Castle Douglas Rotary Club has now resumed live meetings of the members. We still meet at the King's Arms Hotel in Castle Douglas on the second and fourth Thursdays in each month.
Santa managed to fit this into his busy schedule and ensured local children had prepared their lists for the big day.
During two evenings, Santa and his helpers did everything they could to ensure they visited most of the town to see as many children as possible.
George Dickson, Vice President of Rotary Club of Castle Douglas said "Santa’s Sleigh trip around the town is something which many people look forward to as part of the run up to Christmas each year and the Rotary Club would like to thank Raymond and Jock for giving up their time to entertain everyone and enhance the experience for all. We would also like to thank everyone who donated to the Rotary Club during the event and I can confirm £435.00 was raised. This money will be used to support local charities and good causes as well as go towards supplementing our necessary charitable work throughout the world."
The photo below shows delighted children meeting Santa in Whitelaw Drive, Castle Douglas.
Castle Douglas Co-op has kindly offered to support the fundraising efforts of Castle Douglas Rotary Club by donating the income from their community book stall for the nexttwo months. Ruth Maxwell, the Community Champion for the store said that the store is keen to assist the local community at this difficult time. Like all community groups, Rotary has had to to become more creative in their fundraising efforts and is extremely grateful for tjhe backing which they are receiving. The Club is still very active and welcomes requests for help from local groups.
The picture shows Ruth Maxwell with Cliff Robertson at the book stall in the Co-op.
CD ROTARY SUPPORTS THREAVE ROVERS YOUTH TEAM:
Like all Rotary Clubs, Castle Douglas is very committed to offering young people opportunities to unlock their potential, develop new skills and broaden their horizons. The Club enjoys working with young people and seeing their development. Thus, this year, they have provided £400 funding to Threave Rovers Youth Team to help in their drive to make the Birkland ground much more environmentally friendly. Mark Geddes who runs the Threave Youth Squad commented that, after a game at the Birkland ground, there is a large amount of plastic waste left behind and which has to be cleared up and disposed of. This is an environmental issue. The money from Rotary will enable Threave Youth to install a new potable water supply from which supporters can fill their reusable containers. In addition, tea and coffee will now be served in reusable mugs. Thus the Birkland ground will become more environmentally friendly, the waste needing to be recycled or going to landfill will be completely avoided and the Youth Team will be more environmentally aware for the future.
With the unprecedented disruption being caused to local people’s lives around Castle Douglas due to the Corona Virus, Castle Douglas Rotary Club has been looking for ways in which it can actively help the community. Castle Douglas Development Forum already operates a food bank delivery service and this is now being expanded to produce 500 ready meals per week for distribution to those who are unable to cook for themselves.
Neil Walker, proprietor of the Mad Hatter Café and an active member of CDDF has, with time on his hands due to the closure of his café, kindly taken on the task of producing the meals.
With the income from the CDDF charity shop having dried up through closure of all non-essential shops, CDDF were facing a challenge to fund the ingredients for the meals.
Rotary President James Robertson decided that this was an area where Rotary could support the local community in a positive way. With the support of all the members of the Club, Treasurer Geoff Monk presented CDDF member Sarah-Jane Allsopp with a cheque for £1500. Sarah-Jane was taking a brief time out from delivering food parcels around the area to receive the cheque.
James commented that Rotary was very aware that it raised much of its funding from the local community and here was an opportunity to support a local initiative providing an essential service in difficult times. He added that while Rotary was not meeting during the current crisis it was still active and doing things both locally and internationally.
The attached photo shows Sarah-Jane Allsopp receiving the cheque from Rotary Treasurer Geoff Monk while obeying all the personal space advice!
Club members recently visited the Veterans' Garden now located at the Crichton Nursery. This is a community garden which has been developed by ex-servicemen most of whom have suffered mental and physical health problems as a result of their military service. It offers a tranquil yet supportive environment where the veterans can achieve and enjoy the company of others.
A delighted George Dickson hands over the chain of office to incoming President James Robertson. James will be leading the Club for the next 12 months and will be outlining his plans for the year at the Club's next Business Meeting.
Phil Godfrey, who is an Ambassador for the life threatening disease, APS, visited Castle Douglas Rotary Club as part of his Round Britain Rail Trip. Phil talked about promoting greater awareness of APS which affects some 600,000 people in the UK yet is not well understood and often misdiagnosed. Phil's wife, Christine, suffered from the illness for 40 years before her untimely death. Phil has raised over £80,000 for APS Support UK which develops on line Continuous Professional Development Programmes for GP's and other health professionals.
A party of Rotarians and friends visited the Hills & Harbour Gin Distillery in Newton Stewart. After hearing about the development of craft gins, the group were taken around the facility to see the process in action.
Following some excellent performances by the entrants, the judge named Kyle Duffy as Musician of the Year for his performance on the drums. Cameron Smith was names Young Singer of the Year for his redition of "Better Off the Way I Am". Finally, Kyle Duffy was awarded the Murray Trophy for the best overall performance.
A photograph of the Club membership in 1971 has kindly been donated to the Club. It shows a healthy membership of 29 with many familiar faces. One of those pictured, Bill Hean, is still an active member and, in fact, Bill has been a member since the Club was founded in 1963.
John Heuchan wins gold medal on his Scotland debut. John attended the recent Rotary meeting to update us on his rowing career and particularly his target of representing Scotland at rowing. Castle Douglas Rotary Club have sponsored John to develop his talent and help him achieve his goals. John was selected for the Scottish Rowing Team for the Home International Regatta held in Cork this year and raced in the Lightweight Double Class along with his partner, Ben Parsonage. To their delight they won the race by an impressive four lengths. John brought along his winners medal together win his Scotland Squad kit. President George Dickson is seen congratulating John for his achievements and the difficulties which he has overcome to achieve such sporting prowess.
Club members welcomed George Dickson as the new President of Castle Douglas Rotary Club at the Handover Meeting. Before handing over the "chain of office", outgoing President James Robertson detailed the achievements of the Club over the last 12 months and wished George every success in the "hot seat". George outlined his brief plans for the year and emphasised his commitment to work with the Convenors to ensure that Castle Douglas Rotary continued to serve the community in which we live.
34 riders enjoyed the Kirkcudbrightshire countryside during the annual Rotary Ride which started from the British Legion in Castle Douglas. With riders aged from 4 to 74, there was a diverse range of competitors and ability. Most riders opted for the more challenging 45 mile circuit taking in Kirkcudbright, the Doon Bay and Twynholm before heading back to Castle Douglas. With a warm welcome and refreshments back at the Legion an enjoyable Sunday morning was had by all the riders.
Prostate Scotland raises awareness of Prostate Cancer and promotes research into services and treatment both to help those who already have the cancer and to raise awareness so that men seek treatment earlier in the development of the disease. It is particularly supporting robot assisted surgery for men in Scotland.
Castle Douglas Rotary Club hosted the local round of the Young Musician of the Year 2018 at Castle Douglas High School on the 8th February. There was an excellent turnout of 13 pupils from both Castle Douglas and Dalry High Schools competing for the prize of Young Musician and Young Singer of the Year.
First prize in the Musician category went to Marnie Clark who gave an excellent performance of Grieg's "Notturno" on the piano. Second prize went to Alex McMenemy, who performed "Clowns" by Kabalevsky also on the piano. Joint third were Huw Hodson and Zoe Burgoyne. James Robertson, President of Castle Douglas Rotary Club, presented the awards to the prize winners.
In the Young Singer Competition, James Wallace was awarded first prize for his superb rendition of the traditional scottish song "Will Ye No Come Back Again". Ya'el Du Toit-Burns came second with her performance of "You are the Reason" by Calum Scott and Tyler Gilmour was awarded third prize with his rendition of "Second Hand White Baby Grand" by Marc Shaiman.
George Dickson, Vice-President of the Club said "We are delighted to have raised £2155.41 from the Santa Sleigh Project and would like to thank everyone who donated to enable us to raise such a superb total. The money will ensure that the Club continues to make a difference in our local community as well as being able to support international projects such as the work towards eradicating Polio worldwide among other vital work."
The Club would particularly like to thank the following people and organisations who very kindly gave up their time to help with the collection. Staff and senior pupils from Castle Douglas High School, Staff from the Boots Pharmacy in the town and staff from the local branch of the Royal bank of Scotland. Robert Wallace of Craigley Farm at Gelston, who supplied the tractors and drivers for the nights of the collection and enabled Santa to be transported around the town safely.
During the last meeting of the Club in June, members welcomed James Robertson as the new President for the Rotary year 2017-18. James is a well known face around Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright and also amongst the business community for managing Rancher, the decorative ironwork company situated in Castle Douglas.
Before handing over the President's jewel to James, outgoing President Kenny Murray reviewed the achievements of the Club during the past year, covering both the local and international good work which the Club had supported.
As usual this event took place on Father's Day, June 18th and a collection of riders set off in warm sunny weather. There was a choice of 15, 30 and 45 mile routes with most of the riders opting for the more challenging 45 mile route.
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