Hot News

Hot News will highlight the most recent events and pictures so that Rotarians, and members of the public, can quickly see what is most current at Thurso Rotary Club.

Rotary Club of Thurso On-line Meetings

After trials by a development group of club members and some committees a full virtual  Rotary Club meeting is to be held on Thursday 26th March. The meeting will start at 7pm rather than the usual 6pm.  Members will use the Zoom app and follow the normal agenda for a regular meeting. The bar will not be open but members are encouraged to have a drink ready for the final toast!

Rotary and Interact Litter Pick 

A couple of pics of the collectors and the litter collected at Thurso riverside and Mall. A good amount of rubbish collected and delivered to the recycling centre! 

Annual Thurso Rotary Primary Schools' Quiz

The Annual Thurso Rotary Primary Schools' Quiz competition was held in Thurso West Church with seven local schools taking part. The result was a nail-biting finish as two teams, Miller Academy and Castletown ran a close finish with Castletown winning  with a final score of 87 points against Miller's score of 86. All the other teams, Crossroads, Halkirk, Mount Pleasant, Reay and Pennyland produced fine scores in a very exciting evening. Well done all! 




Rotary Charity Auction in Aid of Village Water

Rotary Primary School Quiz

Rotary Gin

A limited edition Gin has been launched to support the fundraising activities of the Rotary Club of Thurso. Named Cold Water Gin after the classic cold water surf synonymous with the area, the gin has been developed in partnership with Dunnet Bay Distillers and will be available from 5th October 2019 exclusively through J A Mackay’s in Thurso.

The gin uses spearmint, caraway and a few other wonderful botanicals to make a create the taste - like a splash of cold water on a summer’s day. There will only be a maximum of 500 bottles produced and the gin is likely to sell quickly, with some pre-orders already secured.

Burns Supper 2020

There was a great turnout of friends and guests at Thurso Rotary Club's Annual Burns’ Supper. Good food, good company, fine words and traditional music! And an excellent group of top table speakers.

Care Homes Carol Singing

Interact and Rotary out carol singing at a Bayview and Pentland View nursing homes and this week at their annual visit with Santa and Gifts.

Switching on of Thurso Christmas Lights

Brisk business selling ‘flashy lights’ at the Thurso Christmas Lights ‘switch on’ at Sir John’s Square. Thanks to the Thurso Christmas Lights group for our invitation and thanks to the good people of Thurso for buying!

Rotary and Interact Litter Pick

A community litter pick was organised by Thurso High School Interact Club and supported by Thurso Rotary Club. Areas in and around Thurso High School were tidied, resulting in a sizeable collection of full rubbish bags.

Rotary Annual Charity Bike Ride 

Loch More to Thurso - well done team a great effort for charity.

Fireworks and Bonfire Night 2019

Thurso Rotary Club would like to thank all those who handed in envelopes of donations toward the cost of this year’s fireworks display at the Pentland Hotel reception. We would welcome any other contributions if possible. If you would like to contribute, please hand in an envelope at reception marked, ‘Thurso Rotary Club, Fireworks’. Thanks in advance!

It is worth noting that our display involves professional fireworks technicians, hired to conduct our display on behalf of our community. They undertake a risk assessment of various factors including the firing and public areas and weather conditions, before proceeding with the display. Any cancellations for non-‘health and safety’ reasons would be costly. They are booked in other communities on other dates around the ‘fireworks‘ season and any change of dates cannot be easily accommodated.

You will appreciate that mounting a professional public fireworks display of this nature costs several thousands of pounds each year and while our aim is, ‘not for profit’, we try to cover our costs.
At this years' event we had 53 (well wrapped up!) community volunteer helpers out well before the 7pm starting time, working to make the evening a success.

Thanks again to all the members of the public who came along on Saturday night and gave us your support in our annual display!

Interact Coffee Morning

The Interact Coffee Morning on Saturday in the Pentland Hotel was very successful and raised £636 for the end polio campaign - this would buy approximately 6,360 vaccines.

A 'big thank you' to all those who attended the coffee morning and especially to those who worked so hard to support the young people in our Interact Club. Such a worthwhile result!

Rotary Speechmaking

The Thurso Rotary’s Annual Speechmaking competition took place again in Thurso in in front of a very appreciative audience. After a stimulating evening involving seven young people giving their talks on the following subjects such ‘Mental Health’, North Coast 500’,‘ Nuclear Should Be the Future’, ‘Animal Abuse’, ‘The Unfair Stereotyping of Teenagers’, ‘The Higgs Boson’ and ‘The Emu Wars’.(look it up!), the winner of the evening was Rhiannon Arrowsmith. Well done Rhiannon!

Rotary Gin

A limited edition Gin is being launched to support the fundraising activities of the Rotary Club of Thurso. Named Cold Water Gin after the classic cold water surf synonymous with the area, the gin has been developed in partnership with Dunnet Bay Distillers and will be available from 5th October 2019 exclusively through J A Mackay’s in Thurso with a tasting also on the 5th October.

The gin uses spearmint, caraway and a few other wonderful botanicals to make a create the taste - like a splash of cold water on a summer’s day. There will only be a maximum of 500 bottles produced and the gin is likely to sell quickly, with some pre-orders already secured.

Official Opening of Surf Clubhouse

Thurso Rotary Surf Clubhouse project for North Shore Surf Club official was opened by Viscount Thurso, Jason Simpson, Chairman of NSSC and Rotary Past President Carol Rosie. A lovely new asset for the Thurso community!

Surf Club Rooms

Thurso Rotary Club President Alan Gerrard handed over the keys of the newly constructed Surf Clubhouse and changing rooms to Jason Simpson of North Shore Surf Club. This marks the completion of our latest Rotary club £175,000 project.

Halkirk Highland Games

Thurso Rotary had a great day at Halkirk Games on Saturday with our marquee and sideshow games - we had lots of fun running our games and meeting the public! We raised about £500 for our project -Village Water - thanks to all our supporters!

Presidential Changeover

Outgoing President Carol Rosie congratulates the new Rotary President Alan Gerrard. Ken Wilson becomes the new Senior Vice-President.
In her outgoing address to the club President Carol reflected on all our many successes in the past Rotary year including our project for the building the new surf clubhouse at Thurso East which is almost complete and should open soon!

Rotary Triathlon

Photo from yesterday’s bike ride by three hardy Rotarians. This was part of a local Rotary Triathlon for local charities. Here Sandy, Sandy and Colin did their bit by cycling 30 miles each. While over at the Mey 10k Ritchie, Ken and Derek were running their 10k. and Willie Durrand and the High life staff swam 43 lengths of the swimming pool. Well done all!

East Sutherland Car Tour

Some of the club members, Graeme Dunnett, Sandy Sutherland, Sandy Cumming, John Hook and a Colin Chessor, who took part in the annual East Sutherland Rotary Classic Car Tour. The tour was a circular route from Dornoch to Ullapool via Muir of Ord. The event is used to raise funds for RNLI and other charities.

Thurso Rotary Club Fun Day

Thurso Rotary Club had it’s Annual ‘Fun Day’  on Saturday 27th April with a record 37 competitors taking part in fun games. Members from the Monday Club, Enable, Thor House, Key Housing, Pentland Housing Sheltered Complex, former Grant St Care Home residents and former Forse House residents took part. They had an exciting afternoon in the Thurso British Legion trying out many different games followed by a delicious afternoon tea and finishing with a prize giving where all taking part received medals. Local Enable Branch Chair, Councillor Willie Mackay praised the Fun Day stating it was the largest event in recent times and thanked Thurso Rotary Club for organizing this great annual event

Rotary Fun Day winners from the event -
Overall winner- David Gunn: 
Best female competitor - Susan Cowie, 
Best male competitor - David Gunn. Prizes presented by Enable Chair - Mr Willie Mackay and his wife - Glynis Mackay.

Well done all! 

Primary School Quiz 2019

Eight local primary school teams took part in the Thurso Rotary Club Annual Primary Schools’ Quiz Competition in . The teams, competing in front of a packed hall gave a nail-biting performance with a very close run to the finish, with Pennyland giving a storming series of rounds to become this year’s champions - well done the Pennyland team. A great effort from all the Teams !

Quiz Night

A large crowd had a great evening at the Rotary Club Quiz Night at the Pentland Hotel supporting Village Water. Thanks to all who came along to support this most worthwhile cause.



Burns Supper 2019

The 2109 Burns Supper lived up to expectation with an audience of 78 being well entertained by a group of excellent participants. In the photo are back, left to right, David Mackay, accordionist, Alan Newton who gave the vote of thanks, Kenneth Wilson who addressed the haggis, Christopher Pearson who gave the Selkirk Grace and Jack Manson our piper. Front row, left to right are Kelly Davidson who gave the Immortal Memory, Alan Gerard our chair for the evening and Senior Vice President, Dale Arrowsmith who offered a Toast to the Lassies and JenniferDavenport who replied to the Toast to the Lassies.

Surf Project Latest

The foundations for the Surf facility at Thurso East are progressing.

Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami

In early October 2018 Thurso Rotary Club responded rapidly to the devastating news of the Indonesia Earth quake and Tsunami via the Rotary International and ShelterBox Project Partnership.  We sent funds for 2 full Shelter-boxes to be sent to the disaster region with the on the ground Rotary International relief support.  These boxes have equipment for vital emergency shelter and equipment needed by people and families that have survived:  tents, water purification, water carriers, blankets, light and emergency rations.  Thurso Rotary Club are grateful for the ongoing support from our Club and Community to the Foundation and International Team that enables us to maintain a balanced and positive supportive reaction on the ground in these terrible circumstances.  

More detail is available on the following link:

Thurso Rotary and High School Interact Carol Singers

The Rotary and Interact Carol Singers visited Thurso Care Homes to sing carols to residents and present gifts. It was an enjoyable and satisfying evening for all and brought the spirit of Christmas to appreciative audiences in Bayview and Pentland View Care Homes. A visit to Dunbar Hospital to sing to residents there and a group from Key Housing takes place later in the week.

A full range of photos can be seen on the Care Home Page under Community Involvement.

Community Surf Project

Work has started on the Rotary Club of Thurso and North Shore Surf Club project to build a Surfers clubrooms and changing facility at Thurso East. The first turf was cut by Viscount Thurso with assistance from project leader Rotarian Kevin Sutherland.

This important project is now underway thanks to generous funding from:

Highland Leader Project

Caithness and North Sutherland Fund

Rotary Club of Thurso Community Fund

Left to Right: 

Phoebe Strachan ( Scottish Ladies Surf Champion), North Shore Surf Club Treasurer Marchelle Lockhart, Gavin Sinclair ( Managing Director of Norbloc), Rotarian Graeme Dunnett, President Carol Rosie, Viscount Thurso, Rotarians Kevin Sutherland and Heather McLean, Jason Simpson and Kyle Simpson from the North Shore Surf Club.

Thurso High School Interact Viking Squad

Thurso High School Interact Club Viking Squad have been out and about in some of the Thurso area primary schools with their impressive costumes and equally impressive Longship. Their Viking play was well received and the children enjoyed participating in the fun and had the opportunity to speak to the 'Vikings' and examined their shields and swords.

Bonfire and Fireworks 2018

Well done and Thank You to the Rotary Bonfire Construction Team.  They did a great job and the impressive bonfire contributed to a great night of entertainment. The fireworks show was one of the best seen at Thurso Beach.

Interact Citation

The November 1st Thurso Rotary meeting was a grand affair with lots of visitors from East Sutherland Rotary, Wick Rotary, Thurso High School Interact Club and the attendance of District Governor Ian Dow. DG Dow presented the Rotary Interact Citation for the past year to Interact Past President Morven MacLeod who was accompanied by Interact Member Jemma McIvor. Those present was addressed by Speechmaking Competition winner Eryn Dunnet who again powerfully presented her speech entitled 'Teenage Life'.

Interact Programme for 2018-2019

At last week's Thursday meeting Neave MacLeod, Interact President, and Jan MaKenzie, Interact Member, presented the Thurso High School Interact Programme for the coming Rotary year to club members.

Speechmaking Competition 2018

A large audience of Rotarians, friends and family members were treated to an evening of excellent entertainment  at the Rotary Club's annual Speechmaking Competition held in Thurso West Church. The quality of the content and presentation of topics by seven youngsters from Thurso High School cannot be over emphasised and says much for the ability and enthusiasm of the students and their tachers at Thurso High.

All those taking part were winners but a trophy was 'up for grabs' and it in the opinion of the judges this should go to Eryn Dunnett with the topic 'Teenage Years'.  Well done everyone and particularly Eryn.

The speechmakers were: Lewis Gallacher, Louis Pickering, Gary Williamson, Megan Walters, Ben Sutherland, Shaden Abdel-Aziz and Eryn Dunnett.

New Member

At the 7th September Club meeting President Carol welcomed new member Debbie Murray.

Fishing Trip 2108

The 2108 Fishing Trip was once again to Altnabreac with the location and arrangements courtesy of Brian and Margaret Leonard and Donald and Maureen Sinclair. As usaul all had a great day out.

Club Visit to Thurso Squash and Tennis Club

Club members paid a very interesting meeting to Thurso Squash and Tennis Club. All were very impressed by the new tennis courts and the setup which greatly enhances the town's sporting facilities. Thanks go to Willie Steven for an interesting and informative tour.

Thurso Club Prostate Cancer Bike Ride

Club members took part in a bike ride in aid of Prostate Cancer Research. The photos show some of the riders and support team.

Thurso Rotary August Thurso Riverside Litter Pick

A group of Club Members took part in the club's regular Thurso riverside litter pick.  The usual array of paper and plastic rubbish was collected and on this occasion a shopping trolley and a bicycle were retrieved from the river.

President Carol Rosie is welcomed to her new role by Past President Sandy Sutherland in the presence of Assistant District Governor Bill Ross.

Below new and recently joined Rotary members with Past President Sandy Sutherland and new Rotary President Carol Rosie.

Interact End of Year Message

Thurso High School Interact Club President Morven MacLeod and Vice-President Mara Gibb attended Rotary to report on the Interact Club year and to thank Thurso Rotary for the help received during their 2017-18 year.  Both girls now leave Thurso High School and pass on the role of Interact leaders to a new team for next year.

Rock Challenge at Rotary

Neave MacLeod and Hope Ross receive a cheque from Rotary Vice-President Alan Gerrard towards the Thurso High School Rock Challenge trip to Dundee. The Rock Challenge reprentatives, along with the team organiser, Principal Teacher of English Kathy McAlonan, gave Rotary Club members a presentation explaining the what Rock Challenge was, what it aimed to do and the benefit to participating students engaged in the Rock Challenge experience.

East Sutherland Classic Car Run 

Members from Thurso and Wick Rotary took part in the Classic Car Run from Dornoch to Achiltibuie on Saturday.  The photo shows the two teams completing the run, John Hook with Sandy Cumming and Murray Lamont in the car with Sandy Sutherland.  A third car came back from Lochinver by AA transport so maybe the team should remain nameless!

Thurso Rotary Club's Tree Planting Team supporting our local environment by planting local species of tree close to Thurso

Wick Harbour Visit

The Thurso Club had a very interesting and enjoyable visit to Wick Harbour. Members were joined by members of Wick Rotary Club and given a talk and a tour by Willie Watt, the chairman of Wick Harbour Trust. Afterwards both clubs retired to Mackay’s Hotel for a welcome and delicious meal.  Our grateful thanks go to Willie Watt for a great ‘behind the scene’ tour and a very informative and inspiring presentation.

New member

Charlotte Fisher was inducted into the Thurso Rotary club by President Sandy Sutherland on Thursday 19 at the club's AGM.

High School Area Litter Pic

Six Rotarians and three Interact members collected 11 bags of litter in the area around Thurso High School.  The photoshows the three Interact members Hannah Campbell, Morven MacLeod and Maxine Campbell.

Photos taken by Graeme Dunnett at the club members visit to the Mill Theatre conducted by Alan Gerrard and John Firth.


Rotary Club of Quiz

The Club's 2018 School Quiz, held in Reay Village Hall, was a competitive but friendly event held in front of a large audience of teachers, parents, family friends and Rotarians.  The six teams from Castletown, Halkirk, , Pennyland and all acquitted themselves very well resulting in a very tight finish for the Rotary Shield and the Rotary Cup.  At the final score count Castletown Primary School came out on top and received the Shield for a year while the cup is the schools to keep.

The winning team members were Kieran Gunn, Bethany Nuttall, Matthew Hale and Kieran T Gunn. The photo shows the team members with Rotary President Sandy Sutherland.

All team members were also had their photograph taken at the end of the event.

The Thurso Rotary Club 2018 Burns Supper

Thurso Rotary Club held another memorable Burns Supper on the Bard's birthday.  over 60 guests were entertained by a group of excellent speakers.

Left to Right front: Fiona MacIntosh (Reply to Toast to the Lassies), Alan Mackay (Immortal Memory), President Sandy Sutherland, Philip Coghill (Toast to the Lassies).

Left to Right back: Past President Alan Sparling (Address to the Haggis), Thurso Rotary Secretary Christopher Pearson (Selkirk Grace), Piper Mark Moodie.

Thurso High School Presidential Citation

At the January business meeting ADG Bill Ross travelled from in winter conditions to present the Presidential Citation to Thurso High School Interact Club.  The framed citation was received by Interact President Morven MacLeod and Vice-President Mara Gibb.  Thurso High Interact were highly praised for another year of hard and effective work in the community.  ADG Ross was thanked by Mara for making the difficult journey north and President Morven expressed her appreciation of the help provided by Thurso Rotary Club members.

Photo left to right: President Sandy Sutherland, Interact Vice-President Mara Gibb, Interact President Morven MacLeod and ADG Bill Ross.

Thurso Rotary Club Christmas Dinner 2017

Fifty members, guests and members of Thurso High School Interact Club enjoyed a Christmas Dinner at the Pentland Hotel on Thursday 21st December.  The event included seasonal songs by a trio from Melvich Gaelic Choir and a well contested Christmas Quiz. The evening was much enjoyed by all and brought the Club's 2017 activities to a grand finale.

Thurso Rotary Annual Golf Competition Presentation

At a Rotary Club regular Thursday meeting in November there was a presentation of the trophy for Rotary’s Annual Golf Competition which took place in Reay earlier in the year. The winner, Kenny Farmer was presented with his winning trophy by Rotary President Sandy Sutherland and a cheque for £200 was presented to Reay Golf Club Captain Grant Coghill by Rotary Treasurer, Graeme Dunnett for  junior golf development.

Gavel 2017-18

The 2017 north counties Gavel Competition was held in Brora Golf Club last Saturday, 21st Oct. Three teams took part, Dingwall, East Sutherland and Thurso. Games played included Jenga, Dominoes, Connect 4, Draughts and Indoor putting.

Result - 1st Thurso   2nd Dingwall  3rd East Sutherland

District Governor Visit to Thurso Club October 2017

Left to Right: Thurso Club President Sandy Sutherland, District Governor Graeme Archibald and Wick President Rob Sutherland.

Jackson Christie Porridge Bowl Golf Competition

Thurso Rotary members were delighted to hear that fellow member Colin Chessor became the winner of the Jackson Christie Porridge Bowl Golf Competition at the Butler Country Club in the USA. The competition which is held annually between Rotarians of Scotland’s 1010 district and the USA 7280 district has been running since 1962. Last year Colin was runner-up at Royal Dornoch where he received the Douthett Dipper trophy and as a result was invited to play in the USA competition this year. Colin said it was a fantastic experience to play at the Butler Country Club and that there were no winners or losers and he had a wonderful time and had received great hospitality at the Clarion Rotary a Club.

Interact Programme 2017 - 2018

An interesting and informative talk from Thurso High School Interact Members about their successes this year and ambitious plans for next was presented to Rotarians at a recent club meeting. In the picture are L/R  Morven MacLeod Interact Vice-President, Rotary President Sandy Sutherland and Rachael Taylor Interact President.

Rotary Club of Thurso Fishing Competition

The Thurso Rotary Club annual fishing outing was again a great sporting and social occasion. The venue was Altnabreac and despite a day of mixed weather fish were biting and the catch yielded  winners for the Hook Hoskins Tankard for the heaviest fish of the day and Rotary Cup for the most fish caught. The former went to beginner, Douglas Clarke, and the latter to experienced angler, Sandy Cumming.  The group were well looked after at the Sinclair Leonard summer residence with a wonderful spread of food to see them through the day and home to Thurso on the train. It was good that two of the Club's Honorary Members and anglers of great experience, Peter Murchison and James Campbell, were able to attend.

Speechmaking 2017

Thurso Rotary Club’s Annual Speechmaking Competition 2017 took place in the Thurso West Church. The overall winner was Illianna Cameron whose topic was ‘Anxiety- Cancer to the Mind’. Other topics were ‘Bring some Drama to the World’  by Kent Murray and ‘The Internet - Fact or a Fiction?’ presented by Aidan Urquhart.  The photo shows Alan Sparling, who introduced the competitors, Kent Murray, John Hook, chairman of the judges, Illianna,the competition winner, Aiden Urquhart, judges Anna Swanson and Samantha Whale, judge. 

Below the new information sign at the Salmon Pool on Thurso River.

Jay Mallin, from Glasgow, the new World Champion at the Coconut Shy  at Halkirk Highland Games who won with four hits. 

Rotary Cycle 2017

Photo shows the Thurso Rotarians Charles Findlay, Ken Wilson, Sandy Sutherland, Graeme Dunnett, Sandy Cumming, Christopher Pearson and Ritchie Shearer who cycled from Bettyhill to Thurso as part of Rotary's National Bike Ride 'End Polio Now' Challenge on Saturday 17 June. This takes place around Father's Day every year as a charity fundraiser.

Rotary Presidential Changeover

Thurso Rotary Club has a new President.  At the AGM held in the Pentland Hotel Past President Charles Findlay welcomed new President Sandy Sutherland and presented him with the chain of office. The transfer was watched by Assistant District Governor Bill Ross of the Elgin Club. 

Charles left office after reporting on a very successful year for the club with a wide range of activities taking place in his Presidential year.  promised to continue the good work and his team of committee chairs seem up to the task with very comprehensive plans for the 2017-2018 Rotary year.

Rotary and Interact Litter Pick

Six members of Thurso Rotary Club and seven members of Thurso High School Interact Club carried out a litter pick  in the Ormlie, Naver and High School areas of Thurso.  The pictures show the participating Interact members and the resulting black bags of litter collected.

Thurso Rotary Club Primary School Quiz

The Thurso Rotary Club Primary School Quiz Competition 2017 was held in the with teams from Pennyland, Reay, Castletown, , Halkirk and primary schools taking.  In a competitive but friendly atmosphere, in front of a large audience of parents and friends,  the team prevailed and won the Rotary Shield. Halkirk school was runner-up but the final result was very close with all schools performing very well and with high scores.

Below the members of the winning Miller Academy team receiving the trohy from President Charles Findlay.

Left to right: Scott Hughes, Aylah Scott, Hannah Dunnett, Esme Buchanan and Hannah Rosie.

Thurso Rotary Club Burns Supper 2017

The Rotary Club of Thurso 2017 Burns Supper once again turned out to be a very special occasion.  A large group of Rotarians and Guests was welcomed by President Charles Findlay and then all were ably entertained by excellent speakers. Matthew Reiss delivered an Immortal Memory full of thought provoking comparisons of Burns and his times with some of today's similar social issues.  The toast to the Lassies by Bryan Dods was a humorous speech full of his own verse through which he praised and poked full at the lassies in equal measure.  did not have it all his own way as Liz Hewitson's reply to and the company made all understand how times had truly changed forever.  The Address to the Haggis was performed with great gusto and wonderful expression by Rotarian Kenneth Wilson and the Selkirk Grace was ably performed by Rotary Secretary Christopher Pearson.  No Burns Supper is complete without a good vocalist and an accomplished presentation of a Burns poem.  Kelly Davidson is a regular performer at the Rotary Burns and she did not disappoint as once again her singing was appreciated by all.  There can be none better at reciting Tam O' Shanter than Gus Mackay.  He brings the story to life with his exquisite acting ability and holds the attention of the audience throughout this long poem.  Where would a Supper by without a good piper?  Piper Mark Moodie filled the bill perfectly with is excellent piping in of the Top Table performers and then the haggis. The evening drew to a close  with The Star of Robbie Burns and Syne sang by the company lead by Kelly Davidson and the ever present Peter Murchison.  A generous and humorous vote of thanks, presented in verse, by Rotarian Ronnie Johnstone concluded the evening.

RYLA Participants 2016

Thurso Rotary Club greatly values the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) and sends at least two students each year to the week long activities for this award.  In 2016 the club funded Marc Deighan and Melissa Cardosi and the two participant came to a regular club meeting to tell of their experiences. Both gave enthusiastic reports of a great and enriching experience at their respective camps at Abernethy Outdoor Centre.  The students' talks were of a very high standard and both credited RYLA with their increased ability and confidence to speak and with new and to larger audiences. Their outstanding performances and their enthusiasm emphasised to club members the value of this Rotary awards scheme.

Interact Coffee Morning
The group of Thurso High School Interact members who counted the takings after the very successful Interact Coffee Morning pose with Past President Heather McLean.
Left to Right - Past President Heather McLean, Iona MacKay, Megan Douglas, Yasmin Campbell, Megan Lloyd.
2016 Speechmaking Competition
Winner Kyle Dobson with Thurso Rotary Club President Charles Findlay.
Below the Contestants, Judges and President Charles Findlay.
Back Left to Right: Ross Dunbar, Scott Sutherland, Dylan Cunningham, Judges Anna Swanson and Anne-Marie Hagan.
Front Left to Right: Aidan Urquhart, Kyle Dobson, President Charles Findlay, Tia Cannop and Chairman of Judges Past President John Hook.
BB Hall Painting
A team of Thurso Rotary members once again helped tidy up and paint the Thurso BB Hall.  The pics show the willing volunteers.
Halkirk Highland Games
Halkirk Highland Games team with the Shelter Box Tent and the Coconut Shy which incorporated a tongue in cheek "world championship" event.  The event was all very much about community engagement across all ages and raising some funds (£302.67) for our Foundation and International activities.

Presentation of ipods to Dementia Group

The Thurso Rotary meeting of 30th June was addressed by Cathy MacKay of the Caithness and Sutherland Branch of Alzheimer Scotland. She gave a very informative talk on the definition of dementia and the different types of dementia. After the meeting the Club presented her with iPods which are used as personal music players for dementia patients. This, she said, can help make an improvement to the quality of life for some people. The photo shows some of the members with Cathy receiving the ipods from Past President Heather McLean while Rotarian Past President Colin Chessor, who organised the ipod initiative, looks on.

Cycle in aid of Prostate Cancer Charity
Thurso Rotary Club members, Ritchie Shearer, Sandy Sutherland, Sandy Cumming and Charles Findlay, took part in Rotary's annual ' Get on Your Bike for Prostate Cancer'. This traditionally takes place around 'Fathers'Day'.

Presidential Changeover 2016

Thurso Rotary Club handover took place at the Club's Assembly Meeting where plans for the coming Rotary year were presented by the various committee chairs. Outgoing President Heather McLean passed on the chain of office to new Rotary President Charles Findlay with new Senior Vice-President Sandy Sutherland looking on, on the left, after receiving his chain of office. Also in the picture on the right is Past President and new ADG, Bill Ross.

Mey 10k 2016

Rotarians Richie Shearer and Senior Vice-President Charles Findlay raised funds for Rotary charities at the Mey 10k. Ritchie, who took part in the event for the first time completed the course in an incredible 53 minutes. Other Rotarians participated including helping with stewarding at the race.

Guest Night 2016

The club had a 'Guest Evening ' on Saturday 21st May in the Pentland Hotel. Members and friends enjoyed a social evening with dinner. Lord Thurso, who has recently been appointed chair of Visit Scotland, was the evening's speaker and his interesting talk was well received by all of the Rotarians and Guests.

Vintage Rally 

Thurso Rotary members John Hook and Sandy Cumming and Graeme Dunnett and Sandy Sutherland too part in the East Sutherland Rotary Club Classic Car Rally in Dornoch on Saturday 21st May. The photos show the team members and President Heather McLean before the start in Dornoch.

Rotary Bowling

Senior Vice-President Charles Findlay lead members in a Bowling afternoon at Thurso Bowling Club.  The day was enjoyed by all with some initial coaching given by Bowling Club members and then some relaxed competition. Rotarians present were grateful for the welcome received, the use of Bowling Club equipment and the end of afternoon hospitality in their clubrooms.

Interact End of Year Lunch

After another very successful year Thurso High School Interact members held their end of session lunch along with a group of invited Rotarians.

Rotary Donation to Thurso high School Learning Support

The above photo shows Rotary President Heather McLean and Past President Kevin Sutherland, on the left, presenting a cheque for £160 to Stuart Disbury on behalf of the Thurso High School Learning Support Department.

Captain's Galley Fundraiser

Good food and beer can always be easily swallowed and Thurso Rotary Club used both to help generate money for two worthy causes. Over £600 was raised at a cookery and tasting session which was held at The Captain's Galley in Scrabster where chef Jim Cowie led a masterclass in seafood. John O'Groats Brewery director Simon Cottam co-hosted the fundraiser and gave Rotary members the chance to taste some of the brewery's beer. The brewery which was established last year, filled Rotary members' pint glasses with its latest creation launched at the Seaview Hotel in John O'Groats in January. The money will be divided between two charities - The Starfish Foundation and The Rotary Foundation. The former is a charity in which Mr Cowie is involved. He is helping to promote a restaurant owner in Greece who is assisting refugees in Lesbos. Australian chef Melinda McRostie, who owns The Captain's Table on the island, has set up a refugee camp at her restaurant and provides food, blankets and other essentials to those in need. In an attempt to help her continue her work, Mr Cowie has written to over 70 restaurants across the world that are named The Captain's Galley or The Captain's Table asking them to hold fundraising events for The Starfish Foundation. The Rotary Foundation helps good causes across the world in an attempt to aid causes such as polio eradication, education and humanitarian programmes.

Primary School Quiz 2016

Thurso Rotary Club held their Annual Primary Schools' Quiz Competition in Mount Pleasant Primary School on Tuesday 23 February. Teams from Miller Academy, Reay, Mount Pleasant, Halkirk, Pennyland and Castletown took part. After an exciting and closely fought competition, which was not decided until the final round, Castletown came out on top. All the schools performed well and all should be congratulated on their ability and the spirit in which the competition was held.

Gavel Competition

The club played Huntly Rotary Club in the Rotary Gavel Challenge Competition round three which was hosted very ably hosted by Dingwall Rotary in Strathpeffer Golf Club. The team travelled by train from Thurso and at the following Club meeting spoke highly of the day out and the hospitality they received in Strathpeffer. Thurso won 27-25 and now go through to the next round where they will meet Stonehaven at a mutually agreed venue which is yet to be decided.

Rotary Burns Supper

The Rotary Club of Thurso 2016 Burns Supper once again turned out to be a very special occasion.  A large group of Rotarians and Guests were welcomed by President Heather McLean and then all were ably entertained by excellent speakers. Brian Leonard delivered an Immortal Memory based on his own memories and experiences of Burns' works through his own upbringing on an Orkney farm.  The toast to the Lassies by Alan Mackay was a humorous speech concentrating on how times have change for the Lassies though at the expense of the Lads.  Alan did not have it all his own way as Carol Gunn's reply poked fun at some of those present and made all understand times had truly changed forever.  The Address to the Haggis was performed with great gusto and wonderful expression by Rotarian Kenneth Wilson and the Selkirk Grace was, as is traditional on this occasion, presented with confidence, as one would expect, by experienced Round Tabler David Kelly.  No Burns Supper is complete without a good vocalist and an accomplished presentation of a Burns poem.  Kelly Davidson is a regular performer at the Rotary Burns and her wonder voice was once again appreciated by all.  There can be none better at reciting Tam O' Shanter than Gus Mackay.  He brings the story to life with his exquisite acting ability and holds the attention of the audience throughout this long poem.  Where would a Supper by without a good piper?  Young piper Robbie Campbell filled the bill perfectly with is excellent piping in of the haggis and his performance later in the evening.  The evening concluded with The Star of Robbie Burns and Auld Land Syne sang by the company lead by Kelly Davidson and the ever present Peter Murchison and a generous vote of thanks by Charles Findlay.

Thurso Rotary Christmas Dinner 2015

A large group of Rotarians, Interact Members and Friends enjoyed a night of good food, good fellowship and excellent entertainment at the 2015 Christmas Dinner in the Pentland Hotel. Speaker David Rosie entertained the company with an interesting and humorous talk on the topic of rhyming verse and brought his presentation to a conclusion with one of his own poems in Caithness Dialect.  Thurso Intereact members, assisted by the audience, concluded the evening with carol singing.

Thurso High School Interact and Thurso Rotary Carol Singers

Thurso High School Interact Club and Thurso Rotary Singers, along with Santa, are out and about on their annual carol singing at Pentland View, Bayview and Achvarasdal Care Homes.  After singing a fine selection of carols Santa distributed gifts to the residents of the three establishments.

Rotary Auction Cheque Presentation

At the regular Thurso Rotary Club  meeting on 19th November, President Heather McLean presented Gus Mackay of the Thurso Branch of the British Legion with a cheque for over £5000 as the Legion's share of proceeds from the recent joint fundraising auction held in the Legion Hall. The picture shows Rotarian Simon Middlemas, who organized the auction, and Rotary Treasurer Graeme Dunnett looking on while Gus receives the cheque from President Heather McLean.

Relay for Life

Rotary Club of Thurso prides itself on the work it does to support local charitable and voluntary organisations and the support it gives to the local sections of national organisation in fundraising efforts. Relay for Life comes into the latter category and Club members enthusiastically supported the 2015 event.

The pictures show the Thurso Rotary Team.

Ben Nevis Climb Training

Thurso Rotarians taking part in a climb of Ben Nevis are now into serious training mode with a group of three 'cutting their teeth' on home territory ascending Morven.  Their challenge next month will be more severe!

They are left to right: Sandy Cumming, Graeme Dunnett and Sandy Sutherland.

Thurso Rotary's First Lady President

Rotary Club of Thurso is delighted that Heather McLean is our new club president. This represents the changing face of Rotary as she is our first woman president. In the photograph she is being congratulated by retiring president Colin Chessor along with new Senior Vice-President, Charles Findlay.

Thurso Rotary Club Prostate Cancer Cycle

Thurso Rotary Club took part in a nationwide sponsored cycle event completing the first section from John O'Groats to Wick, raising money for prostate cancer.

Thurso Rotarians cycling were Colin Chessor, Sandy Cumming, Sandy Sutherland, Ken Wilson, Charles Findlay and Ritchie Shearer. Support members were Heather McLean, Kevin Sutherland and Alan Sparling.

The group met up with Orkney club members in the evening at the Northlink Ferry the Hamnavoe at Scrabster. Five Orkney Rotarians cycled over on the Hamnavoe and touched base with Thurso......then immediately sailed back on the return ferry!

Guest Night 2015

Thurso Rotary Club's Annual Guest Night 2015 was held in the Pentland Hotel on 30th May. On this occasion it was decided to change the meal format and to take advantage of the hotel's carvery meal.

Entertainment after the carvery was provided by the three young musicians from the Young Musician Competition 2014: Stephanie Kozlowski (winner of the Thurso Rotary Club Daniel McLean Shield for the Best Instrumentalist ); Rhianna Urquhart and Iain Fishenden.

Classic Car Tour:  Coast to Coast

Rotarians John Hook and Sandy Sutherland completed the East Sutherland Rotary Classic Car Tour 2015:  Coast to Coast on Saturday 23 May 2015.  They joined 55 other classic cars in a 1973 MGB GT and completed the 170 mile round trip from Dornoch in the East to Ullapool in the West.  The reality was with Strath Halladale - Thurso - Dornoch - Ullapool and back it was a total of 370 miles.  They raised and submitted £465 to the overall charity event with much appreciated sponsorship support from Friends, Family, Thurso Rotarians and Colleagues.

The MGB ran very well, John’s driving was steady and Sandy’s navigating skills with detailed knowledge of the route and roads was invaluable.  The weather was superb and they soon arrived in a very busy and bustling Ullapool.  This combined with a fantastic range of other classic car enthusiasts with cars ranging from 1932 Lagonda to modern Aston Martins made for a great event and all credit to East Sutherland for organising.

There will be full details on the overall event on the East Sutherland Rotary website in due course.

Thurso Rotary Club's Speechmaking 2015

Thurso Rotary Club's Speechmaking 2015 saw eight students from third and fourth years at compete for the Rotary Shield. After eight accomplished performances in the glare of an audience of teachers, parents and Rotarians 14 year old Frances Grant came out on top.  In the picture above Rotary Past President Sandy Cumming is shown presenting Frances with the trophy while watched by Esmeralda Jardine, the runner up in the competition. A full group picture can be seen on the Speechmaking Page of the website.

Thurso Rotary Club's Primary School Quiz 2015 

Thurso Rotary Club's Primary School Quiz 2015 was as keenly fought as ever by teams from Mount Pleasant, Reay, Halkirk, Miller Academy, Pennyland and Castletown.  All the teams scored well with just a few points separating top from bottom but in the end held the lead they had for most of the contest to pip Pennyland for the Rotary Shield.

Burns Supper 2015

Thurso Burns Supper is considered one of the premier events in the Burns calendar and the 2015 event did not disappoint.  A large group of Rotarian and friends enjoyed an evening of varied and ejoyable entaertainment from talented speakers, musicians and singers. The evening was ably conducted by President Colin Chessor.

The first photo below shows the top table participants, the second the Haggis arriving, the third picture shows Rotarian Alan Sparling giving a spirited Address to the Haggis and in the fourth President Colin Chessor gets the proceedings underway.

Front row left to right:

Carol Gunn (Reply to the Toast to the Lassies), Kenneth Wilson (Toast to the Lassies), Rotary President Colin Chessor, Simon Moodie (Immortal Memory of Robert Burns) and Alan Sparling (Address to the Haggis).

Back Row left ti right: Gus Mackay (Recitation of Tam o' Shanter), Round Table Chairman David Barrowman (Selkirk Grace), Alan Plowman (Piper) and Kelly Davidson (Vocalist).

Interact 2014 Da Doonie Group

This year's Interact Da Doonie Group of 'Vikings' entertained Rotary Club members at their regular Thursday meeting with three of their Viking theme songs. The group were using the event as a rehearsal for a visit to the Thurso primary schools the following day. The group will also have a prominent role at the Club's Bonfire and Fireworks night on 1st November when they march to the Bonfire site with their lighted torches.

RYLA 2014

Following the first meeting in October the Thurso Rotary Club RYLA 2014 candidates, Anja Johnstone and Jack Ambrose, received their RYLA certificates from Club President Colin Chessor. At the meeting Anja and Jack were the principal speakers and gave a comprehensive outline, using DVD and photographs, of their activities and experiences at their respective camps.

Thurso Rotary Club Young Musician 2014

Young Musician winner Stephanie Kozlowski from Castletown is shown below receiving the trophy from Senior Vice-President Heather McLean. 

On a wet and windy Sunday in August 6 couple enjoyed (we think!) a Club bowling day.

Club members erected a tent at the Halkirk Highland Games and collected donations for the Shelter box Fund.

The Club supports many community groups and as usual support was provided at the RNLI Fayre at Scrabster.

Thurso Firewalk organised by Thurso Rotary Club takes place on 19th October 2014.

Rotary Presidential Changeover for year 2014-15

Another very successful Rotary year comes to an end and Past President Sandy Cumming presents incoming President Colin Chessor with the chain of office while new Vice-President Heather McLean looks on.

Coast to Coast Classic Car Tour

East Sutherland Rotary Club organised a Coast to Coast Classic Car Tour on Saturday:  17 May 2014.

Dornoch on the East Coast to Lochinver on the west coast of Sutherland- around trip of 170 miles.

42 cars completed the tour, some from as far as London attended,  including Thurso Past President John Hook and President Sandy Cumming in John's 1973 MGBGT.  John driving and President Sandy navigating.

The event raised 10,000 for RNLI and Rotary Charities.

John and Sandy were very pleased to join in on the run, sponsored to 380 representing Thurso Rotary Club and had a great drive round.  Really looking forward to doing it again next year.

The Mey 10k

Graeme Dunnett, Charles Findlay, Sandy Cumming and Sandy Sutherland, the Thurso Rotary Team, are ready for the off at the Mey 10k Race. All finished and in good health!

The Club had a team of helpers at the event and one group are shown below.

Mall Tree Planting

Despite the hard work of Rotarians in trying to improve the environment around Thurso some people seem to take pleasure in diminishing those efforts with acts of vandalism.  Five of the newly planted trees on the Mall walk adjacent to Janet Street were damaged in one a night act of destruction.  Not daunted Thurso Rotary has replaced the affected trees and hope they can be left to grow as an asset to this lovely walk and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

President Sandy Cumming puts his back into the job of ensuring one of the trees is soundly anchored.

Rotarians on the Run!  

Four hardy Thurso Rotarians getting 'fit' for the Mey 10k!

Left to right: Charles Findlay, Sandy Sutherland, Graeme Dunnett and Sandy Cumming

Rotary Speechmaking 2014

Thurso Rotary Club's annual Speechmaking Competition for pupils from Thurso High School took place in Thurso West Church on Wednesday 19th March.  Seven students spoke eloquently on a variety of topics giving the three judges a difficult task in selecting a winner.  After much deliberation Rhianna Urquhart, with her topic 'Poetry', was placed in first place and received the Rotary Shield from President Sandy Cumming.

The competitors were Yasmin Campbell (Homosexuality), Meegan  Anderson (Curriculum for Excellence), Andrew Mackay (Tesla), Rhianna Urquhart (Poetry), James Doherty (Space Exploration), Saul Stevens (Technology) and Eilish Noble (School Uniform).  They are shown in the group photograph in this order with President Sandy Cumming.

Spring Is Here!

It is a clear sign that Spring is here when Rotarians are seen on their Litter Picks.  The first one of the season took place on 1st March in the Thurso River area.  More tidy up activities will take place throughout the coming months.

Primary School Quiz

The Club's 2014 quiz was held in Harkirk School with six schools from the Thurso area competing - Miller Academy, Pennyland, Mount Pleasant, Halkirk, Reay and Castletown.  In a keenly fought contest Castletown came out on top for the second year in a row.  Miller Academy and Mount Pleasant came equal second though it has to be said there was not a lot between all the teams and all the participants aquitted themselves well.

The pictures below show the winning Castletown team and all the competitors.

Burns Supper 2014

The Rotary Club of Thurso Burns Supper is recognised as one of the premier events in the Rotary and community year. The 2014 supper did not fail to live up to expectations and was enjoyed by over 90 Rotarians, friends and invited guests. The proceedings were ably introduced by President Sandy Cumming  and got away to a good start with the Selkirk Grace from Round Table Chairman David Kelly and an energetic Address to the Haggis by Past President Alan Sparling.  The Immortal Memory was given with excellent style and presentation by Kenneth Wilson, Bryan Dods toasted the lassies in verse and with the occasional jibe at the fair sex which was well countered by Nancy Swanson. Music and song of the highest quality came from the pipes of Laura Mennie and the vocals of Kelly Davidson. Not to be outdone Past President Peter Murchison  lead the company with the Star of Robbie Burns and Auld Lang Syne. The whole evening was summed up in an entertaining voted of thanks, in verse, by Past President Ronnie Johnstone.

In addition to the picture below a range of photos can be found on the Rotary Fotki Albums by clicking this link or by taking the link on the Photoarchive page.

A recent event was the 2013 Christmas Dinner in the Pentland Hotel with guest speaker Stephen Sutherland giving an informative and humorous speech to the large company. At the well received meal and social occasion the club inducted new member Alan Gerrard. Alan will be an asset to the club with his wide experience in voluntary organisations and his long service to Round Table.

Carol Singing

Rotarians, Interacters and Friends completed their series of Carol Singing sessions in Thurso area care homes with an enjoyable evening at Achvarasdal Home, Reay.

Santa's Helpers

A group of Rotarians collected money for TTIA at the switchin gon of the Thurso Christmas Tree and lights.

From Left to right:

Christopher Pearson, Colin Chessor, Sandy Cumming, Santa, Roger Saxon, Carol Rosie and Daryl Pickering.

Bonfire and Fireworks Night

A large crowd enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display on Thurso Esplanade and were kept warm by a blazing bonfire.  This was the first time in a number of years that there was a bonfire at the event and it added greatly to entertainment. 

District 1010 Rotary Conference

Four couple from Rotary Club of Thurso attended the 63rd Rotary District Conference. It was a good weekend very informative and socially enjoyed by all.

Photo left to right: Colin and Hazel Chessor, Alan and Lorna Sparling, Sandy and Caron Cumming and Graeme and Sophie Dunnett

Cheque Presentation to Thurso Rotary Club

Thurso Rotary Club received a cheque for 200 and a Caithness stone commemorative medal for undertaking car parking stewarding at the inaugural Turbine 10K run at the grand opening of Baillie Wind Farm. Tom Pottinger handed out the cheques at the presentation to local charities/groups which had helped at the event and also do valuable work in the Caithness Community.

Donation to Lorna McDermid

Lorna McDermid of Thurso Bowling Club received a cheque from Thurso Rotary Club to enable her to participate in the Scottish Bowling Finals in Ayr.

Bonfire and Fireworks 2013

RYLA 2013

After an informative and very well presented talk by Thurso Rotary Club's RYLA sponsored students District Governor Jim Houston presented certificates to Monika Carson and Iain Cameron. The picture shows the two recipients of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards with Jim and Thurso President Sandy Cumming.

Past President John Hook presents the Hook Hoskins Trophy for the biggest fish caught at the recent Rotary fishing outing to Past President Kevin Sutherland while President Sandy Cumming hands over the Lesley Crawford Cup for the biggest catch to Past President Frank Bremner.

A gift of 2500, from the Rotary Club of Thurso Community Fund, was handed over to Johanna Geddes of the Thurso Boys Brigade to help continue work on their their newly renovated hall.  The BB have, over many years, provided a wide range of activities for the youth of Thurso the Birthplace of the Boys Brigade founder William Smith. The photograph above show Johanna receive the cheque from President Sandy Cumming as Christopher Doake of the BB, Rotarian Treasurer Graeme Dunnett and Rotary Secretary Christopher Pearson look on.  The headless individual in the picture remains unidentified!

'What We Do' Main Pages:

Welcome to Thurso, Caithness the most northerly town on the British mainland and twinned with Brilon in Germany.


Hot News will highlight the most recent events and pictures so that Rotarians, and members of the public, can quickly see what is most current at Thurso Rotary Club.


Our Club works with many local organisations to help, support and deliver on more localised projects. Just a few of the events supported appear in the following slide shows and accompanying events.


Rotary is about Fellowship and Fellowship develops not only at weekly meetings and fundraising events related to good causes but also at social occasions.


The Thurso Club works with young people in a number of ways to promote the ideals of Rotary.


Information on International projects and emergency aid support


Photos where only one or two photos was taken.

The ramps and steps to the cemetery bridge over the Thurso River.

Thurso Rotary Club have been involved in a number of major projects around the town to improve the environment for the local population and the many visitors who come to the town. Information on a few can be seen in this section of the website.


Rotarians work hard for the Community and welcome like minded citizens to join them. Anyone interested in joining the Club should contact a member of the Club. If not interested in membership could you join our Community Fund and help your local area.


Fundraising Events are required by Rotary to fund donations to good causes and for the development of town facilities and attractions.