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President Mike Dow introduced Dr Ian Smith, of St Andrews University Economics Department. He, in turn, introduced two University students who had been instrumental since September 2021 in a survey and research on the purposes and running of Rotary, both in the UK and globally.
First up was 2nd year Spanish student Zoe Bremner, who outlined the methods in which the survey had first looked at the history of the Rotary Club of St Andrews, then the founding of the Kilrymont Club.
Zoe and her colleagues had found that these two clubs – and others – were equally impressive in “putting service before self”, which is an intrinsic part of the Rotary philosophy.
Members of other UK clubs were interviewed to determine the variety of meetings and projects which are involved.
One in particular stood out – Buckhaven and Methil Rotary – as they had a rarity value in that the club had a greater number of female than male members.
The formality and otherwise of a mixture of clubs was also investigated. Some had breakfast meetings which are more able to accommodate working persons. Others were inclined to forego full meals in favour of just coffee and biscuits – which helps in reducing personal costs.
Zoe had also spent a year in Valdosta near the Florida border in Georgia, USA, where she attended many meetings of the local club and interviewed almost all of their members.
Amy Taylor, a 4th year Management student, took the floor.
Her presentation centred mainly on the survey section which looked at how Rotary could attract younger retired members and also those who were non-retired.
Locally, could there be greater collaboration between the two St Andrews clubs to increase their image and encourage better publicity for the support of local projects and community support?
In conclusion, Amy noted that the survey questionnaire response from Kilrymont Rotary had been an impressive 84%, greater than any other club.
In proposing a vote of thanks, Jim Allison noted that Amy was about to sit her final exams next week and the Club wished her good luck. All members clearly had been very interested to get such comprehensive feedback from the survey.
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