January 2024

January was a relatively quiet month for Rotary activity. There were no planned events or public fund-raising activities, and the weather discouraged most outdoor ventures, although the weekly rambling group did manage outings at Muirkirk and Auchinleck Estate.

9 January

Our first formal meeting of the New Year was held in the Dumfries Arms Hotel. Seven members and a potential member attended to enjoy a meal, and catch up on the plans already agreed to in outline.

The Joint Burns Night with Loudoun Rotary has been confirmed for 20 February with Loudoun as hosts.

Our Ladies Day event will be held on 24 March in the Cumnock Juniors clubhouse, and our involvement in the Scotland wide “Kilt Walk” on 28 April has been confirmed. Bill Gates and Sir Tom Hunter are both supporting the “Kilt Walkers” efforts by adding contributions to the overall sum raised.

President Jim Kyle reported that he had “assisted” Santa Claus on 4 different days at the Honeypot Respite Centre with different groups of young carers. 

Past President Gerald Alexander reported on another of the new meetings of the Ayrshire group of clubs, and indicated that Hazel McCully, Assistant District Governor, was keen to attend one of our meetings in the near future.

The club raffle was won by potential new member, Su Dutta.

23 January

Our attendance was 10, with further updates and discussion on upcoming events and activities.

A Quiz Night has been scheduled for Friday 1 March.

Arrangements for those attending the Burns Night are under way with payments and meal choices settled in advance.

Our club’s involvement in the “Kilt Walk” will have the Honeypot Respite Centre as our registered beneficiary.

There was some discussion on the possible revival of the Interact Club at the new Robert Burns Academy, but there were doubts about the level of support from school staff, without which the scheme would not work.

Members were reminded that we need to support the “End Polio Now” campaign with a donation each year.

Members were delighted to welcome the induction of Su Dutta as a new member of Rotary International, officiated by President Jim and Secretary Dave.

The club raffle was won by Jim Kyle.

22:05, 05 Feb 2024 by David Perriman

2 December

This was our first concerted effort at the Netherthird Community Fair.   We had the usual variety of goodies on the table as prizes, each marked with a ticket number ending in 0 or 5.   But our secretary Dave Perriman had discovered a new way to “sell” the tickets.

Gone were the variety of books with different colours of raffle tickets to be sold singly or in strips of 5, then to be carefully separated and folded up and put in a pail, and then offered to customers to select in a lucky dip.   This laborious system was replaced by an iPad programmed to select numbers at random, and the participants could press the button to start the process.   Simples!   Modern, new technology, more interactive and more appealing to the younger generation(s) – and quicker! We were able to finish earlier, helped in the latter stages by giving winners the choice of prizes, and selling “job lots”  to help clear the deck!

8 December

The club was well represented by members at the funeral of Dee Dutta who had joined the club in 2021.   Sadly Dee’s time with the club had been affected by ill health, and he had not been able to make the contribution he was capable of and would have wanted to do.   He will be sadly missed.

12 December

We had an attendance of 17 for our Christmas meeting, including three guests – Sue Dutta, Effie and Alison McGhee.

After an excellent meal, we had invited Reverend John Paterson to give his thoughts on the Christmas message.   He said that it was natural at this time of year to be excited and enthusiastic about the holiday and looking forward to the celebrations, feasting, social outings and presents, but it was also a time to think of others.   Giving as well as receiving was so central to the spirit of Christmas.   He commended the ethos of the Rotary movement- Service above Self.

He was thanked for his comments and President Jim Kyle reminded members that this year’s main charity being supported by this club, the Honeypot Respite Centre for young carers, was also now being supported by one or two other Rotary clubs in the Ayrshire group., and that the money we raise would be doubled by a “mystery donor”.

We then proceeded to the club raffles.   There was a special prize which had been donated to the club and was restricted to members who put in £5 each.   The prize was won by Jim Kyle.

Other prizes had been donated by all members and raffle tickets were on sale to everyone.   There were 9 or 10 happy winners on the night.

After the conclusion of the meeting, those attending were able to relax and socialise with others.   An enjoyable evening to see out 2023.

10:42, 09 Jan 2024 by David Perriman

14 November

Tonight we had an attendance of 11.   Arrangements were confirmed for the Christmas Fair in the Town Hall, Cumnock on Saturday 18 November.   Provisional arrangements were reported for a Ladies Day/Evening on Sunday 24 March 2024.

The club raffle winner tonight was Gerald Alexander.   

Our speaker tonight was Charles Sim, on the theme of Fair Trade in the Chocolate Industry.   He described the work of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, which has as its principle the concept of equal chances for businesses and workers across the world, but especially in developing countries like Malawi.   He pointed to the way in which developed countries had exploited the natural resources of less developed countries  many of which had been colonies of mainly European countries in their Empire building days.   Although most of the former colonies are independent now, they still don’t operate on a level playing field.   He praised the work of the Cooperative movement in the United Kingdom in challenging unfair practices.

Our speaker answered a series of questions and comments from those in attendance, and “helped the lesson go down” with the distribution of free samples of chocolate, including well known brands.

28 November

This was a normal business meeting with an attendance of 10.   John Mould, who has been a regular member of the club’s rambling group for a year or two, and who had been attending as a guest at the last three meetings of the club in the Dumfries Arms Hotel, was inducted into membership of Rotary and was warmly welcomed by President Jim Kyle and fellow members.

A brief report was given on our involvement in the Christmas Fair on Saturday 18 November in the Cumnock town Hall.   This was our first involvement in an inside venue (in previous years the Fair had been outdoors in the Cumnock Town Square).   Our stall was well placed to attract custom and the prizes on the table were gratefully received by owners of winning tickets, resulting in over £200 in takings for our designated charity, the Honeypot Respite Centre.

Our President Jim Kyle had an “inside job” with Santa Claus, and seated in the entrance hall persuaded visitors to donate to our chosen charity.   As a result the donations and stall takings amounted to about £480 towards the charity.   

Arrangements for our final meeting of the year 2023  were announced and agreed.

The club raffle this evening was won by John Swanson.

10:40, 09 Jan 2024 by David Perriman

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