Rotary Year 2020/21

Frank Williamson reflects on serving as Club President during 2020/21

Supporting the Community

Having previously been president of the Thornhill Rotary Club, I was happy and relaxed to be invited as President of my new club in Dalbeattie. I understood the basic requirements of being President, and was looking forward to taking up the role. But then there were two things I had never heard of which were going to completely change my Rotary year.  
First was COVID 19 which meant that public meetings, at one point, were stopped altogether and , when allowed, could only take place within strict guidelines and social distancing rules. The net result being that I didn’t have any face to face, indoor meetings, in my entire year. 
Second was ZOOM. You could say that Zoom saved Rotary. I believe many clubs would have faded away (some did anyway) if Zoom had not given us an alternative and safe way of meeting each week. 
Zoom also brought an unexpected benefit in the form of very high attendance figures - sometimes at 100%! It also gave us the opportunity to invite speakers from outside our immediate location including as far away as Africa. I attended two Rotary meetings, via Zoom, on this continent. 
Much thanks to Ian Lumsden for, expertly, organising this new format. One final comment on Zoom - it created its very own catch phrase of “You need to unmute!” 
Despite the Pandemic, we were able to do a few outside presentations/photo opportunities which made for a pleasant change from looking at a computer screen. I particularly enjoyed presenting the Rotary COVID “Thank You” Certificates to the many volunteers who had gone above and beyond to help others during that difficult lock down period. Then the laying of the wreath (alone due to COVID) at the Dalbeattie War Memorial and the presentation of the cheque to Dalbeattie Playgroup to help with new premises. 
At the beginning of year I felt that holding the line would be the best we could do but by the end I was surprised to see how much the club had achieved despite the confines of COVID19 . I list below some that come to mind in no particular order: 
Additional member to the club (Margaret Boyd) 
Contribution to the Beirut Disaster Fund. 
Planting of 4,000 crocus bulbs. 
Trip to Arran to support Douglas Kerr’s 93 Islands Initiative. 
Excellent Christmas Party and Burns Supper on Zoom (much thanks to Douglas Irving) 
Funding to: 
   Palnackie Village Shop LTD for refurbishment and IT provision. 
   Dalbeattie Bowling Club for lawn mower. 
   Dalbeattie Play Group for new premises. 
   Hard Rock Challenge. 
   Dalbeattie Community Initiative Shop. 
   Palnackie Village Hall to improve access. 
   Baby Massage Training. 
   Support for Kupata Project. 
7 Amazon Fire Tablets supplied to local care homes for use with dementia sufferers. 
Solway Sportive which, unfortunately, had to be delayed into 2022. 
Peace Initiative. 
Dalbeattie Primary Schools Eco Green Flag and Easter competition. 
On-line Mock Interviews. 
Support for Castle Douglas’s Botswana Project. 
Young Writer Competition.(much thanks to Grace Kelly) 
Pupil Support for those disadvantaged by lockdown restrictions. 
Refurbishment of Garden of Remembrance. 
28 Shoeboxes. 
Wreath Laying at War Memorial. 
Preparation of Wateraid walk. 
Joint meetings with Castle Douglas Rotary Club. 
Voucher for Kids In Auction. 
COVID 19 Certificates. 
Appointment of Press Officer (much thanks to Robert Kennedy) 
The above list of actions could only happen with the support of all club members and a truly talented and hardworking group of Council Members in the form of: 
Fraser Sanderson 
Hamish Biggar 
Ian Lumsden 
Gordon Cathro 
David Butler 
Jag Patel 
Douglas Irving 
John Rowland 
The baton is now handed to Douglas Irving who is doing an excellent job of steering our club back into real Face to Face meetings. 
It was my great pleasure to serve as President. 

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Dalbeattie War Memorial, erected in 1921

Dalbeattie Rotary Club donated £1,000 towards the £5,000 renovation costs of the Dalbeattie War Memorial

Chain Handover

Dalbeattie Club Presidential Chain Handover on 24 June 2021. Frank Williamson, Club President 2020/2021, hands over to Douglas Irving, new Club President 2021/2022.

Dumfries Rotary Club President introduces  
Keynote Lunch Speaker Dame Barbara Kelly

Dalbeattie Rotary Club at the Centenary Lunch hosted by Dumfries Rotary Club on Friday 5 November 2021

Skeoch Car, manufactured in Dalbeattie in the 1920’s

Dalbeattie Rotary Club donated £5,000 towards the construction costs of a re-make of the Skeoch Car


Dalbeattie Club Presidential Chain Handover on 24 June 2021. Frank Williamson, Club President 2020/2021, hands over to Douglas Irving, new Club President 2021/2022.

Conference Hall

Report from Rotary President Douglas Irving from the Rotary District 1020 District Conference 23/24 October 2021

Dalbeattie Allotments

President Douglas visits the impressive and sizeable Dalbeattie Allotments during their Open Day

Douglas and Fraser joined the online Zoom meeting.

Report on Rotary District 1020 Hybrid Annual General Meeting Held at Mercure Hotel, Livingston, 27 November 2021 and online.

The bikers before the start!

Celebrations of 40 years of Dalbeattie Rotary Club

For the entirety of our Rotary Year 2020 – 2021, our then President Frank Williamson ably presided at all our regular Thursday evening meetings on Zoom.  Another Past President, Ian Lumsden, acted as host throughout the year, and still does, and faci

For the entirety of our Rotary Year 2020 – 2021 our regular Thursday evening meetings have been online on Zoom.

Beth and Georgia raise the Peace flag outside Dalbeattie Learning Campus

Dalbeattie High School has become only the second school in Scotland to be awarded the Rotary Blue Flag of Peace

Supporting the Community

Frank Williamson reflects on serving as Club President during 2020/21