Weekly Meetings

A short minute of what happened at our weekly meetings

Park Hotel

17th March

The Meeting today was hybrid and I hosted the Zoom side. I have spoken to those who were on the Zoom and they were all of a mind that the content was almost indecipherable.

Nonetheless there were fifteen members in the room and six of us on Zoom. That is really encouraging. We had a good blether on Zoom while waiting for the speaker.

Chief Inspector Craig Walker spoke about hs career in the Police Force beginning in 1993 in Glasgow through his service in Edinburgh, his invlovement in the organisation of the Commonwealth Games, North Lanarkshire, back to Glasgow and finally his move to Falkirk.

He spoke about the challenges he faced during the Pandemic. The difficulties in getting information over and the partnership success that had resulted.

Bill Laurie gave the vote of thanks and did so in his usual inimitable style, praising the speaker for his fortitude.

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10th March

Today we had a Zoom meeting. There were only eight of us present.


But we spoke about the donation that we intended sending to the Rotary Disasters Committee for Ukraine. It was unanimously agreed at the meeting that we would send £500 from the Trust Fund, £500 from the General Account and add that to the donations that the Club members had sent in. At this point in time the total comes to £1,750. Since there were so few of us present I emailed the Club with the proposal and have had nothing but positive responses back.

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3rd March

We were supposed to have Irene McKie fro Strathcarron addess us today but she had unfortunately tested possitive for Covid and wasn't keen on doing it by Zoom. President Narek was able to secure the services of DGE Duncan Colinson at short notice to talk to us about the Environmental initiatives currently under consideration by District.

There were 12 members present in person at the Park and four members virtually by Zoom as was the speaker.

It should be said that secretary June was put in an invidious position having circulated the Club and asked that members tell her if they were to be absent and then, as a result of that enquiry, subsequently informing the Park that there would be in excess of 20 present in person. We need to do better.

I don't know how the preliminaries at the Park went because I was one of the ones on Zoom (having previously intimated as much to June) but the five of us on Zoom had a rare 15 minute blether about lots of stuff not least of which was about Chefs in Aviemore leaving their profession to retrain as nurses!

Duncan Colinson delivered a talk that in fact ranged between Membership, Environmental and the merge of Districts 1020 and 1230. It was a wide ranging talk which Duncan delivered professionally and with ease. He will make an admirable District Governor. What he did point out, (I am not sure if any one has realised this yet), is that if the merger of the two Districts goes ahead as is currently envisaged Narek Bido will become the first Governor of the New Megadistrict! He also pointed out that, with the experience that Narek will have gained at District by that time he will be eminently qualified for the job.

David Wheeler delivered the vote of thanks and did so in his ususl inimitable fashion.

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24th February

Looks like I missed a week!!!

We had a very productive meeting today with 14 members present. It began with President Narek updating the Club on the Council meeting that took place yesterday.

Here are a few of the issues that were discussed, ratified and approved at the meeting: -

  • Andrew's request to pay for one shelterbox which will be doubled by others.
  • Bill's request that we invite The Writers' Circle to lunch and present them with a cheque for £500 towards the publication of their Anniversaqry Anthology.
  • Young Carers are seeking one boy and one girl for this year's return to a physical RYLA £500 each)
  • Definite commitment to a Charities Day this year.
  • Swimarathon Date of 12th JUne for the diary
  • Things are progressing rapidly with the defibrillators for Schoo;l project in conjunction with the Netherlads Club.
  • Bill had asked that it be recorded that Tom Curry had played an immensely important role in the judging of the Young Musician competition. His appraisals of the performances and encouragement of the participants were detailed and extremely impressive.
    (I telephoned Tom after the meeting to ask how he was. He says that he is in bed, in some pain, still suffering from the effects of his fall early last week and asks me to let you all know.)
  • It was agreed that we should resume regular weekly meetings at the beginning of May after the AGM. The make up of the meetings is about to be changed so that we don't have a speaker every week but lay aside time for fellowship and discussion of Club Business.
  • The Charter Dinner is scheduled for 22nd April in the GRange Manor Hotel and arrangements are in hand. Information about attendance and cost wioll be circulated soon.
  • The next Area meeting will be on Zoom on 17th Marcch at 19.00. See Ian McLean for details.

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10th February

There were 15 members present today for a vibrant, productive and encouraging meeting.

President Narek opened the meeting and a short discussion ensued while everyone accumulated. Bill spoke of the possibility of sponsoring Classic Music Live and Narek intimated his intention to revive such a thing with Ewan Stevenson which had been spoken about immediately prior to the pandemic.

Mary spoke about "Kids Out" at the Young Offenders Institution at Polmont which is something that Polmot Club had done in the past very successfully.

Nancy had been to Maddiston Primary and Braes High Schools to deliver Certificates and prize money for the Young Writer Competition and is organising publicity for the handover of the £1,000 cheque to Time Zone on Wednesday at 10.00 or 11.30. Sandy McGill agreed to deliver the cheque to Nancy along with a larger facsimile for the presentation.

President Narek updated those present in relation to the progress that was being made with the Defibrillators for Schools project and the possibilty of  reciprocal International visits with the Club from the Netherlands was discussed.

President elect Linda confirmed that she had booked the Grange Manor Hotel for Friday 22nd April for the Charter Dinner and IPP Jim outlined his plans for the evening which currently include inviting past Presidents to join us. He foresees the format to take the form of a speaker and entertainment.

Bill intimated that he had been in discussion with Moira McLaren from MRC Pathways (Motivation, Resilience and Commitment) whom he intended recommending to Gordon as a possible speaker.

The usual banter ensued after which President Narek closed the meeting at 2.00pm.

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President Narek spoke of his success in a relationship with the Howgate training Staff and Public in the use of drugs to be administered in the case of overdose. He had been greatly encouraged by the response.

Secretary June spoke of thankyou letters that she had received from our recent round of donations and spoke of a contact from Margaret Lyon who anticipates a jpoint meeting with Easter Ross and Tain Club some time in April.

President Elect Linda spoke of her difficulty in sourcing £5 notes for delivery to Denny High School for the Young Writer prizes and the fact that she was only able to deliver the complete package to an individual who undertook to take photographs of the presentations and let us have them. Mary confirmed that the same thing had happened at the Braes and Wallacestone Schools.

3rd February

We had a very productive meeting today with 15 members present. Apologies were received from Secretary June.

Bill Laurie intimated the success of the Young Writer Competition and suggested that the Club fund a prize for the Falkirk Writers' Circle internal competitions in recognition of their valued assistance with the judging of our Young Writer Competition. This was unanimously agreed and Bill is to discuss the matter with them.

He then added that he had 12 entries for our Young Musician Competition. Two of these were "Voice" and ten were "Instrumental". Interestingly, he told us that one of the entries was a private entry provoked by Anna Michels, the remainder came from Larbert, Graeme and Falkirk High Schools.

He was hopeful that an appropriate level of publicity could be achieved for both of these Competitions which would include recognition of the input of Falkirk Writers' Circle.

Sandy McGill updated the Club in relation to Robert Craig's sterling work with the provision of defibrillators to the Schools. It has been agreed that we will proceed with the offer of Defibrillators to Graeme High School and St Mungo's High School because they have none at present. Other Schools have at least one. After that the programme would hopefully be extended to offer all of the schools the opportunity for an additional unit.

President Narek added that he had spoken with Allan McLaughlan regarding District Grant funding and had been assured that the maximum £2,000 would be available for the defib programme.

Andrew Niven is not getting as much interest in the Jersey Boys Concert as he had expected. It was clarified that the £60 on his poster was for the performance ticket alone. Transport and meals would be additional. Andrew is prepoared to oirganise for as many as wish to join him. If you would like to go get in touch with him quickly.

Nancy had spoken to Vicki Watson at the Time Zone. She was absolutely over the moon when she was told of our donation. Nancy also confirmed that the tyres that are likely to be donated by Iain Mitchell for the playground will be deployed with H&S in mind and will be properly secured.

President Narek informded the Club of the confirmed date for the joint meeting with Grangemouth as 31st March. (As intimated on the web site) There is to ba a face to face business meeting on the 17th February and our AGM is to be held as a Face to Face meeting on the 21st April.

It was agreed that plans for our Centenary Celebrations (Charter 100th Anniversary is 12th December 2024) ought to be put in place soon. President Elect Linda who will be IPP at that time was keen to be involved.

Our speaker, Sara Burns is from Glasgow where she stay now and studied British Sign Language interpreting and translation at Heriot-Watt graduating in 2018. More recently she finished her Masters in international Disaster Management at the University of Manchester and has begun her ‘making sense of Climate Change’ project at Forth Valley Sensory Centre where they are making information, services and resources available to people with a sight and/or hearing loss. They are especially keen that people use this service now that energy prices are continuing to rise rapidly. 

Sara was at great pains to stress her message as a result of the topical nature of her address and the announcements on the news earlier in the day.

She went on to say that the aim of the project was to make conversations on Climate Change and Energy Savings accessible to those with sensory impairment which they were not wholly at present.

She explained the different ways in which degrees of sight loss can affect individuals and their understanding of what was being presented and went on to expand upon ways that we can all reduce our energy usage.

She encouraged us to visit https://homeenergy scotland-advice.est.org.uk/fundingfinder

This site enables you to search for grants, discounts and funding schemes in you area by entering your post code.

Stewart, in his Vote of Thanks highlighted the fact that he found it admirable that young people such as Sara were informing and educating the older generations and applauded her for her remarkable and commendable presentation.

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27th January

A wee bit of a connection problem meant that we were a bit late today but that didn't deter 12 of us from enjoying some serious, or should I say fun, fellowship.

President Elect Linda was in the chair, June's chair as it turned out. But June's battery ran out so they Used Linda's phone!

After apprising those present of the content of yesterday's Council Meeting: -

  • Schools’ Day and the Primary Schools’ Quiz have both been postponed, most likely until at least the start of the new session after summer.
  • Our Joint meeting with Grangemouth will be at Grangemouth this year. It is usually in late March but the Grangemouth Club has yet to confirm a date.
  • Margaret Lyon has suggested that The Rotary Club of Tain and Easter Ross host a joint Zoom meeting with us. The date of that meeting is still to be established but is understood to be some time in April
  • It is hoped to resume Face to Face meetings on a fortnightly basis after the end of January. Discussions are ongoing with the Hotel to establish dates.
  • While the time does not allow for staging the event at our usual time in February it is hoped to have a Charter Dinner later this year. President Elect Linda will discuss with IPP Jim.
  • The business meeting which was scheduled for the 3rd February has been rescheduled for 17th February and is hoped to be Face to Face.
  • Robert Craig is progressing with arrangements in conjunction with the Rotary Club in the Netherlands to ensure that all High Schools in the area are provided with defibrillators and Council agreed to ringfence a sum of £2,500 in the Trust Fund to facilitate this project.
  • It was unanimously agreed to resume the Community Service Award as soon as can  be managed. Stewart will speak to Linda Pacitti and The Falkirk Herald.
  • Charitable donations to the following were agreed:

* Disabled Riding (Equipower) £   375

* Defibrillators (see above)      £2,500

* Time Zone Polmont              £1,000

* Kidney Kids                          £   375

* A Veteran’s best friend         £   375

*                                    Total £3,625

 Linda then went on to provoke a lively conversation among those present.

The meeting finishes at 14.00

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20th January

There were fourteen of us on Zoom today to listen to Richard Melvin, our speaker.


We chatted to begin with: -

  • Mary intimated the arrival of a new member after March in the shape of Ian Cochrane.
  • Nancy had visited "Time Zone" which is a school for severely disabled kids. They have a brand new play surface but no eqipment for the area. Mary and Nancy are anxious that some of the proceeds of the Santa Sleigh are directed in that way. Also Mary asked Andrew to contact Iain Mitchell of Grangemouth Club who had promised the provision of some old Lorry tyres for the same facility.
  • Linda and George had visited Graham and Sandra McGregor with his Honorary membership.
  • The joint meeting with Grangemouth this year is an away match and Andrew Wilson will be intimating a date for that shortly. He did however issue an open invitation to their Burns themed lunch on the 27th January.
  • President Narek sounded everyone out about a return to face to face meetings in February. This will be discussed at Council on Wednesday along with other things like disbursement of Trust Funds to Charities. If you have any thoughts in that regard speak to the Secretary or the Treasurer.
Richard Melvin started his career in broadcasting as a volunteer at Radio Forth during the Edinburgh Fringe in 2001. He quickly moved on to the achingly trendy Beat 106 before transferring to BBC Radio Scotland to produce Fred MacAulay’s morning show. He is a nephew of PDG Iain Geddes and says that he knows about the work that Rotary does as a result.

He founded Dabster Productions in 2006 and has since worked with some of the biggest names in the UK entertainment industry. He recently managed to keep Suggs from Madness out of jail, he thought (for over an hour) that he’d killed Bobby Davro and he got a gun held to his head on a night out with the lead singer from Les Bof. When he’s not being the most dangerous man on the planet, he nurtures and develops comedy talent from all over the country and has helped a wealth of brand-new comedians find their voice. He prides himself in doing so among Blind and disabled entertainers.

Richard entertained us all over a period of 20-25 minutes which passed instantly leaving a smile on everyone's face as was pointed out by Bill Laurie's vote of thanks.

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I have been stupid and have been found out! Obviously, Her Majesty will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee in June and not the Diamond which was 10 years ago.

13th January

Fifteen of us met on Zoom today. It began with a hilarious exchange of banter mainly centering around the experiences of a few members' of Glasgow suburbs. I always thought that the places they spoke about were "districts" of Glasgow but not being from that neck of the woods was surprised to hear George refer to citizens being taken out of Glasgow and being transferred to Easterhouse! What followed was a veritable cornucopia of Glasgow suburbs being discussed for their relative merits (or otherwise). Great fun, if your internet speed is sufficient to keep pace with the chat!

President Narek then went on to discuss a few bits of business: -

  1. He had an email from Chris Grant, Community Relationship Officer about Friends of Scottish Settlers Charity who are providing iPads to people from Afghanistan through the "Connecting Scotland" program by the Scottish Government and they are looking for support to purchase 20 x headsets at £6.48. It was agreed that we should fund the purchase in total and Treasurer Sandy was asked to put things in motion.
  2. Robert Craig is in the process of moving along the partnership with the Netherlands Club to ensure that all local High Schools have defibrillators.
  3. On 20th January Richard Melvin will be our speaker. This is a late change and I don't yet know who he is or what he will talk about.
  4. 26th January - The District Governor and the Rotary Club of Cumbernauld invite everyone to a Burns night. More details by email later.
  5. District has set up a new "Environment Sub Group and expects all Clubs to do the same.

Then others were asked for input: -

  • Mary and Nancy are to approach Maddiston School and establish what is anticipated to be required to supply stuff for the kids in the playground.
  • Left over sweets from the Santa Sleigh project are to be delivered to the Salvation Army. Linda N in her capacity as Membership chair will do this and enquire about the current Captain(s) becoming members.
  • President Nominee David said that he has booked the Grangemouth Pool for 12th June for the Swimarathon. (Date for the diary) he had almost chosen the 5th and forgotten that that would be the date of the National Celebration of Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. He added that he would like to see the Club celebrate that event in some way or another at our meeting on the 2nd of June. Everyone was in favour of that but no responsibilities were established.
  • IPP Jim suggested that we widen our net for areas to deploy this year's Santa Sleigh and suggested Denny. Sandy Murrison entered a note of caution asking everyone to ensure that the support was there before commitments were made.
  • George intimated that Wateraid were having their donations doubled if the money was transferred by some time in February. Treasurer Sandy indicated that there was £326.83 currently laid aside for Wateraid. There was a suggestion that we might augment that from the Trust Fund but no specific decision was made. This will be a topic for discussion at the January Council meeting.

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6th January

We had a very successful meeting today with 17 members present and one guest. The speaker was absolutely fabulous and so was the vote of thanks!

Seriously we had a blether as usual and because Graham Simpson was unable to give us the traditional New Year Message we had to make do with me talking about the St John Scotland Patient Transport Service. Our guest was Derek Watson who is Chairman of the Central Area of St John Scotland. And I was really humbled and grateful for Inglis's Vote of thanks.

I was so engrossed I forgot to take a screen shot.

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9th December

Today there were only 9 of us but it was nonetheless interesting. President Narek and Secretary June were both missed and the only two apologies noted.


President elect Linda chaired the meeting and began by referring to the many positive responses that had been received from our guests at the Grange Manor last week.

Mary still needs elves for the 22nd December at Tesco in Redding with the Santa Sleigh. She however thanked everyone for the marvellous reponse to her plea for sweets. She now has enough to go round.

The detail regarding delivery and deployment of the Sleigh and District Gazebo was discussed at length and all is now regarded as complete.

Linda reminded everyone that the Distrct election for DGN for the year following Narek is still open and asked that as many members as possible access the candidates' presentations and inform either Narek or June which way they would like the Club to vote. The election for DGN 2022/23 was successfully launched on Sunday 28 November and close at 12 noon on Friday 17th December 2021. You can access the candidates presentations here : -

https://www.rotary-ribi.org/districts/page.php?PgID=857938&DistrictNo=1020

Just copy it into your browser.

Lots of chat about Covid and Lateral Flow tests followed and the meeting closed at 2.00pm.

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2nd December

We had a super Christmas Lunch yesterday at the Grange Manor Hotel. There were 22 members present and they had with them 37 guests.

The meal was super, the service great the entertainment in the form of Ian Scott hilarious and educational at the same time. What more could you ask? The annual free raffles were won by the Treasurer and the Secretary amid crys of "FIX" and George's raffle for a bottle of Malt whisky which raised £486 was won by Judy Johnston. All in all a successful outcome I'd say.

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26th November 2021

We had our SGM on Thursday with 16 members present.

All of the agenda items were completed successfully: -

1.       elect the President for the next year but one - LInda Noble

2.       elect the Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer for the next Rotary year David Wheelr, June McAlpine & Sandy McGill

3.    elect the Voting Delegates and their deputies to the next RIBI Conference. The number of delegates depends on the numbers declared for capitation as at 1 July and is calculated as for the District Council. - President and Secretary

4.       Approve Accounts for previous year. Approved unanimously

5.       Elect the Foundation Chair for the next Rotary year. Andrew NIven

President Narek drew everyone's attention to the fact that the same members of Council had served for the last 5 or 6 years and expressed the desire to have other members of the Club involved in the running of the Club. To this end he suggested that other members should step up to the mark and volunteer to serve on Council. It was, he thought, a good idea to have at least one other member of Council, without portfolio, as it were in order to assist in this procedure. He went on to thank those members who had so diligently served the Club over that time.

Robert Craig volunteered to follow up the matter of a joint venture with the Club from the Netherlands and the Local Schools by investigating the position in relation to Defibrillators in the Local High Schools. Sandy McGill had replied to the Netherlands Club indicating that this was something that might interest them. He had received an enthusiastic response.

Unfortunately I had to leave the meeting at that point. I had an appointment with a garage roof! The minute, however, will in due course be posted in the members only area.

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18th November 2021

We had a great meeting today! We had 18 members prsent - in person - and three virtually.e also had the pleasure of the company of the District Governor.

Prsident Narek opened the meeting and asked Mary to let us know how the Santa Sleigh presence at Redding Tesco was progressing. Mary indicated that everything was in hand and, as we were outside, there wouldn't be the same restriction on numbers being present.

Mary asked everyone for donations of small sweets for handing out to visiting children. If you are in any doubt about what to provide give her a ring.

There were still a few issues with the sound system which President Narek addressed.

The District Governor brought greetings from his own Club, Cumbernauld, and the District team. He continued by thanking our Club for the continued support of Foundation and End Polio Now which far exceeded the expected norm.

He presented Narek with a "President's pin" and an acknowledgement of his successful election to the post of District Governer Nominee.

Ken then spoke enthusiastically about SMILE! Five words that epitomised his understanding of what Rotary was: -

  • Service
  • Membership
  • Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • E - I missed that one
LInda Noble delivered an admirable vote of thanks.
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11th November 2021

I wasn't able to go to yesterday's meeting even although it was on Zoom. WE had my brother nad sister for lunch and I don't often get a chance to see them. Sorry but I have said often "Family first, then work and then Rotary!"

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4th November 2021

Yesterday’s meeting at the Park Hotel was supremely successful. There were, sadly, only 17 of us present (with two on Zoom) but it was great to be back again.

President Narek began by praising the content of the conference at Westerwood. He went on to elaborate on the progress being made with the Sleigh. Two dates (19 & 22 Dec) had been arranged by Mary at Tesco in Redding. There would be no need for a Sleigh in the High Street but we have been offered a date in the Howgate for a collection. Sandy McGill will organise that. He went on to tell the Club about the partnership with the Netherlands Club providing defibrillators to the local Schools in conjunction with possible Foundation grants.

The Rotary Jaipur Limb initiative, so ably administered by Ian Rule for so long is being resurrected at District.

Stewart updated the Club on the situation with the Station tubs and High Street planters. He now has 6 teams of two to attend to the Stations and we no longer require to do anything in the High Street.

President Elect Linda intimated that she had 43 signed up for the Christmas Lunch and would be emailing the details soon.

Sandy McGill intimated that he had visited Raymond and established that he was well but was having issues with his medication. He passed on the members' best wishes to Raymond as had been asked.

Before ending this part of the meeting, Gordon’s motion to meet twice a month was put to a vote and it was agreed that we would henceforth meet on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The hybrid nature of the meeting will continue meantime and was much more successful today.

President Narek then introduced the speaker, David Reid. He was born and brought up in Stenhousemuir and educated at Stenhousemuir Primary School, Larbert High School and Napier University. He trained and worked as a Civil Engineer in transport. For a while he worked in the same company as Jim Cairns but somehow managed to survive that ordeal and is now a consultant with his own business in Falkirk.

He is married with one son who is currently attending Napier University and he plays golf occasionally.

He is a Past Chairman of Stenhousemuir Football Club and currently Vice Chair.

David proceeded to talk about the Stenhousemuir Football Club Community Initiative. He had been associated with Stenhousemuir Football Club since he was a ball boy at the age of eight and joined the Board at 21. The Club had always been Community minded but the pandemic had made them realise that there was much more to be done.

David, eloquently and enthusiastically explained how the project had over the past 18 months “grown arms and legs” and included setting up a help line, befriending, Shopping, dog walking, collecting prescriptions, provision of meals (200-300 per week) and the setting up of a library. This was provided to 200 households by 300 odd volunteers.

He modestly pointed out that this was “people looking after people” and vowed to continue the initiative long after Covid becomes a memory.

Harry Johnston reminisced about his connection s with Stenhousemuir in a fitting vote of thanks.

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28th October 2021

While we had no speaker today, it was a productive meeting. There were 12 of us present on Zoom and Anne Watson joined us later.

President Narek spoke about the Conference at the weekend and praised the organiation of the event. Speakers, he said, were inspirational and included talks on, Childrens' panel, Mental Health, Amputees, Children of Chernobyl and Poverty & unemployment.

He then went on to talk about the Pilgrimage stopover in the Helix yesterday where 5 of us were present along with Schoolchildren who had participated in the Poster Competition, FDAMH Choir, Quakers, Soroptimists parents and teachers. More detail on yesterday's "Keep in touch"

A Club in the Netherlands had approached us and asked to partner with them in an "Educational" initiative in our area. It was agreed that we would investigate the possibility of providing the local Schools with Defibrillators in partnership with them.

The "Train Tubs" have been removed from the platforms at Grahamston. But Stewart has 12 members willing to continue servicing the remainder. The High street beds have been stripped by the Council and we no longer have the opportunity to service these.

There will be a meeting in the Offices of ASC on Monday to discuss the way forward for the Santa Sleigh currently in Store in Laurieston.

George Honeyman encouraged us all to view "My Kind of Town" on catchup.

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21st October 2021

There were 13 of us present today plus Charity Watters our speaker.

President Narek was unable to be here today but handed the reins over to President elect LInda. After the usual banter while we gathered Bill updated us on the arrangements for the COP26 Event Helix Park Wednesday 27 October 2021. Given the event is planned to promote the Climate Change Conference there is likely to be no limit on numbers. From Rotary there will be Linda Noble, who has the laminated posters for the pupils to hold up, Nancy Rule, Mary Sneddon and Bill Laurie.

Timing and Parking he suggested that we assemble near the Peace Pole no later than 3.15pm. Parking in the Helix Park close to the event may be limited and the alternatives are the Kelpies car park, for which there is a charge normally and the Football Stadium which is free with a short walk in.

Programme

• A song from FDAMH choir

• Stitches for Survival - adding panels

• Children with posters from Rotary - move silently to form a circle around the pole facing outwards

• Everyone moves around the Stitches images and the posters in silence

• We all form a circle around the pole with the images inside the circle

• Share a few things we have seen on the walk that day - v. short thoughts (some people prepped on the day, but others could share as they are lead) • A bit more silence

• Some shared words (I think somebody is putting together a few words to share at the beginning and end of each day's walking)

• Second song from FDAMH to finish.

Bill reminded us that Alice Ohlstenius’ poster was selected as one of two submitted to COP26 for display during the Conference

President Elect Linda went on to advise us that she had booked the Grange Manor Hotel for Christmas Dinner on the 2nd December. She would arrange for the Club to be polled in  order to establish numbers who wished to be in attendance in the usual fashion.

Charity Watters from Global Family Care Network based in the old St james Church in Thornhill road spoke to us about the work of the Charity.

Ms Watters began by explaining that the Charity was a world wide Non-profit Organisation taking an evidence-based approach to prevent, and intercept children form, trafficking and systematic abuse and provide them with long term and family-based care.

She went on to highlight the plight of the Falkirk area in terms of the fact that domestic abuse, inequality, drug-related death, suicide, and prevalence of youth alcohism in the area were higher than the National average.

Her goal was to establish a "Girls' Club" with a view to engage with local volunteers to promote and invest in sustainable positive social change, Provide mentorship and support to girls by creating a safe and secure space that promotes healthy relationships and personal growth and prevent, and protect girls from, abuse.

George Honeyman offered the Club's Vote of thanks in his own inimitable fashion.

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14th October 2021

I was unable to attend this weeks meeting but June has let me have the following: -

Key points were: -
Xmas lunch set for 2nd december.  Linda to liaise with Sandy re venue etc
Station planters : - Stewart has now nearly the 6 teams of 2 that he requires to maintain both stations.
High St planters; - these have been completely cleared by the council, including the fruit trees that we planted.  A letter is to be written to the council to ask if they still want Rotary involved in their upkeep
Remembrance Sunday: - Narek, June and June's husband who is an army veteran will be in attendance
Santa's Sleigh: - small working group has been formed to progress where the sleigh will be sited for fundraising purposes.

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7th October  2021

Well that was the second of our return to face to face meetings. We had 6 members attending via Zoom and 11 in physical attendance. It is obvious that we will have to totally revise our systems if we are to continue meeting face to face successfully. Everyone is so used to the way that we have been operating in the past that the constraints of the present leave us all a wee bit bewildered.

For instance, the hotel staff will now take orders on a one by one basis and there will be no need to mark up the menu when you arrive.

Nonetheless we were treated to a marvellous presentation by Geoff Bailey reknowned local archeologist and raconteur, on the Architecture of James Callendar in Falkirk. He had actually given the address before on Zoom but I for one appreciated it much more in the presence of the man.

This was also the first meeting where we were able to pay by card on the Club's card reader. That is once I got the hang of how to use it. The notion was that by using the reader there would be much less risk of infection by handling cash. Only four members however chose to use the facility.

We had some difficulty with the level of sound being received by the Zoom attendees, but apart from that the hybrid meeting seemed to work very well.

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30th September 2021

I seem to have missed two weeks! Today we had 14 members and one visiting Inner Wheeler, Anne Watson. We had a short chat as everyone assembled and we heard of George's visit to Glasgow. His return to Glasgow Queen Street was marred by a 50p charge for use of the Toilet facilities but more than made up for by the string quartet in the Glen Lee (The tall ship at the Transport Museum) playing themes from the movies.

Once everyone was comfortable President Narek expanded on the role of the District and the Club in the Jaipur Limb project. He then went on to update everyone on the content of yesterday's Council meeting: -

  • The fine tuning of the IT and PA systems during our hybrid meetings.
  • Andrew asked if the RotaKids could do something for World Polio Day in the realms of Purple Pinkie. Linda N undertook to set the wheels in motion.
  • An email from Graeme High School requesting assistance in installing a defibrillator in the School. - This was seen as an opportunity for the Club to be seen as being actively involved in the Community and it is hoped that something can be done involving all of the High Schools.
  • Christmas lunch arrangements (See the latest Rotary Calling)
  • Email from St James Church in Thornhill Road asking for partnership. Speaker to address the Club o 21st October.
Mary asked if we would be organising a Swimarathon in 2022. David replied that his team are keen to do it again and he was given the green light to proceed as before.
Ausat spoke of his involvement in the "Kiltwalk" you can donate to his page here: -
https://fundraising.thekiltwalk.co.uk/fundraising/ScotlandsKiltwalk2021-AusatSyed

Narek's nomination for District Governor Nominee was discussed at length and was given the support of the Club.

David Wheeler noted that Grangemouth Club would be holding a Wine Tasting on 29th of October. all visitors would be welcome. Probably best to talk to David or Andrew Wilson if you intend going.

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9th September 2021

Our first face to face meeting in 18 months!I unfortunately was unable to attend in person and it never occurred to me to join by Zoom but President Narek has this to say: -

The meeting went well. We will need to tune the use of technology so the sound of the speaker or participants via zoom is better heard. 

As for the business part, the participants unanimously agreed that going forward we will: -

  • Have one face-to-face meeting once a month. These face-to-face meetings will continue to operate on a hybrid model to allow other Rotarians and speakers to join in. During every face-to-face meeting we will review the situation with the Covid cases, booster jabs, level of infections etc, and agree whether to retain, reduce or increase the number of face-to-face meetings per month.
  • We will continue with the weekly zoom meetings when we are not meeting face-to-face
  • We will continue with the practice of inviting speakers twice a month to attend our Zoom and/or Face-to-face meetings (in person or via zoom)
  • George will circulate the End Polio Now Christmas Card request form and collect orders from club members on 23 Sep.

===========================================================

2nd September 2021

There were 14 members present today.

Nathan our prospective member joined us.  Narek explained the meeting format pre COVID and that the face to face meetings will be similar. 
President Narek asked all present to consider how our meetings, moving forward, would be conducted given the current increase in cases.  Should they be weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Should they be a hybrid type meeting or only via zoom. He asked us to think with our heads and not hearts. 
Ian McLean outlined what other clubs in the area are doing and no clubs are meeting weekly.  Narek is going to bring a contactless thermometer to the meeting to check the members temperature prior to joining the meeting.
Linda raised the point about still making a donation to the childrens Xmas party that the golf club runs for the disadvantaged children in the Camelon area.  The Carmuirs golf club was one of the two choices for us resuming our face to face meetings.  As the club had been more than helpful Linda felt that it would be a nice gesture to make a donation.  This is to be put to the club next week.
Satellite club in the Braes area: - this was something that Ian was keen to pursue.  Ian is to send President Narek details to allow an application for funding to be made to District.
 An additional two tablets were donated to Town Break to help people with Dementia.  President Narek received an email thanking the club for their donation 
Recovery community: - President Narek updated the members on a recent walk which took place to remember people who have lost loved ones due to addiction..
He then updated the club about the District Council meeting.  This was a hybrid meeting which took place at Peebles.  The proposed merger between 1020 and 1230 district will not go ahead.
Ausat is doing a kilt walk in aid of charity.
George raised the issue of Xmas cards.  Narek to check at District level.
Meeting closed at 2pm

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26th August 2021

There were 14 of us present at the meeting although Sandy Murrison had to leave. He did however stay long enough to register his vote for the poll.

The meeting today marked a milestone insofar as we had a vote on whether or not we would return to the Park Hotel for our regular meeting. There was a unanimous vote in favour of doing so.


Additionally it was decided that we would return to face to face meetings on Thursday 9th September.

We also had a long chat about Saturday's Charities' Day, about the High Street Planters and the Station tubs.

Sandy McGill had got a quotation from the Falkirk Herald for placing an Advertisement. £360 would see us with a month long on-line article (We would have the services of a FH journalist to prepare the article) and we would be able to broadcast a link to that on Facebook. Then £350 would see that same article published half page in one edition of the paper. An application is currently being made to District for a Grant towards ther cost of this and other items such as establishing a Satelite Club, a Rotaract Club at the College and taking on possibly three Corporate members. President Elect Linda was confident that Nathan who visited us recently was going to join us and has other new member possibilities in the pipeline.

There were other things too but I am afraid that I have left it too long to do this and I can't remember what they were. Sorry.

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19th August 2021

Our Club meeting today was fairly well attended considering the time of year, what with holidays and all!

President Narek opened the meeting and welcomed everyone including Nathan McDonald who joined us for the second time. President elect Linda went on to introduce Nathan properly to the members. Nathan is a Consultant Chartered Accountant. He has two teenage Children and while he stays In Falkirk still attends the Church of his choice in Cumbernauld. Rotary’s work with the Community and internationally was what attracted him to us.

The forthcoming Charities’ Day, on Saturday, was discussed at length including Rotas, Provision of coffees courtesy of George Honeyman from TUI, and H&S precautions as outlined by Secretary June.

The attendees then went on to discuss the issues entailed in returning to “face to face” meetings. President Narek indicated that he would produce a discussion document which would highlight the pros and cons of the two remining options 1) staying at the Park Hotel and 2) moving to Carmuirs Golf Club. President Narek will present the case for discussion to Council on Wednesday where it will be debated and Council’s recommendation will be put to a Zoom meeting of the Club next Thursday 26th August. It is therefore imperative that as many members as possible are present next week if this monumental decision is to be debated and the decision be representative of the view of the majority of members.

Jim Cairns asked who would be attending the District Conference at Cumbernauld. President Narek, Jim, and Linda Noble were the only three he knew about. Nancy and Ian indicated that they hoped to be there. Get in touch with Jim if you feel you want to go.

The Recovery Team have now removed all of the “Tools for self-reliance” from the previous storage area. Sandy McGill asked if some photographic record could be obtained along with a transcript of how the tools are to be utilised.

Next Month is “Recovery Month” If you wish to be involved in any of the activities that ASC are organising please contact Narek.

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14th August

I wasn't present at Thursday's meeting but Ian McLean has kindly let me have this: -

PE Linda opened meeting with a warm welcome to all 14 Rotarians.

Linda updated members on our Council’s progress, re- returning to face-to-face meetings at either the Park Hotel or Falkirk Carmuirs GC. No decision has been made, but it is planned that we should attempt to consider a date in early Sept. Linda emphasized that we must be compliant as reported by RGB&I, ie Zoom arrangements to be put in place for those who are, at present, not convinced about face-to-face meetings.

Linda is in the process of meeting with a potential Rotarian who has joined us in previous Zoom meetings.

Philip Hacking’s presentation :

Philip introduced his presentation by summarizing his working life to date. He qualified as a Social Worker through his studies at Moray House College of Education after which he worked for 28 years in the Borders, West  Lothian, Fife and Edinburgh. Latterly, he felt that he needed a change in work and applied for a position at St Columbus Hospice, Edinburgh where he eventually became attracted to Chaplaincy. He has worked with NHS Forth Valley for over 20 years in Chaplaincy and he emphasizes that he is still learning.

He ended his talk with the line: -

“The most powerful way to connect with someone in need of help and support is to just listen!”

The complete transcript of Philip's address is available here.

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6th August: -

Our meeting yesterday was sparsely attended as is normal for this time of year.


With President Narek being on holiday President Elect Linda was in the chair. She began by lamenting the passing of Robin Johnston. She asked Sandy McGill to say a few words. Sandy had followed Robin as President in 1998 and he and Diane had become firm friends with Robin and Judy. What follows is a synopsis of what Sandy had to say: -

It was with great sadness that I learned today of the death of Robin Johnston. Judy phoned about 10.00 o’clock to let me know and asked if I would in turn let you all know. Robin had been fighting a rare blood disease valiantly for the best part of 4 or 5 years and succumbed eventually this morning at 06.00.

When he first told me about his predicament he said that he had been given 2 years. He managed to double that at least. When President Narek and I visited to invest him as an honorary member he was not the strapping man that he had been. Both he and Judy joked that he was like the child in the folk song Ali Bali Bee “a pickle o’ banes covered ower wi’ skin.”. That’s the way that they dealt with this. Always totally pragmatic.

Robin joined the Rotary Club of Falkirk in 1988 having been a stalwart member of Round Table before that. Until he fell ill Robin was also a well respected Skipper with The Seagull Trust at Falkirk having introduced both Andrew and myself to the Charity.

During his 33 years in the Club Robin was always present and had served in all three of the executive capacities of President, Secretary and Treasurer. The first Rotarian in the Club’s 95 year history to have done so.

He will be sadly missed not only as a good friend but also as a sage advisor on anything to do with Rotary.

Sandy then went on to ask that everyone observe a few moments silence to reflect upon and remember the Robin that each knew.

Stewart, when asked by Linda, then spoke about the Station tubs and High Street Planters. He felt that considering the time of year it would be better to wait and prepare them for winter. He was still in the admin process along with President Narek and Scotrail.

Stewart also pressed home the need for more bottles for the Charities Day Bottle Stall. He had been steadily collecting quality produce but would still like to collect about another 50 or 60 bottles. Those present acknowledged this. Those of you who were not present but are reading this are entreated to do what you can to help Stewart.

Linda expressed her exasperation at communications with the Park Hotel in relation to when we might be able to return. Investigation of an alternative venue at Carmuirs Golf Club was now complete. It was likely that this would be confirmed to the next Council meeting and after discussion with the Park Hotel the matter will be put before the Club.

Sandy had noticed a "Wishing Well" placed at Caulders' Garden Centre in Cumbernauld by Cumbernauld Rotary Club. He thought that we could do something similar. Robert Craig had suggested The Wheel as a location. George Honeyman noted that there was no facility for less ambulant people in the way of wheelchairs at The Wheel. (The comic side of that had eluded me until now!) It was decided to discuss the possibilities at the next Council Meeting.

After some amusing exchanges among the members present (Featuring images of George on a Segway) the meeting closed at 13.55

=====================================================================

29th July: -

President Narek is on holiday so President elect Linda took today’s meeting. There were 15 members present and two visitors in the shape of Anne Watson and Nathan McDonald. Nathan had contacted us through the web site expressing his interest in the Club and Sandy McGill had invited him along to today’s meeting.

President elect Linda made the usual introductions while making reference to the birth of Sophie Robertson’s baby and Margaret Johnston’s funeral.

Nancy Rule intimated that the tools had been uplifted from the farmer and taken to the storage unit previously reported.

Stewart Ross reminded everyone that he was actively recruiting for the Charities Day stall both in terms of people and bottles.

George Honeyman confirmed that we would have an adjacent stall there collecting money for Sightsavers and Wateraid.

President elect Linda went on to introduce the speaker for the day. Carlos Rodriguez is  43. He was born in Paisley to a Galician father and Irish mother. He spent most of his adult life as a software developer who built globally using software for companies like Vodafone, Clydesdale Bank, Lloyds Bank and Ford Motor Company. He delighted in the fact that Luke Perry was his brother in law’s brother in law. Carlos has been legally blind from birth but was able to hide the fact to most employers and people. As he approached middle age his vision got worse...

Carlos explained during his talk how his vision had become so impaired that it had forced him to drastically change his life. His mental and physical health deteriorated and at its worst he suffered from depression and weighed 27 stone. He went on to explain in detail how dogs, at Guide Dogs, were matched with their charges and how he finally ended up with “Marine” a beautiful Golden Labrador bitch. His 20k walks every day exercising himself and Marine have him down to 15 stone and in a much happier place.

Tom Curry was not well enough to attend so Bill Laurie offered the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the club. Carlos expressed his appreciation of that and offered to come back when we were meeting in person so that we could all meet Marine in the flesh.

The meeting closed at 2.00pm.

================================================================

23rd July: -

We had a good and productive, if small, Zoom meeting yesterday which seemed to reflect the nature of our regular meetings at this time of year. Most of us being on holiday! The sad thing is that Zoom meetings are not geographically constrained and you can still join in even when you are not at home!

President Narek began by speaking about the sad passing of Margaret Johnston. He expressed the Club's sympathies and indicated that all of our thoughts would be with Richard the following day. He had emailed Richard earlier to the same effect.

After the usual introductions and intimations by President Narek Bill updated us on RYLA. It would appear that only one girl from Young Carers was prepared to join in with the “virtual” RYLA and since she was keen to have company the whole thing has fallen through for this year.

Bill went on to talk about speakers at our meetings and asked that members contact him with suggested speakers or indeed topics. Narek suggested that he could deliver a talk on the Culture of Islam. This was warmly received.

President Narek will be on holiday over the next three weeks during which time President Elect Linda would host the meetings. Sandy will open up the meeting failing which Narek would, and then leave us to conduct the meeting without him.

President Narek went on to encourage all of us to collect bottles for the bottle stall at Charities’ Day in the High Street. As had been said previously it is expected that we will all contribute and either deliver the bottles to Stewart or let him know and he will arrange for someone to collect them. George is keen to have a side stall for Wateraid and Sightsavers but President Narek was unsure whether these arrangements fitted in with the arrangements that Secretary June had made with Falkirk BID. These things are to be ratified sooner rather than later.

The situation with regard to the Station Tubs is on track and anyone with interest in that regard should contact Narek, Stewart or June.

The tools currently stored by the Polmont farmer are now the subject of arrangements for collection and transport to a storage facility that has been identified in Denny. This is likely to take place at the beginning of August.  A cash donation was agreed to be given to the charity that has organised all of this to enable proper selection repair and distribution of the tools.

Sandy McGill outlined, when asked by President Narek, his proposal that an application should be made for a District grant, to which money from the PI budget could be added, in order to place an advertisement / article in the Falkirk Herald about the Club and inviting applications for membership.

President Narek went on to extol the virtues of the St John  Patient Transport Service and encouraged everyone to seek possible volunteers among their friends and family.

Ian Rule’s formidable work in relation to the Rotary Jaipur Limb Centre was acknowledged by President Narek who expressed his keen desire to have that particular discipline kept within the confines of our Club now that Ian was no longer able to continue. Ian McLean echoed that sentiment and felt that there ought to be someone who could fulfil the role.

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15th July: -

At today’s meeting (excuse me I forgot to take a screen shot) we had 13 members present and one guest in the shape of Anne Watson.

President Narek began the meeting by expressing his sadness at the passing of Margaret Johnston. He asked Sandy McGill to relay his condolences and at that, everyone there said “mine too!”

He went on to tell everyone that Ronald seems to be improving and Linda Noble told how she had met Helen in the Supermarket and discovered that there would be no likelihood of Ronald getting home until some mobility aids in the way of wet room, hoists and the like were available at home.

Bill and Linda expressed concern that while they had offered virtual RYLA places to the Young Carers they appear to be “Zoomed Out!” and would far rather be involved with a proper face to face RYLA. More on this later.

President Narek then went on to introduce our speaker Professor Stuart Monro OBE FRSGS FRSE. Stuart, a member, and past President of the Rotary Club of Edinburgh was introduced as the remarkable man that he is, having been involved in the creation of “Dynamic Earth” in Edinburgh as a result of his discipline, Geology, in which he gained a first class honours degree in 1970. THis says nothing about who the man is! I didn't have enough speed or space to list his monumental CV!

Stuart, before beginning his presentation brought the greetings of Edinburgh Club President Olive Geddes to the Club.

He went on at length to tell us about Volcanoes, those that he had actually visited, beginning in Scotland at Edinburgh with Arthur’s Seat and Castle Rock and travelling around the world from Iceland to New Zealand and Hawaii. He illustrated his talk with a  PowerPoint presentation which included, not only some very enlightening information about Tectonic plates and their interaction but, immensely powerful and beautiful photographs and illustrations.




Finally, he ended up back in Scotland again remarking on the amazing Volcanic Geology that we have and pointing out that you could see it all in one small Island – Arran.

Sandy Murrison gave the vote of thanks and left no plaudit undelivered including an approbation of the Professor’s studies in Aberdeen University.

President Narek Concluded the meeting with an intimation that the Tablets mentioned last week had been delivered and a letter of thanks and appreciation received. He anticipates an update on their use.

President Narek is still looking for a storage site for the gardening tools.

Secretary June and Narek are to visit Carmuirs Golf Club for a Risk assessment. It is likely with the numbers that we can bring to a meeting that there will be no charge for the room but that is to be confirmed.

Linda repeated her plea for everyone to involve themselves in the recruitment of new members.

Sandy McGill asked if the Club was of a mind to augment or match the money that RotaKids at Hallglen had raised for Aquafilter. It was unanimously agreed to match the sum and raise it to the next round number. A sum of £300 (including the £128.60 raised by them) was approved by all.

The meeting closed just after 2.00pm.

=================================================================

8th July 2021: -

We had a very productive meeting today. There were only thirteen of us there, sadly, and we missed Mary who had apologised for her absence due to suffering from Migraine.

Linda spoke about her contact with Young Carers as to whether or not they would wish to participate ion a virtual RYLA. Her contact felt that they were aspiring to face to face meeting but would ask the question and get back to her. There was little time for that to happen though.

President Narek showed us photographs of the tools that will be recovered from the Polmont farmer and outlined a number of possible recipients. Some of the tools were usable, some of them were repairable and some were not. Nonetheless there will be a significant requirement for transport and storage and it was agreed that we should donate £500 for these purposes.

President Narek along with June and Andrew had visited the Coppertop with a view to assessing the venue as a possibility for our meetings as proposed by Raymond. It was considered that the nature of the fixed “booth” seating did not lend itself to our weekly meetings.

Secretary June had been in touch with the Park Hotel who had told her that the only “gatherings” that they were catering for at present were Weddings and Funerals. They did not anticipate a return to meetings such as ours for the foreseeable future.

June in her capacity as H&S chair is to assess the suitability of Carmuirs Golf Club who would be in a position to host us from possibly mid August. Council will discuss this and any proposal will be discussed by the Club before any decision is made.

President Narek had been in touch with Scotrail regarding their requirements for us tending to the Station Tubs. They had agreed that their original forms had been unreasonably restrictive and have amended them accordingly. Stewart and Narek will convene to fill out the forms and have them returned.

Charities Day is to be on the 21st August. June has information from the organisers regarding H&S in relation to the pandemic and all is ready with the exception of us accumulating as many bottles as we can. 

MAKE A COLLECTION OF BOTTLES YOURSELF

AND

CONTACT STEWART WHO WILL ARRANGE TO HAVE THEM COLLECTED.

President Narek applied for and received from District two Amazon Fire 7 tablets which, it was agreed, would be donated to the Charity “Townbreak” who provide a service to people living with dementia in the absence of statutory provision.

Jim Cairns who is now involved with Newsline as their treasurer asked if anyone wished to be a “Reader” when the organisation started back again would they please contact him. Provisions are being made to limit the numbers attending recording sessions and to make the space safe for those who are present.

President Elect Linda then spoke about membership and stressed that the issue was one that concerned us all. She and George had had a very informative meeting with Jim Snedden regarding the barriers that he saw to be extant preventing his joining and she seeks to address as many of these as possible. The current District grants that were available for this were discussed and President Narek encouraged all members to speak to Linda with their ideas. George suggested that Ausat may be a conduit to contacting the Asian community in the area with the possibility of building a membership that better reflects the demographic of the community in which we live.


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'What We Do' Main Pages:

To celebrate World Polio Day on the 24th October we are lighting Falkirk Purple

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A list of all of the Club Committee Activities

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The six Schools who participated in the Primary Schools Quiz at Carmuirs Primary School in Camelon.

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After nearly two years! Here we go!

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Beginning to look like they should! Just the buffers to go! Many thanks to Andrew who removed the old buffers this morning.

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Bits and pieces to keep us interested

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View the Club's newsletter for:

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President Jim and Liz Crawford from St John Scotland presented a defibrillator to the Falkirk Wheel today (25th May)

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Park Hotel

A short minute of what happened at our weekly meetings

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The people who gave up their time to speak to us on a variety of interesting topics

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