Submitted To C & B News for September 2019

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On 19 June the Rotary Club of Currie Balerno made Ronnie Rusack MBE a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his contribution to the Club over many years. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary and the Paul Harris Fellowship is the highest award the Club can give.
Ronnie’s great contribution has been to provide Santa’s Fire Engine which has been the focal point of the Club’s fund raising at the Gyle every Christmas. The Fire Engine has been well known but what is not well known is that Ronnie and his friend Rotarian Ralph Allerdyce were always there with it – more than 30 hours over the fund-raising week-end, starting on the Thursday afternoon and continuing with full days Friday to Sunday. They helped to raise many thousands of pounds over the years for our charities.
Ralph was invited to set the scene for the presentation of the award and he described how much they had enjoyed being out there at Christmas time in the hail, rain, sleet and snow and even occasionally sunshine. He recalled some of their adventures with Santa’s Fire Engine including chasing a runaway inflatable snowman across the car park. The snowman was replaced the next year with a better behaved inflatable Santa. Ronnie had provided the Fire Engine, the inflatable snowman and Santa, Christmas music and artificial snow every year at his own cost and given up so much of his time.
Having received the Paul Harris Award from Club President Rodger Thom, Ronnie expressed his thanks for this quite unexpected honour. He paid tribute to all the Club members who had put in their time collecting at the Gyle and especially Rotarian Andy Howard who had organised the event each year.

Sadly the Fire Engine is going into retirement but we shall still have Ronnie as an Honorary Member of the Club.
If you want to know more about Rotary or the Currie Balerno Rotary Club, go to our website at