Centenary Charter Dinner
in the Salutation Hotel, Perth
One Hundred – not out
THE Rotary Club of Perth celebrated its Centenary in style over the course of 2017.
The club, which is among the oldest in Scotland, first met in the Fair City’s Grand Temperance Hotel in January, 1917, with the First World War still raging.
It was a venue, on the corner of the High Street and Kinnoull Street, which was used just once. But the gathering served its purpose, with the Charter secured in October of the same year.
Planning for the Centenary celebrations began in 2012. Early on, it was agreed to stick to the calendar year, given the formation of the club spanned much of 1917.
This meant two Presidents would be heavily committed to the programme, with Bill Duncan and David Lindsay sharing duties and working in tandem to ensure members would have a year to remember.
The committee agreed that whilst the Centenary was an important milestone and worthy of celebration, it would be remiss to mark it at the expense of the ongoing community work that the club carries out in Perth and further afield.
The Centenary year began in January with an invitation from the Provost of Perth - who traditionally is an honorary member of the club - inviting members and their partners to a civic reception held in the City Chambers.
In March, the club ran a Centenary casino night with all proceeds going to Foundation.
That was followed by a May golf day, with over two dozen local firms entering teams. Participants were presented with a commemorative golf ball.
In June, a family evening was held to recognise the valuable support members receive from partners, children and grandchildren. An enjoyable Hog Roast was hosted by Active Kids at Stanley with more than 100 sharing fun, laughter and chat. Some of our younger participants were tempted to test out trampolines and go-karts, while the more sedate settled for a comfy seat and a glass of wine.
In August, President David invited all past presidents of the club to join with him for an evening of reminiscences, with 22 of the surviving 27 Past Presidents in attendance. The only complaint was that the evening finished far too early at 10.45pm.
In September, we hosted another golf day, with invitations dispatched to all the clubs in Area 7 to join us on one of Scotland’s oldest courses, the North Inch. One hole was even played with hickory shafted clubs. This was followed by an evening meal at the club’s regular home, McDiarmid Park.
In October the club’s main annual fundraiser, the Perth Silent Auction was launched, with an extra push in this special year. At its conclusion over £32,000 had been raised for local deserving causes.
November was the month for our Centenary Charter dinner. We were delighted to welcome 165 guests representing 13 clubs, for an enjoyable evening presided over by President David Lindsay and addressed by District Governor Graeme Archibald and Sheriff Lindsay Wood.
Appropriately, this evening took place in Perth’s oldest hotel, The Salutation, which was the venue founding members opted for after their initial dry evening in The Grand Temperance Hotel.
District Governor Graeme presented the club with a certificate celebrating 100 years of continuous Rotary service, the first club in the district to enjoy this accolade.
He next presented a Paul Harris Fellowship award to Rotarian Alistair Ritchie, for his outstanding service to the Rotary movement.
A lasting legacy of the club’s 100 years of continuous service is a book charting the club’s history which was painstakingly researched and written by Alan Calderwood, the club’s senior member. The Calderwood family ties have been strong, with Alan’s father and brother both serving as presidents of the club.
President David was delighted to present everyone attending the Charter Dinner with a copy of the club history as a memorable year drew to a close.