Lunch, Speaker's Host Colin bayes

Fri 21st September 2018 at 12.55 - 14.00

Topic: Galapagos Islands

Rotary club of Stirling  meeting of 21/9/18.


President Sandy Farquharson was pleased to welcome Roy Smith guest of
John Rankine, and our speaker Byron Tilly and his wife Trish, guests of
Colin Bayes.

We will be assisting with the Strathcarron 10K run on 14th October,
volunteers required.  PP Malcolm Cordwell Smith has arranged a guided
tour of Bannockburn House at 2PM on 29th October.  We have dates for
the Gavel competition, 17th and 22nd October, for which we will need
participants with a view to repeating last year's success. Last week
members and their families enjoyed an excellent outing with lavish
afternoon tea on the Boness steam railway.

Our speaker, retired chemical engineer Byron Tilly, talked to the club
about a recent visit to the Galapagos islands. Lying on the equator 600
miles from Ecuador these remote and still volcanic islands are well
known for their unique fauna and flora. First discovered, accidentally in
1535 by the Bishop of Panama, their significance was not understood
until 1835 when Charles Darwin sailing as a member of a scientific
expedition on the Beagle recorded unusual variations in members of the
same species from island to island.  his observations made him wonder
how this could have happened if they all had been created at the same
time.  This led him to put his observations into a book The Origin of
Species, which challenged the accepted beliefs about creation, and
caused a major division between science and religion.   The Galapagos
with it's unique of collection of species was recognised as the first
World Heritage Site, with the understanding that it must not be
contaminated as this would destroy its unique structure.
Consequentially access to the Galapagos is strictly controlled with
annual numbers limited, no ship carrying more than 100 passengers
allowed, and planes must have enough fuel to return to the mainland.
Luggage is screened in Ecuador, and visits are all accompanied by an
official guide keeping to the path, with access only to specific parts
of the islands.  Despite this some foreign species have arrived, for
instance, Impatiens {Busy Lizzie} and red ants, the removal of which has
so far proved impossible. There is further pressure from a rising number
of visitors and population. Helped by the fact that the animals remain
indifferent to humans, Byron was able to take excellent pictures of many
of the unusual species.

Next week, Vice President Ranald Ross Watt in the chair, Speaker's host
Alan Bradshaw, Visitor's host Faye McPherson.

Ian Richardson