in Bridgetown, Barbados, Mr Elder advised the ODA and DFID on police and justice-system development in the English-speaking Caribbean. He also gave advice to British High Commissions and governors of the British overseas territories and was involved in the development and implementation of the EU Caribbean Drugs Initiative.

At the end of an extended contract, Mr Elder returned in 1998 to Kirkcaldy, where he lived in Ben Alder Place.He was an elder of Abbotshall Parish Church, where a service to celebrate his life washeld after a private cremation on 16th February.

In March, 2000, Mr Elder returned to the Caribbean on a two-year contract as police commissioner in Montserrat.

Mr Elder was a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a past chairman of its Fife branch. He was also a past chairman of the Association of Professional Institutes in Fife

Mr Elder is survived by wife, Valerie, their daughter and son and one grandchild.


Here are some pictures of the building of the Health Centre. You can also see videos of the work  here and here;


The walls go up - the mortar is made from locally dug clay. After final facing with cement based concrete it should last for 50 years




Delivery of steel for reinforcing the concrete beam which provides protection against frequent earth tremors.




Shuttering for the concrete beam goes on. Also pillars to support the overhanging roof.


The pillars have been cast and their beam made.









With a roof on it looks almost complete - still lots to do though.



A Christmas bonus of over £5000 for good causes has now been added to the £8000 charity disbursement made by the Rotary Club of Dunfermline from the proceeds of their November black-tie fund-raiser - a gala dinner and casino night in the city's Glen Pavilion.

Two Christmas concerts in Dunfermline Abbey in association with the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland and Santa's annual sleigh run round local neighbourhoods in tandem with Dunfermline Round Table each poured four-figure sums into the club's benevolent fund.

The concerts' festive notes boosted local and military charities while the Rotary proceeds of Santa's street collections and series of pit-stops at Tesco's Fire Station store were channelled to local families through the children and families arm of Fife Council's social work department, which also received a similar donation from Round Tablers.

Rotary club president David Somerville said, "As well as bringing some Christmas joy into the lives of local children and families, the club's benevolent fund wrapped up the festive season with our annual round of donations to a raft of good causes."

THE Rotary Club of Dunfermline is playing Santa to eight good causes by splashing the cash raised byits Las Vegas-style gala dinner and casino night in November.Christmas bonuses totalling £8000 are on their way to six local charities, as well as the two national causes nominated as the principal beneficiaries of the black-tie fund-raiser in the Glen Pavilion.

The British Heart Foundation and Erskine Hospital for Veterans are each to receive donations of £2500 while Rotarians are stuffing cheques for £500 into the Christmas stockings of six local causes. This year's recipients are The Samaritans, Riding for the Disabled Association, the Crossroads (Dunfermline)charity which provides support for carers and their families in West Fife, Macmillan Cancer Support, the Scottish Association of Mental Health's Going Forth employability service and the children and families section of Fife Council social work department.

Children's individual Christmas gifts are also being routed by the club through the social work department - donations which again include sacksof presents collected by their surrogate Santa, Jane Russell, from her generous neighbours in Middleton Park, Keltybridge.

At our meeting on 15th December we welcomed Name1 of British Heart Foundation and Name2 of Erskine Hospital for Veterans who received cheques presented by President David

Caption: President David Somerville is pictured presenting the charities’ cheques to Karen McBeath (left), from Erskine Hospital for Veterans, and Shirley Stenhouse, from the British Heart Foundation.

This report from Ivan, our 'Ugandan correspondent'

"I would like to update you for about what we have done so far:



22 November procured items from Kasese
23 November met the Sub county authority to discuss the mobilisation of the community for the communal work


24th November counting the bricks and making payments



25th November setting out the ground plan from the building plan
26th November trench excavations begun



29th November trench excavations finished
28th November beginning laying bricks in the trenches "

Obviously no time is being lost in getting the new building out of the ground. Planning departments here should take note
DUNFERMLINE Rotarians – retired consultant urologist, David Lyth, and his teacher wife, Helen – are “over the moon” on learning that their Rotary fund-raising campaign has secured the major building block in its drive to construct a £8500 health centre in the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda.

David, who is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline, confirmed, “In the last few months, five Rotary clubs in Fife have committed £3000 to the campaign and now District 1010, representing Rotary clubs north of the Forth, hasoffered a £3500 Rotary Foundation grant to complete the target budget.”

Since leaving Uganda four years ago – following a five-and-a-half year retirement mission to work among the poorest people of Africa – the Lyths have continued to visit annually and help with various educational and medical projects, especially linked with a charity group in the remote mountain valley of Kyondo, just four miles from the hospital where they lived.

David explained, “Their latest project is a health centre that the Uganda Government is committed to equip and staff, once built by the community. In two years they have raised £2000 but, for the balance, they are looking to outside help.”

The Rotary Club of Dunfermline club was the first to commit a pump-priming £1000 to the construction of the Burumbika Health Centre and additional support of a further £2000 was quickly pledged by four Fife sister clubs: Dunfermline Carnegie, Inverkeithing&Dalgety Bay, Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy.

David added, “The project aims to build the centre in a populous, hard-to-reach area of the Rwenzori mountain foothills of Kasese District of Western Uganda.

“Some 13,000 subsistence-farming villagers will gain access to a permanent, government-run health centre with medical officers, nurses, and pharmacist. This will provide basic in- and out-patient medical and maternity services, and outreach immunisation clinics.”

David and Helen, who spent three years in the area, have personally identified and researched the need for the project.

David explains, “For three-and-a-half years, I was surgeon of the local hospital four miles away, and so had contact with local health centres. We went through a typhoid epidemic that took hundreds of lives, and I was the surgeon who treated four men mauled by a leopard on the track which serves this community of 13,000.I can thus validate and endorse the major impact that this mountain health centre will have when up and running.”

Helen, an honorary Dunfermline Rotarian, was recently installed as president of the Soroptimist International of Dunfermline, who are continuing educational projects in this valley.

She confirms, “Kasese is one of Uganda’s least-developed counties. People in thehills can take four hours to walk to the main road to access the nearest health centre and other services.

“The centre is the latest project by a voluntary group that cares for the disadvantaged. Over the past 10 years, at their own expense, have helped destitute families and various groups in need. With the help of money from abroad, they have also run immunisation programmes and ante-natal clinics up in the high hills.”

A small committee of Rotarians from clubs in Fife plans to work with the charity in Uganda and the Lyths plan to visit the project in the spring of 2017.

Video - Why a Health Centre is needed

PREPARING to bring glad tidings to the many aficionados of ’s favourite military band is the Rosyth-based Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland.

For the Marine musicians have been tuning up at MoD Caledonia for their home-town season of Carnegie Hall concerts and Christmas concerts in Dunfermline Abbey under the baton of a new Director of Music – Captain Matt Weites, who assumed his new command in September

The band launched their popular Carnegie Hall season on 19th October, with further concerts programmed for 24th November, 9th February, 2nd March and 12th April.

The band is again joining forces with the to present two Christmas concerts in Dunfermline Abbey – on 14th and 15th December.

The programme will have its usual festive focus and this year will feature primary-school carollers from and .

Tickets, priced £12.50, are now on sale from the Carnegie Hall box office and Pink String and Sealing Wax, Bridge Street

Captain Weites said the Carnegie Hall series, alongside the Abbey Christmas concerts, formed the local flagship events for the band.

“They provide the band with a fantastic opportunity to entertain ‘our crowd’, and with this being my first concert on home turf, it has an added impetus,” he said. “I am very much looking forward to meeting the audiences during these concerts and to presenting a truly entertaining evening of music during these key events in our calendar.”

Captain Matt Weites joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1994 as a french horn player. After successfully completing training at both the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal and in Portsmouth, in 1997 he joined the RM Band Portsmouth and travelled extensively with the band to the Far East, Canada, Australia, USA and Thailand.

Thereafter a series of band postings and further musical study saw him rise through the ranks to be selected for commission in 2013. Amongst many highlights were the award of a BMus(Hons) degree from and a six-month deployment to as part of the UK Joint Medical Group. He was awarded a QCVS in the Queen’s Honours List for meritorious service during that operation..

On commissioning, he was appointed as Assistant Director of Music Training at the Royal Marines School of Music and during the past two years he has been studying for a Master of Music Degree in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music, in , and has recently graduated with a distinguished pass.

 

THE Rotary Club of Dunfermline has secured a grant from Rotary’s main charity to boost its own financial aid for a project to equip a therapy room forpre-school children with special needs in Kenya.

Approximately 43% of Kenyan children with special needs experience difficulty in attending school.This project is to support an initiative to better prepare pre-school children who have emotional, social or physical needs so that these children are able to access and gain maximum benefit from educational opportunities.

The charity, Vision Africa, has launched the initiative in the Murang’a and Maragua areas of Central Kenya and has constructed a therapy room to deliverspecialist sessions in such disciplines as speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, plus group-play therapy sessions, parents’ workshops and peer support. A special educationalist has been recruited to oversee the programme.

Rotary is providing the range of equipment, including mobile therapy kits, required for this therapy room. The £2100 cost is being funded by a £1100contribution by the Dunfermline club, plus the £1000 grant from Rotary Foundation.

President David Somerville commented, “Once again, the Dunfermline club is demonstrating the international dimension of the Rotary movement by supporting this very worthwhile project to help disadvantaged children in Kenya.”



The auction is now live - Click Here to visit.  See also Facebook andshare this with your friends.

Along with Rotary Clubs all over UK we are filling Rotary Shoeboxes - see why below.

A box can be filled with useful things (and treats), each box aimed at a small boy or girl, a teenage boy ot girl or a houshold.  

As you can imagine this is huge operation with collection depots all over and a lot of volunteers depending on us.  The timetables are quite tight so:-

Last date for returning filled boxes is our meeting on Thursday 10 November.
 
Shoeboxes may be returned at any meeting.
 
If anyone requires a supply of Shoeboxes between meetings, these are stored at Garvock House Hotel in the cupboard where our Rotary paraphernalia is kept. If any difficulties, contact David Chalmers .

The following description was provided by Ron McKaill of Rotary District 1010

 The shoeboxes will be delivered to children, families and elderly persons in Romania; Moldova; Ukraine; Bulgaria; Albania; Croatia. Those receiving our shoeboxes will include children in children`s homes; street children;   families living is socially disadvantaged circumstances; and elderly persons. 


Recently I visited Romania as part of a Shoebox group and was involved in the delivery stage of the boxes to  socially deprived families. Our hosts were `Hope and Homes for Children` which as a charity has achieved considerable success in reducing the number of institutions where large numbers of children were receiving inadequate care . Whist HHC is doing sterling work in improving the life chances of children and of families there is much to be done in Romania.

I have vivid memories of visiting one family  ( parents and 5 young children) living in a  one bedroomed flat with a kitchen and living room combined. Some days earlier this family had been living on the streets. The
accommodation was as bad as I have seen. There was for example fungus on the walls a sign of condensation and dampness. Whilst my view of the accommodation being extremely poor for this family it was better than the alternative of being on the street.

We visited several children`s homes which were by UK standards comparable. However the children unlike in the UK are not necessarily placed be the social work services .  They are not necessarily orphans. Many have parents. Due to reasons of poverty they are placed in care by their parents as this is the best option for them.

We saw the best of the children`s homes. In other parts of eastern Europe many of the children receiving our shoeboxes are living in large institutions of  60 plus children. This is the case in Moldova and Albania for example.

A second city we visited was Kluge where  we were hosted by the Romanian Prison Fellowship Charity.
Part of the service they offer is to rehabilitate those in prison.
We were allowed into a woman`s prison. Met with mothers of children. The shoe boxes we sent are distributed  by the Prison Fellowship to the children of the parent in prison with the  message that the shoebox gift is from their mother/father.

Our Rotary visit gave me an insight into the life of those who were socially disadvantaged  and we met those who were very poor.

If we had been there as a tourist we`d have received an entirely different perspective. Kluge for example appears to be a typically European city. There is an aspiring middleclass.
However it is not the middle classes who are receiving our boxes. 

From my visit I was assured that our boxes are being delivered to those who are impoverished. The distribution network involving the charities and the Rotarians we met in Kluge ,for example, implied to me that there is a need for our shoeboxes . 




It’s charity showtime!

DUNFERMLINE Rotarians are urging the public to chip into local and international charities by rolling up to their gala cabaret dinner and casino on 4th November in the Glen Pavilion.

The black-tie event is one of the biggest social and fund-raising events in Dunfermline’s calendar and this year’s cabaret will be headlined by Dunfermline’s own Clark Stewart, currently in demand as one of Scotland’s top vocalists.

Together with costumed showgirls,he will presenta Las Vagas floor show, featuring numbers from the Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble songbook.

Clark has entertained around the world in over 30 cruise ships, including the QE2, on which he was, at 29, its youngest cruise director.He has performed with such stars as Susan Boyle, Elaine Paige and Ken Dodd, and his upcoming home-town gig will follow his current Mediterranean cruise date with P&O.

President David Somerville said, “Our club regularly disburses five-figure sums each year to local and international charities. Our charity gala dinner is our main fund-raiser of the year and with Babcock again as our main sponsors, we hope to build on the success of last year’s event.”

The cabaret will be complemented by a drinks reception, three course dinner and coffee, a casino with roulette and blackjack, a disco, raffle and online auction.



Proceeds will be donated to Rotary charities, as well as the British Heart Foundation and Erskine Hospital for veterans.

Tickets, priced £35, are available from President David on 01383 413436 or 07860804802.

President David Somerville took office on 1st July and at his first meeting in the chair he presented the Club with his priorites for his year of office as follows.

AS the approaches its centenary, its 96th president has stressed, “The club’s history is important, but it is the club’s future that must be our priority.”

In identifying the challenges needed to re-energise the existing membership and add a new dynamic to its age and gender profile, President David Somerville declared, “The changes we consider now will not only retain our values, but will ensure that the club continues to deliver the fellowship, fun and fulfilment that current and future members want and need as Rotarians.”

In his inaugural address, President David - the recently retired group operations manager of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service - recalled, “On retiring from the Fire Service, I was concerned that I was leaving an environment which was both challenging and professional but also social due to the interaction of the officers and firefighters.

“When Past-President suggested I come to Rotary, I was impressed with the opportunity to socialise with other professionals and make new acquaintances, and the fellowship I experienced was exactly what I felt I needed – a good fit!”

Althoughhe hadonly been a member of the club for some three years, he said he had been proud to be asked to becomepresident-elect, although he confessed to some concern as the challengehad dawned on him and he faced the task of forming his team for the year.

“My concerns were mainly around the membership of the club - both the gaining of new members to enliven the membership but also re-energising of the existing members,” he said. “It was evident to me, in the short time I have been a member, that although on paper we have a membership of over 60, it seemed that the actual projects our club took on were supported by a lot fewer than 60"¦and indeed it appeared that the same ‘well-kent faces’ were involved in many of these.”

Even attendance at weekly meetings had reduced throughout that period.

“This begs questions of the current format for our weekly meetings, such as: Do we need to meet weekly? Do we need to have lunch? Should we expand the number of night time meetings? Should we consider entering into talks with other clubs on the possibility of merging"¦and so on? It is my intention to discuss these points, and others, in the near future with interested members from our club.

“We have already changed the responsibility for providing entertainment, information and interest to our weekly meetings by inviting the members to take on this responsibility and we will monitor the success of this format in the coming months,” he said.

President David stressed, “We will consider change not only to revitalise our existing club members but also to attract the new members required to provide impetus and drive for the future, but it is important to retain Rotary’s values, priorities and commitments.

“It is important that all members feel that they want to attend and want to assist with the varied programme I do hope to provide through my council officers.”

To address themembership concerns, he said he had decided to reinstate the position of membership secretary within the club council and had been delighted when had agreed to take up the post.

“Tom’s objectives will include altering the age profile of our club to increase the number of younger members - not only to provide energy but also alternative initiatives for our club

“Also it is hoped to increase the number of female members and provide a different dynamic to our club.

There would also be a renewed focus on communication –“to ensure members are informed and given the opportunities which will arise throughout the year to be involved and engaged fully with your club.”

President David emphasised, “Involvement is essential for the continued success of our club. It is one of my objectives to improve the involvement of members by providing a varied programme of events throughout the year which will include charity events, community events and social events which hopefully will provide every member with the opportunity to support these.”

Council members would be empowered to develop their remits by the creation of their own committees, as they see appropriate.

“This not only will share the responsibility and necessary workloads of each post but also increase the involvement of club members to contribute to the success we all desire for our club.Furthermore, this will give more members an insight into the work required of these posts and facilitate a succession process for future council members.”

President David said, “For over 100 years Rotary has been about Fellowship, Fun and Fulfilment. We get together with our fellow members, we enjoy our activities and we get personal satisfaction from helping others. However, no Rotarian is alone. All our activities take place within the fellowship of our fellow members, on behalf of the club. The act of getting together to plan and carry out any project is an integral part of Rotary.

“I believe regular fellowship, whether at weekly meetings, committee meetings or social events, is what develops a group of individuals into a coherent and effective club.”

He reminded members: “When we joined Rotary we expected to do things to help other people. To see kids enjoying themselves, to see kids drinking clean water, to know that we helped eliminate deadly diseases. To do these and all the many smaller things we do, gives us a buzz and shows that Rotary has fulfilled our expectations.

“To take us forward to our own club’s hundredth birthday we need to make sure that each and every member gets as much Fellowship, Fun and Fulfilment as he or she expected – and more, if they want it. Get these right and the perceived problems of attendance, retention and recruitment will fade into obscurity.”

President David hoped this year would be successful in terms of fellowship and charitable objectives and pledged his council’s commitment to striving to achieve the desired outcomes forthe club.

Several Rotary clubs in Fife are planning to collaborate in a project to build a health centre in a populous, hard-to-reach area of the Rwenzori mountain foothills of Kasese District, Western Uganda.

 13,000 subsistence-farming villagers will gain access to a permanent, government-run health centre with medical officers, nurses, and pharmacist. This will provide basic in- and out-patient medical and maternity services, and outreach immunisation clinics.


Rotarians David and Helen Lyth who spent 3 years in the area have researched the need and opportunity of the project, and have published a 4-minute video on YouTube https://youtu.be/Gj-P-ooH74Y 

David says "I would like to endorse the validity and impact that this mountain health centre will have when up and running. For 3 ½ years I was surgeon of the local hospital 4 miles away, so had contact with Kyondo health centre and others. We went through a typhoid epidemic that took hundreds of lives, and I was the surgeon who treated 4 men  mauled by a leopard in the track shown in the film. (Gory photo available!) So I can endorse this project would have a great impact for the 13,000 community."

Once financial agreements have been reached a small committee of Rotarians from clubs in Fife will work with a local committee in Uganda. The Lyths will re-visit the project.

Projected Cost £8,000 - £6,000 from Fife, and £2,000 from Uganda


Project to build a new classroom for a school in the remote Simien Mountains of Ethiopia 

Progress to date per photographs. Next stage - the locals to infill the wooden walls with mud. 

Project cost £1,375 - funded by District Simplified Grant £675  + Club’s contribution £700

 



 



TEENAGERS and families on the local contact lists of Fife Council social work department have received Easter surprises of assorted toiletries – courtesy of Tesco’s Duloch superstore.

Gift bags of shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers and other beauty-care products – displaced from the toiletry shelves of the Tesco store – were channelled to social-work contacts through the Rotary Club of Dunfermline, who have established links with Mandy Raine, the Duloch store’s community champion.

In her six years in the role, Mandy has formed interfaces with a raft of local good causes and service agencies, distributing replacedproduct lines through such neighbourhood organisations as Dunfermline Foodbank, Abbeyview Day Care Centre and Homestart.

Mandy said, “We are always delighted when our surplus stock can benefit deserving people in our local community. As Tesco likes to say: Every little helps.”

PRESIDENT played one of Santa’s subordinate Clauses when – on behalf of the –he dealt out £7000 in Christmas bonuses for eight good causes.

The club chipped in a cheque for £3500 to the Dunfermline Committee of Cancer Research as one of the principal beneficiaries of their charity gala dinner and casino evening in the Glen Pavilion in November.

And they raised the charity stakes by a further £3500"¦by stuffing £500 cheques into the Christmas stockings of seven more local good causes. This year’s recipients are the Dunfermline Corps of the Salvation Army, Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre, Home Start, Crossroads Care Attendant Scheme, the Scottish Association for Mental Health’s Going Forth project, Maggie’s Fife and , Duloch, for children with additional support needs.

In a festive flurry of activities – co-ordinated by Rotary Past-President and Table president Craig Smith – Rotarians and Round Tablers this week joined Santa on his annual sleigh run round local neighbourhoods, with pit-stops at the new Tesco Fife Station store. The collective proceeds of their store and doorstep appeal were channelled through Fife Social Work Department to provide Christmas presents for deserving local children.

Rotarians’ supplementary haul of children’s gifts was boosted by over five sacksful of presents from the big-hearted neighbours of , Keltybridge and the staff of the office of sportscotland.

To drum up yet more cash for their charity coffers the Rotary Club promoted two Christmas concerts on 16th and 17th December in Dunfermline Abbey, where the Corps of Drums and Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland played to packed houses to aid local and Service charities.

The Rosyth-based musicians, under the baton of their new director of music, Captain Daryl Powell, were supported by carollers from and .

FOR more than a decade, Dunfermline Rotarian David Chalmers has gone the extra mile in translating into international action the ideals of the global service organisation.

As international convener of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline, the Kinross-based company director has even used his personal trekking and climbing trips to remoter regions of the world to identify and developprojects deserving of Rotary’s funding support.

Now David Chalmers has beenmade a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary Foundation, the international charity of Rotary, in recognition of his work, mainly on humanitarian and educational projectsin which he has leveraged Foundation grants to augment funds raised by his home club.

In presenting the award, made in the name of Rotary’s founder, Dunfermline club president Tom Arnott paid tribute to David’s “inspirational leadership” and “awesome commitment” in drawing down supplementary grants.

An early example was a project undertaken by Dunfermline Rotary in 2005 to establish – through contacts David had met while trekking in Pakistan – a computer training centre for women in a poor part of Rawalpindi.

The club’s current project involves the construction of another schoolroom for a primary school visited last year by David in the remote Simien Mountains of Ethiopia.

Projects have also been delivered in other African locations such as Uganda, Sierra Leone and Kenya. Although Foundation projects tend to be undertaken abroad, a number of years ago a local project involved helping to set up a small library for the Home-Start initiative in Dunfermline.

David explained, “Undertaking a project in partnership with Rotary Foundation enables grants to be levered in to add to our club’s financial contribution. A good example was when our club provided seeds, fertiliser and livestock to a village which had been devastated by floods in Pakistan. Our cub’s financial contribution of £2000 was substantially boosted by Rotary Foundation grants, taking the total project fund to over £10,000.”

David emphasised, however, that Dunfermline Rotary undertook many other international projects which did not involve Rotary Foundation, such as the recent shoebox collection of Christmas presents for deprived children in Eastern Europe, the purchase of ShelterBoxes for disasters such as the Nepal Earthquake and the hurricane in Vanuatu; and the support of club member DavidLyth and wife Helen during their recent five-year mission to Sierra Leone and Uganda.

David acknowledged, “It is a significant honour to be named as a Paul Harris Fellow, but considerable credit is due to the members of Dunfermline Rotary who have been prepared to support these projects over the years”.

Since retiring as director and deputy chief executive of Dunfermline Building Society in 2003, David served a five-year term as chairman of Kingdom Housing Association Ltd. and a similar term as chairman of the Scottish Building Society. He has also held non-executive director appointments on two Scottish Government boards and is currently a director of an international insurance company.

 

RETIRED garage owner Tom Arnott is back in the driving seat of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline – taking over as its first double-term president in the month he handed over the running of the family business to son, Chris.

And as he was inducted into the office he first held in 2008-09, he revealed plans were already under way for a major fund-raising event in the Glen Pavilion on 6th November.

He explained to the 2014-15 assembly that the clubwould be adding a casino dimension, with a five figure star prize, to their annual charity dinner-dance, which this year will feature Willie Allan, billed as Scotland’s top after-dinner speaker.

President Tom told his fellow Rotarians, “I’ve nominated Cancer Research (Scotland) as the principal charity beneficiary, and tickets will be pitched at a price to encourage uptake not only by Rotarians and friends but also the general public.”

He was installed by retiring president, Graham Steedman, who reviewed a milestone year during which the club had attained charitable status, disbursed over £23k to local, national and international charities and landed a record £24k in funding which - over the next two years - it will plough into the most ambitious international project in the club’s 94-year history.

During his 18 years in Rotary, Mr Arnott has held the social, sports, international and Foundation convenerships.

Kelty-born Mr Arnott - who has been in the motor trade for almost 50 years - served his time with the former James E. Whitehead Ltd dealership in Nethertown Broad Street, before moving successively to Fort William and Dunblane, where he was group service manager for garages in Stirling, Falkirk and Edinburgh. In 1985, he and wife Janet set up the family business, trading from Grieve Street as Gleneagle Motors Ltd.

The couple have lived in Dunfermline since their marriage in 1970. Son Chris, already a director, took charge of the business in June – at 35, the age at which his father founded the firm.Daughter Sarah is director of finance for the North American operations of Weir Minerals, a division of the Scottish-based international engineering conglomerate.

Mr Arnott is a member of Dunfermline Golf Club and a past-president of the Scottish Motor Traders' Association (Fife).

As his last act in office, the outgoing president presented the Rotarian of the Year trophy to programme convener Bill Livingstone, retired Press editorial director, who has reported the club’s activities for over 50 years, the last 25 as a club member and convener.

DUNFERMLINE’S leading pupils have described to Rotarians the “challengingbut rewarding” experiences of their memorable tenure as head boys and girls of the area’s four high schools – a ‘whirlwind year’ which had given them skills to carry into their future lives.

The following High achievers each received from President Graham Steedman, of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline, £50 of Amazon vouchers in recognition of the leadership qualities they had demonstrated during the current academic year:

Dunfermline High: Head girl, Chelsea Morrice (18), 21 Kyle Crescent, Dunfermline, who is now bound for the European University of Madrid to undertake a  degree course in dentistry; head boy, Jeremie Juan (17), Dornoch Place, Dunfermline, who plans to study medicine at Aberdeen University

Queen Anne High School: Head girl, Laura Hood, (17), 65 West Baldridge Road, Dunfermline, who is to pursue a history degree at Edinburgh; head boy, John Craig (17), 6 Miller Avenue, Crossford, who is to study mathematics, with economics, at Edinburgh.

St. Columba’s High: Head girl, Niamh O’Donnell, (17), 8 Crathie Way, Dunfermline, who is to read French and politics at Glasgow University; head boy, Michael McKenzie (17), 40 Dornoch Place, Dunfermline, who is to study history at Aberdeen.

Woodmill High: Head girl, Jodi McFarlane (17), 18 Gilfillan Road, Dunfermline, who is to read history at Edinburgh University; head boy, Bruce Taylor (17), 17 Earn Grove, Dunfermline, who is to study politics, also at Edinburgh.

KIDS Out 2015 was much more than a stroll in the park for the 130 youngsters who were guests of local Rotarians at the annual picnic treat in Pittencrieff Park for children with additional support needs.

For the kids had fun face-time with the first-responder services and enjoyed a range of attractions from pony rides, a balloon artist and a puppeteer to Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs, a bouncy castle and ball pit.

Lochgelly High School Pipe Band blew away the clouds to ensure the sunniest Kids Out event of recent years.

Kids Out, which has become an annual fixture in the ASN schools’ calendar, is a joint initiative by members of the Dunfermline, West Fife and Inverkeithing & Dalgety Bay Rotary Clubs.

Dunfermline Club president Graham Steedman said, “A fantastic day was had by all – kids and Rotary volunteers alike. The happy smiles of the youngsterseven outshone the event’s best weather for years.”

IN response to the Nepal earthquake disaster, the Rotary Club of Dunfermline have voted to despatch two ShelterBoxes to aid the international relief effort. The boxes, which contain an assortment of life-supporting aids, together cost £1180 – which matches the club’s response to the relief of victims of the cyclone which recently devastated Vanuatu. The club has this year raised over £40,000 for a whole raft of deserving causes at home and abroad.

THE community service of a retired Dunfermline police commander  through his contributions to the force and to the Rotary movement has been recognised by the Rotary Club of Dunfermline.

Rotarian Brian Steer - described as "possibly the best president the club never had" received a Paul Harris Fellowship, coupled with honorary club membership, from District Governor Keith Hopkins at the club's 2015 charter dinner in Garvock House Hotel.

President Graham Steedman explained that Fellowship honorees were individuals who meet the high professional and personal standards set by the movement's founder, and honorary membership was conferred only very selectively on Rotarians whose service was  'greatly valued'.

The honours recognised individuals not only for their services to Rotary, but also for the outstanding leadership qualities demonstrated during their working lives,from which the whole community had benefited

Dunfermline-born Brian, who lives in Glenrothes,began his police career in 1968 with Edinburgh City Police andtwo years later was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct for saving the life of a distressed woman on a store rooftop.

He thereafter rose to the rank of chief superintendent within Fife Constabulary, retiring in 1998 as commander of its Western Division, based in Dunfermline.

In 1988, Brian was the lead investigating officer involved in Fife's only political assassination attempt during which VinkoSindicic was dispatched to kill exiled Croat leader Nikola Stedul in Kirkcaldy's Glen Lyon Road.

President Graham observed, This had all the hallmarks of a classic spy novel, with a gunman licensed to kill being sent by communist Yugoslavia to the Fife town. Of course,Sindicic had not bargained on coming up against Fife's finest - and he was promptly caught, arrested and prosecuted, ultimately being sent to prison for 15 years.

On retiral, Brian assumed the voluntary roles of secretary of the Retired Police Officers' Association (Scotland), and secretary of the association's Fife branch, his 10 and 15-year tenures respectively being recognised by the award of honorary membership of the association.

Brian entered Rotary in 1997 and had since fulfilled multiple roles within the club. For many years, he organised the annual Kids Out picnic in the park for children with additional support needs; he organised two successive charity dinners as the club's major fundraisers; and he hada long record of service as the club's protection and health & safety officer.More recently, he had been the driving force behind what had become one of the club's main calendar events - the schools employability skills programme.

President Graham added, If ever anyone ticked all the boxes for what our motto, Service above Self, stands for - not only in his Rotary involvement but also in his police work - it's Brian Steer,who is possibly the best president this club has never had!

Honorary membership has also been conferred on retired master baker Ian Terris, of Limekilns, a club member since 1966.

Paul Harris Fellow Brian Steeris pictured (centre, front row), with President Graham Steedman and 17 of the club?s past-presidents.

GLAD tidings are on the way to a second wave of charities thanks to the Christmas fund-raising endeavours of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline.

Having already placed cheques totalling £5000 into the Christmas stockings of nine local good causes, Rotarians gave an extra festive fillip to their benevolent fund by ringing up £7368 in the joint proceeds fromtheir Santa's sleigh collections around local neighbourhoods and two festive concertsin Dunfermline Abbey, in association with the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Scotland.

Latest beneficiaries include four military charities RN & RM Charitable Trust;Fife branch of SSAFA,which offers lifelong support to the Forces and their families; Seafarers UK and Combat Stress. Also sharing in the proceeds are the two Rosyth primary schools whose choirs performed at the Abbey events:  St John's and King's Road.

The club is also to give a four-figure sum to the charity, Playlist for Life, for whom they are piloting the local iPod donation drive to improve the lives of those living with dementia by giving them digital access to personally meaningful music. 

DUNFERMLINE folk singer cum friendship ambassador Gifford Lind will be packing more than his guitar with him when he flies out to perform on 31st January at a Burns Supper in Dunfermline's twin town of .

For the convener of Dunfermline-Trondheim Twinning Association will be exploring with his Norwegian counterparts initiatives to mark during 2015 the 70th anniversary of arguably the oldest twinning link in Europe

Gifford reminded Dunfermline Rotarians, whose predecessors helped to cement the original friendship bond, The link was formed in 1945 and the very first ships to free Trondheim brought with them a bond of friendship which had been adopted by a group of over 1000 young people meeting in the Regal Cinema in Dunfermline.

It was an initiative which was taken because there was the feeling that something should be done to win and sustain the peace. So it was very laudable and very worthwhile thing at the time, and really something for which the young people of should be given a great deal of praise for having initiated and carried out.

Recalling that there had since been many visits exchanged and friendship links forged, he said, "I first got been involved way back in 1998, and it has taken me outside of Dunfermline and made me look back at the place. I think we all need to do that, because it lets you see your own place and your values in a different way. it also lets you hear what other people think of your own town."

Gifford stressed there was a great deal of emotional connection with Dunfermline amongst older people in Trondheim and the younger people were now hearing about it as well.

This year will be the 70th anniversary of the start of that twinning and I have a list of initiatives to be taken this year to try to make things happen, he said.

Three years ago we did a democracy project involving young people from the twinned cities The more I think about it, the more I realise that democracy is what this is all about, because if you have a democracy that doesn't involve everybody, some people will get to the position where they may think to do something violent against others. So inclusion is important.

That was confirmed to me when we were planning visit from the Youth Council of Trondheim. A young man blew up the centre of and then went up to an island and shot a large number of young people. The young people who were due to visit us had relatives and friends who were killed in that incident. When we realised that, I put the point to the organiser that maybe we should call the visit off. He said, "No. We need to come. We need to develop democracy. We need young people to understand it."

That represents one of the priorities that we would see in renewing the bond of friendship this year, which is to get young people involved in democracy, in talking to one another and in being friends with one another.

 

HIRE education is already paying dividends for two fifth-year pupils of Dunfermline High School.

For Sarah MacDonald and Robyn Pattison have been awarded iPad Air tablets by the Rotary Club of Dunfermline as the High performers in the third Rotary employability skills project run in association with the school.

Sarah (16), of Garvock Hill Dunfermline, and Robyn (16), of Backmarch Road, Rosyth, received their iPads from President Graham Steedman to acknowledge their performance in the 2014 round of theproject which gives senior pupils of Dunfermline High School expert mentoring on how to get their feet on the first rung of the jobs ladder.

The girls acknowledged, in turn, the input by Rotarians and school staff to a process which they said had developed skills which they would apply throughout their lives.

We have delivered exactly 140 shoeboxes to the depot in Perth.
The toys & young people's clothing will be taken to countries such as Romania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Albania, Croatia, Kosova and Moldova and delivered to kindergartens, to children's homes, to disabled children, to hospitals, to deprived communities and so on where Christmas presents will be more or less non-existent and the household goods will go similarly to communities where there is considerable poverty and social deprivation.
Thanks to members, familes and friends who filled the boxes and David Chalmers who organised and delivered them

THE Rotary Club of Dunfermline has landed a record £24k in funding which - over the next two years - it will plough into the most ambitious international project in the clubs 93-year history.

'Delighted!' was how President Graham Steedman greeted the news of his club's success in assembling the investment packageto provide training courses in agribusiness and home-care management for disadvantaged young people in Kenya -  so that they can have opportunities for independence through employment or self-employment.

International& Foundation convener David Chalmers reported to the special general meeting that the club's financial contribution of £3550 from its own fund-raising had been the catalyst for grants of £300 and £11,000 respectivelyfrom the club's Rotary District and from Rotary Foundation, the movement's international charity, with the balance being contributed by their Kenyan partner Muthaiga Club,who will oversee and support implementation of the project on the ground..

The year-long agribusiness course will teach a wide range of farming skills such as use of farm tools and equipment, irrigation/drainage, crop production, soil fertility, livestock management and marketing.

Mr Chalmers explained, At the end of the course graduates, will retain the tools they trained with and will work on family land or take up paid employment or set themselves up in self-employment. An added benefit will be that the food grown during the courses will be sold for re-investment in the project.

Farming in many parts of Kenya is carried on by old-fashioned inefficient methods so more productive use of the land will be to the benefit of the community generally.

The six-month home-care management course will cover home nursing and first aid, food/beverage production and service, nutrition, house-keeping and child care.

Said Mr Chalmers, The objective is to equip graduates with skills which enable them to obtain better paid jobs in domestic service or in the catering and hospitality service where unskilled workers are poorly paid and undervalued.

Thecourses will be delivered at the Seed of Hope Centre in Kariti in the Murang a District of Kenya. Dunfermline Rotarians havealready carried out several very successful projects with Seed of Hope,which was established by the UK-registered charity, Vision Africa.

David added, The funding for this project will cover the first two years of operation and thereafter it is planned that it will be self-funding by means such as the sale of agricultural produce.

The Dunfermline Rotarians responsible for this project are David Chalmers, David Steele and Alan Mutter.

 

AS they gear up for their annual Santa sleigh rides around local neighbourhoods from 15th December, Dunfermline Rotarians are to stuff more than £5000 into the Christmas stockings of 10 charities and good causes.

The club's benevolent fund is to give £1000 to Calaiswood School, Duloch, which provides special education for children and young people with complex and additional support needs.
Eight local charities are also to receive early Christmas presents of £500 each: The Salvation Army; the Riding for the Disabled Association; Home Start; Crossroads care attendance scheme; the Scottish Mental Health Association's Going Forth training centre; Fife Council social work department; Safe Space; and Maggie's Fife.
The club has also agreed to donate part of the proceeds of the Christmas concerts by the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland in Dunfermline Abbey on 17tt and 18th December to SSAFA, the charity for the Forces and their families.
Spreading Malala's message...
Pupils at Dunfermline High School were inspired to take receipt of their "Malala Desk".
Fife Council, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Dunfermline and the Alhambra Theatre, are in the process of delivering a Malala Desk to every school in the Dunfermline area. The desks are inscribed with a message from the young girl who was shot for attending school and who has recently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The inscription reads: "Let no-one be forgotten"
The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child proclaims: "Every child has the right to an education, to be healthy, to grow up safe and be heard."
Cllr Helen Law, area chair for the City of Dunfermline, says, "We want all of our children to learn in a supported environment, to grow up as confident individuals and to go on and play an active role as citizens in their own right."
Provost Jim Leishman commented, "Considering what Malala went through just to be able to engage in learning should act as an inspiration for all our young people."
The desk would act as a constant reminder to all that "you can't put a price on a good education".
Alan Mutter, past president of the Rotary Club for Dunfermline, said his organisation was proud to be associated with such an initiative and he hoped that the young people realised the significance of a positive school experience in paving the way for them to become the business people of tomorrow.
Bill Fletcher, of The Alhambra, agreed and reflected on the recent success of the theatre's summer schools as a means of providing learning for young people that was exciting, dynamic and engaging.
"Anything that inspires young people to engage with the learning process is good in my book and it gives me great satisfaction that the theatre can add to the wider educational experiences available to our young people," he said.

THERE are currently around 70 Fife ex-Servicemen on the casebooks of Combat Stress, the UK's leading military charity specialising in the care of veterans' mental health.

Retired wing commander Jim Lawrence, the charity's regional welfare officer for the East of Scotland, told Dunfermline Rotarians that the area within a 10-mile radius of central Dunfermline was one of his caseload 'hotspots' and that the calls on Combat Stress nationally were increasing by some 12 per cent a year.

In token of the centennial commemorations of World War One - and the 95thanniversary of the charity's foundation to deal with shell-shock casualties from the trenches - Rotary club president Graham Steedman presented Mr Lawrence with a Combat Stress donation of £1000.

Mr Lawrence - who covers a patch from the Borders to the Shetlands with two mental-health nurses - explained that there were some 5000 cases on the charity's books across the UK and some 750 on its active client list in Scotland, where one of the three UK treatment and support centres was located in Ayrshire.

DUNFERMLINE Rotarians have roped in Provost Jim Leishman as the first Fife civic head to be invested by the club as an honorary member.

The honour was bestowed on the Pars legend just over a year after he Bonded with the Magnificent 007s seven intrepid members of the club to abseil, SAS style, from the Forth Bridge to boost Rotary charities and his own community foundation which he set up in memory of his late wife, Mary.

President Graham Steedmansaid he was delighted to welcome the Dunfermline Athletic director, in his role as Provost of Fife, into honorary membership as the club believed he possessed all the qualities required in a Rotarian to honour the movement's ideal of Service Above Self.

'We know you will find inspiration, service and enjoyment in the fellowship of this club and the worldwide Rotary movement', he said.

Provost Leishman said his travels as Provostover the past two years and his six charity daunders along the Fife coastal path has been eye-opening experiences. Fife is an amazing place, he said. Sometimes we overlook what we have here on our doorstep.'

The founder of the Mary Leishman Foundation, which has raised some £700,000 for local good causes, told Rotarians, "Im very privileged and honoured to be made an honorary member of this club today.Your Rotary magazine says, 'We are for communities'.  I would like to think that is one of the positives I share."

He added, "All the money you have raised not only here but for the worldwide community is a credit to you and shows just what a fantastic job you do."

THE Rotary Club of Dunfermline has placed its presidency in safe hands

For pledging to continue its two pioneering service strands in the 2014-15 Rotary year is well-known businessman, Graham Charles Steedman, managing director of Premier Services () Ltd., the Dunfermline-based security systems and environmental services firm.

Graham was invested in office by outgoing president Alan Mutter, to whom he said he could pay no bigger tribute than to follow the template laid down by his predecessor during 'one of the best years in Rotary, which has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the club.'

He re-affirmed the club's focus on two developing service strands - piloting the donation drive for iPods and similar devices for Sally Magnusson's new charity, Playlist for Life, to give dementia sufferers access to personally meaningful music; and rolling out for a third year the ground-breaking employability skills project which offers higher education to senior pupils of Dunfermline High School, giving them expert mentoring on how to set their feet on the first rung of the jobs ladder.

Following a successful year in which the club had secured charitable status and given financial assistance to no fewer than 20 charities, Graham  said the programme would continue to be punctuated by events such as the Kids Out picnic in Pittencrieff Park for children with additional support needs; the Santa's sleigh Christmas door-to-door canvass and collection of presents for distribution to deserving families through Fife Council's social work department;the Christmas concerts in Dunfermline Abbey with the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland, and the club's sell-out fund-raising dinner which had last year raised more than £13k. for the benevolent fund.

Born and educated in Dunfermline, Graham co-founded Premier Services in 1987 after working for 10 years in computer software with Hewlett-Packard, with whom he saw service in , German and the .

He joined Rotary in 2005 as an extension to his 15 years' distinguished service to the Round Table movement in which he held office as Dunfermline Table chairman and area chairman.

Graham is a long-standing supporter of Dunfermline Athletic, both personally as a season ticket-holder and corporately through his company's commercial sponsorship. He is also a member of Dunfermline Golf Club and a former assistant Scout leader with the 40th (Touch) Group.

Graham and wife, Margaret, have a daughter and two sons, and live at , .

As one of the final acts of his presidency, Alan presented the Alistair Brown Trophy for the 'Rotarian of the Year' to  Dr David Fraser, a member since 2004 and club secretary for a third term, on whom he said he had relied heavily during his presidential year.

 

PROFESSIONAL artist Ian Moir is on the threshold of realising his dream of converting the former Dunfermline Fire Station into a high-profile community arts centre.

The 36-year-old prize-winning painter, who is recognised as one of the best emerging contemporary artists in Scotland, shared with Dunfermline Rotarians the personal vision behind his drive to turn the Art Decobuilding in Carnegie Drive into a creative grass-roots hub to connect the arts with the local community.

The founder of the Fire Station Creative explained, ?If everything goes according to plan, we hope to be open at the end of this year. It?s encouraging to know that we can proceed with the confidence that we have successfully galvanized a spectrum of political as well as community support for the project.?

Ian told Rotarians, ?I'm delighted to be able to report that we've now raised over ?250k in total, which is more than we need for the internal renovation of the building and first year of operation as a business. This money came from the Common Good Fund, Creative Scotland, Fife Council, the Fife Environment Trust and the Robertson Trust. Fife Council have been especially generous and helpful in facilitating our plan.?

Ian explained that Fire Station Creative was now a registered charity which, through the new arts centre, aimed to raise cultural standards, create career, learning and networking opportunities, and deliver a programme of exhibitions to which the public would have free access.

?The team which has carried the project this far, and will continue to carry it forward,  is  a mixture of experienced professionals in finance, marketing, retail, studio provision, politics and, of course, the arts,? he said.

Ian insisted that the context in which the project had been born was essential to understanding the motivation behind it and the ?subsequent value it will bring to our community?.

After living for 10 years in central Glasgow where he had graduated from the School of Art, Ian said his decision to return to Dunfermline and reconnect with his roots ?was, without any doubt, one of the best decisions I ever made in my adult life?.

?While there were plenty of professional opportunities in the big city, I felt that I was never getting to connect personally with the people whom I wanted to enjoy the art that I make,? he said.

?Coming back, I felt as if I had rejoined something greater than myself and that this was going to be a healthy thing for me as an artist. You see, I had come out of an environment and an education that places ?the artist? in an ivory tower. It follows therefore that the public seldom get to interface with the artist, which has the effect of creating a kind of exclusiveness to what you are doing.

?Now, let me assure you that when an artist aspires to be exclusive, although they may succeed, they cease to function as a cultural force in any meaningful way.?

Arguing that a disconnect has occurred between the prevailing system of contemporary art and the public, he offered his definition of that an artist should be.

?At the very least, an artist is an individual who has the ability to make their work connect with their fellow human beings,? he said. ?For that to happen, there must be consideration and empathy. They should see themselves not as superior but integrated. Their role is to mediate between their imagination and the community, to do it well, with skill and craftsmanship. Only on that basis, do artists have the right to breach taboos and push the boundaries of style, technique and taste.

?Since man is instinctively creative, we should take some comfort. Good artists and designers with the power to penetrate the collective psyche, to astound and to raise the quality of your life are absolutely everywhere. Take my word for it.  It?s simply a matter of providing them with platforms to do so, and for us to do so with the correct attitude, one of generosity and trust.

?When I say us, I mean you and me, the influencers, the organisers, the fund-raisers within our community. May we never defer to authorities and institutions to take care of this on our behalf. This is our town, our community, our culture. It turns out that we are the people that we have been waiting for.?

Ian recalled that when he had first moved back to Dunfermline in 2007, there was no public exhibition space available.

?The only proper venue was in Pittencrieff House, and that had been closed and is still being used by Fife Council for storage while the new museum is being developed next to the library,? he said. ?Throughout the course of this project, many people, especially politicians, have queried why the public might require a grass-roots community art centre as well as a new museum and gallery. The fact that this question can even be asked, speaks to the heart of the problem that you will find in towns all over the country.?

Pointing out that local museums, which deal with local heritage, were describing to the public a historical narrative, he said, ?It should be obvious, but somehow isn't, that the public will take no interest in their past if they are not inspired and enriched by the present. This is exactly how a sense of continuity is arrested and apathy sets in. After apathy, acquiescence to the status quo.

?In other words, if your children and grandchildren don't get a sense of personal continuity and how this provincial life can contribute to the national zeitgeist, they simply leave town uninspired or stay and continue to think that the arts will have nothing to do with them or the place in which they live.?

Ian added, ?People often say to me, when I tell them what I'm involved in, that the arts isn't really their thing. I think, oh really? If so, you'd better stand up because that chair you're sitting on was designed by someone from the creative sector. And you'd better take your clothes off, because they're not your thing either. And when you go home, I suppose there are no pictures on your walls, or patterns on your wall paper. Have you no internet? The websites were crafted by designers. Have you no television? Who makes the dramas? Do you not go to the cinema? Have you no house? Who designed the beer bottle you're holding, the football strips or marketed your business enterprise.

Contending that creativity is ?essential to living?, Ian argued, ? It is therefore incumbent upon us, as a community, to support the platform, a safe house if you will, so that our creative people can make things and express the complexity of modern life, here in Dunfermline.
Here, we have everything we need.  We have history, great schools, majestic parks, architectural beauty and a growing population. There is even a heritage of great artists and writers.?

Ian pointed out that ?one of the most technically and imaginatively brilliant painters? in Britain's history had been born born a stone's throw from his own house on Buffies Brae.

However, he suggested, ?I'm certain that if I stop someone on the High Street and ask them, ?Who was Sir Joseph Noel Paton??, they will give no positive response. Perhaps the same test could be carried out for Robert Henryson, the Chaucer of the North, also from Dunfermline. Now imagine asking a passerby in the provincial towns of England, ?Who was Turner, Constable, William Blake or Hogarth?? You might well get a flash of recognition, regardless of whether the artist hailed from there or not.

?So I?m sure you will agree,? he told Rotarians, ?that we, as a community, need to invest more faith in our own value as a cultural entity. And that, I believe, should always start with the present.?

Ian insisted that ?art and all other creativity is about people, for people.?

He explained, ?That is why I commissioned a feasibility study to demonstrate the need for a cultural facility in Dunfermline?a building that will provide a rotation of magnificent exhibitions, a cafe, studio spaces, rehearsal space, classrooms, and more.

?Young people will have regular access to learning programs and mentorships with a community of painters, sculptors, photographers, designers, illustrators and other craft workers. This will generate a network of people and opportunities will arise for successive generations. After a period, the public will have an expectation of excellence. And going forward, we hope they will accept nothing less.?

THE leading pupils of Dunfermline?s four high schools have received leadership awards from the Rotary Club of Dunfermline.

Gift vouchers were handed over to the following by President Alan Mutter at the club?s weekly meeting in Garvock House Hotel:

Dunfermline High: Head girl, Karyn Stewart (17), 8 Dick Street, Dunfermline, who is to undertake a geography degree at St Andrews University; head boy, Lewis Steer (17), 16 Hailes Place, Dunfermline, who is to study veterinary medicine at Edinburgh University.

Queen Anne High: Head girl, Kirsty Heigh (17), 59 West Baldridge Road, Dunfermline, who is to study medicinal chemistry at Edinburgh University; head boy, Calum Bonthron (18), 1 Craigluscar Lane, Dunfermline, who is to read psychology at St Andrews University.

St Columba?s High: Head girl, Niamh Mussen (18), 8 Earn Grove, Dunfermline, who is to read law and English at Glasgow University; head boy, Kieran Jack (17), 12 Parkneuk Road, Dunfermline, who is to study chemical engineering at Edinburgh University.

Woodmill High: Head girl, Eilidh Reid (18), 7 Blackwood Way, Dunfermline, who is to read ecnomics and finance at Edinburgh University and whose award was accepted on her behalf by depute head girl Kate Schafferius; head boy, Christopher Sparling (17), 79 Scotland Drive, Dunfermline, who is to study chemical physics at Heriot-Watt University.

The Rotary Club of Dunfermline successfully won the District Gavel Challenge for the third time in four years on Tuesday 29 April.

In the final, which was played at the neutral venue of the Queen's Hotel in Dundee, home of the Rotary Club of Claverhouse, Dunfermline defeated The Rotary Club of Banchory by 22 points to 10 points.

Dunfermline had won the trophy in 2011 and 2012, but after a shock defeat away to Inverkeithing & Dalgety Bay had been eliminated at the group stages in the 2013 campaign

Team captain Eric Spreng said ' we were delighted to get our hands back on the trophy after missing out on the hat-trick last year.  It was a great team effort with all participants playing a big part in the final.  It was very close at 8 points each at the half way stage but our concentration and commitment saw us pull away in the second half.

The team that played in the final against Banchory was Eric Spreng, Ralph McCran, Tom Arnott, Andrew Bathgate, Mike Williams, Keith McFarlane, Graham Steedman and Ian Morris.

Dunfermline won all their games on the way to the final, defeating Burntisland, Cowdenbeath and Alloa in the group stages, and won a very tight semi-final away to Crieff.  Other club members who played in the team in the earlier rounds were Gerry Gillespie, Andrew McGeorge, David Walker, Alan Watson and Alex Elder.

BABCOCK apprentices at Rosyth Dockyard have turned Santa?s little helpers by giving an early ?MoT? to the sleigh on which Father Christmas will be touring neighbourhoods later this month.

The apprentices have been improving the sound and lighting systems on the sled aboard which Santa will be helping Dunfermline Rotarians to put an extra jingle in their collecting tins for local charities.

As Santa and Rudolph road-tested the sleigh this week, club president Alan Mutter explained, ?The sleigh will be touring from 16th to 22nd December and we hope the public will again give a festive fillip to the club?s benevolent fund.

?The club has already disbursed ?5000 in early Christmas presents to nine local good causes. We have also dispatched two ShelterBoxes to typhoon victims in the and Service and local charities will benefit from the two Christmas concerts we are staging in Dunfermline Abbey on 18th and 19th December, in association with the Band of Her Majesty?s Royal Marines Scotland.?

The apprentices were also thanked for their input by Rotarian Tom Arnott - the local garage owner whose team last year conjured up the sleigh from a caravan chassis ? and by Rotarian David Steele, who is organising the tour itinerary.

Between 6pm and 8pm, Santa will be touring the following districts: 16th December, Queen Margaret Fauld estate; 17th December, and Garvock area; 18th December, Bellyeoman and Headwell area; 19th December, and area; 20th December, Garvock, and estates; 21st December, Parkneuk and Milesmark; and 22nd December, Limekilns.

The grand tour climaxes on the weekend of 21st and 22nd December when Santa is due to make afternoon pit-stops at the Mercat Cross in ?s High Street between 12 noon and 4pm each day.

And it worked - we were given ?2550 by generous residents of Dunfermline.

From the Dunfermline Press

DUNFERMLINE Rotarians have solved the riddle of the ?mystery? Santa ? the good Samaritan who donated two sacksful of gifts for distribution to deserving kids at Christmas.

The unknown lady donor surprised Rotary collectors with the presents when Santa?s sleigh made a pit-stop in High Street on 21st December during their week-long tour of local neighbourhoods in aid of local charities.

President Alan Mutter - who appealed through the Press letters column for the generous donor to make contact, so that her gesture could be appropriately acknowledged by the club - explained, ?It turns out there was not just one mystery Santa?but a whole streetful of them!?

Namely, Jane Russell and her neighbours in , Keltybridge.

Jane, who is BADMINTONscotland?sTayside and Fife regional development officer, said, ?I am delighted to know the presents went to children in and around . Please give all the credit for the presents to the residents of ?they deserve it.?

Jane explained, ?I was brought up in Rosyth, and I run a youth club on Friday nights in the Community Wing of Inverkeithing High School. I know there are many children who, through various circumstances, don't get much or anything at Christmas.

?Years ago, when I stayed near in Dunfermline, my next-door neighbours were the minister and his wife from . They are now retired and living in . Each Christmas Evelyn would ask me to buy a gift for a child she knew wouldn?t get much at Christmas. I loved the idea of helping a child at Christmas and decided, when I moved to Keltybridge three years ago, that I would try something similar.

?Initially,I just asked my immediate neighbours to help. The response was so good I decided to e-mail everyone in the street - there are 19 houses - and nearly everyone has contributed in the last couple of years. I do thank them, but it would be nice for them to know that their presents really do make a difference.

?I decided each year to ask the residents to buy a present up to the value of ?10, wrap it and mark on it whether it was for a boy or girl and the age. Most of the residents take part and some buy more than one present. In previous years, I have given the presents to a local charity in Kelty and the Salvation Army.? 

Mr Mutter told Jane, ?We were delighted to forward your gifts to less fortunate families in through the social work department of Fife Council. This is something our members do every Christmas, and it is a task from which we take considerable pleasure. Your outstanding and generous donation made a very big difference to several families this Christmas. I cannot thank you enough.?

To allow his fellow Rotarians to endorse his personal thanks, Mr Mutter has invited Jane to attend a weekly meeting of the club as their special guest.

Jane added, ?I really want the presents to go to local children, so working with the Rotary Club and its social work contacts would be the ideal scenario.
If Rotarians are keen, I would like to make this an annual donation?and I'm sure I can rope in more neighbours and friends to donate.

?I am a lucky person. I know the way to true happiness is through helping others. Who knows? It might lead to other streets doing collections for kids at Christmas!?

On Thursday, 14th November the Club agreed to fund two shelter boxes.  Within 24 hours two boxes with our name on them were on the way to the Phillipines.

A shelter box is an emergency home for four people who have lost everything.  You can see what a box contains here.  Even the box becomes useful as a water or fuel tank.

January:

We have decided to call off Glenfest. Administrative and financial obstacles have made it impossible.  We had great support from a super line up of bands and from local food suppliers.

November:

Planning is well in hand for Glenfest - Dunfermline Food and Music Festival.

Set aside May 30 and June 1st next year for a great event in The Glen.

Click on the images below to see more about Glenfest.

All proceeds to Club Benevolent Fund.  Tickets from David Steele/John Haxton or Carnegie Hall  (01383 602303)

IT was hard hats off to Big Jim Leishman and the Magnificent 007s from Dunfermline Rotary Club on Sunday as they Bonded together to drop 165 feet from the Forth Bridge.

South Queensferry Rotary Club?s world-famouscharity abseil did not prove a bridge too far for the Pars legend and his Rotary companions who immediately began roping in sponsorship pledges for a range of good causes, including Jim?s own Mary Leishman Foundation and a range of Rotary charities, including the event?s core beneficiaries: Maggie?s and Alzheimer Scotland.

The seven-strong Rotary team ? aggregate age 439 years ?launched themselves off the approach viaduct of the iconic structure in true James Bond style?none more so than maiden abseiler Tom Arnott, a ?fully-paid-up member of the Fear of Heights Club?.

Rotary president Bill Runciman, himself an experienced abseiler and mountaineer, said, ?Tom was star of the day in his dinner jacket. His was a major personal achievement and one which I?m sure will be prominent in the family archive. I think we all Bonded and I am so grateful to everyone for their participation. It was good fun. Well worth repeating!?

As he came back to earth Tom reflected, ?My mind is still in the clouds. After considerable persuasion my hand released its vice-like grip on the railings and I was off, with the first part of the drop spend staring at the rope a few inches from my nose.

?The sounds of cheers from below gave me the courage to complete the trip down but there was an overwhelming sense of relief on reaching the bottom. The fear I went through is nothing compared to that teenagers with cancer must feel and that is why I did the abseil for Teenage Cancer Scotland.?

 

While our brave boys are throwing themselves off the ere is much to celebrate here on the home front.

 

St Margaret?s School from Dunfermline were the winners by just one point, of the District Final of the Primary School Quiz held at Race Course with an audience of 300 and against 15 other schools.

 For more details click Here

On Friday in the Birthday Honours List our fellow member Angus Hogg was awarded an MBE

In the same list, Margaret Dean, Lord Lieutenant of Fife, wife of our fellow Rotarian Brain became a CVO

June 16 - Seven brave Rotarians will jump off the Forth Bridge to raise money for needy causes.  Click here  to read all about them and to make a donation.

The team will bond with Dunfermline legend - Jim Leishman .

Entrants will be registering at 13:00 and descents begin soon thereaftre - why not have an afternoon out in South Quensferry and be inspired to donate?

Traffic in South Queensferry can be busy but a trip on the train across the Forth Bridge to Dalmeny might also be a funthing for youngsters.

June 12 - A sincere thank-you to everyone who turned out to help at Kids Out on Wednesday  12th. June. We had 140 kids there -  more than in recent years - reasonable weather,  and a smooth hitch-free operation.  Special thanks are due to Alistair Justice for his efficient planning.

The Rotary Club of

cordially invite you to our prestigious???

CHARITY GALA DINNER

7.00 for 7.30pm, Friday 8th November 2013, Keavil House Hotel

Drinks on arrival

Superb four course meal and coffee

Raffle

Entertaining Speaker-Willie Allan

Auction

Music & Dancing to the fabulous Royal Marine Dance Band

Tickets ? 50

Dress Formal                  

Carriages at 1.00am

St Margaret's School, winner of the Dunfermline round went on to win the Area 8 Final

The trophy was presented by John Anderson at a school assembly

Craig Stephens of Woodmill High School, shown here with President Bill Runciman, was our representative on this year's visit to the European Parilament in Strasboutg.  Craig visited the club on 14th March and gave an amusing report on his experiences. See more about Euroscola at District 1010 website and see some of the Scottish candidates in action here.

From our roving reporter:-
Sixth-former Craig Stephen, 101 Queen Margaret Fauld, Dunfermline, has just returned from Strasbourg after becoming an MEP for day, deliberating EU policies in the hemicycle of the European Parliament.
For the Woodmill High School prefect, who already has an unconditional offer to study French and international relations at St Andrews University, participation in the European Parliament's Euroscola programme with 500 delegates from 27 member states was the perfect preparation for his oral French exam through first-hand exposure to the French language, culture and cuisine.
"It was a great way to improve my French," he told his sponsors from the Rotary Club of Dunfermline.  "I can't imagine the benefits it has given me overall. Thank you for giving the opportunity It was one of the best experiences of my life."
During his five days in Strasbourg, in which students aged between 16 and 18 took part in surveys and plenary and committee discussions simulating the European Parliament, Craig contributed to a plenary debate on migration policy but found his peers were focused on whether the UK was likely to be in the EU in five years' time.
"Hearing the opinions of those in the EU first hand was really informative," he said. "I got the impression we were being judged by the other states, as we are quite Euro-sceptic They were all for Scotland joining if we became independent."

Primary School quiz - Commercial PS

March 6th at Commercial Primary School - 6 Local Primary Schools competing for certificates, medals and a cup for the winning school.  Question Master Tom MacMillan, Question Setter John Anderson. Prizes presented by President Bill Runciman. Certificates prepared by Brain Dean. Help on the night from Leslie Botten, Alistair Gellan, Russell Matthews, Brian Steer, Alex Elder, Bill Spence, David Thomson.  30 contestants, lots of parents and siblings, lots of Rotarians, cakes baked by parents, fizzy drinks, tea and coffees.  A perfect Rotary project in the community.

The contestants were as follows

Commercial Primary School
Cameron Hogg
Niall Dowds
Lewis Carter
Emma King
Lewis Crozier (Reserve)
Milesmark Primary School
Eilidh Thomson
Ailie Mara Todman
Sean Richmond
Rebecca Mitchell
Jessica Steven (Reserve)
McLean Primary School
Gregor Simpson
Sam Telfer
Euan Sloan
Evan Russell
Nicola Cook (Reserve)
Pittencrieff Primary School
Zoe Brown
Gracie Christie
Beth Avery
Summer Barrett
Kayleigh Lark (Reserve)
St Margaret?s Primary School
Robbie Brown
Stanley Wilkinson
Samuel Martin
Caitlin Wilson
Stuart Ridley (Reserve)

Townhill Primary School
Lewis Cumming
Ryan Graham
Greig Rowe
Skye Marshall
Callum Russell (Reserve)

Dunfermline Rotarians looking happy before the kick off at Twickenham.  A good afternoon with lots of banter.  The wifes went to afternoon tea and joined in for an evening buffet.

Keavil House Hotel Crossford

6th December - 7 for 7:30

Names and numbers to David Fraser by 2nd December

with

sports journalist and television presenter

 Alison Walker

 Friday 9th November2012

 Keavil House Hotel, Crossford

Alison McFarlane will entertain,

with Scottish and 60's items

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