The speaker's topic tonight was "Owl Magic". Tracy operates a "reserve" in the Stevenston area which has become a sanctuary for 58 birds. They are all human imprinted, which means that they will not fly away when released. Tracy takes one or two birds at a time to schools, community groups and Gala Days to demonstrate their skills. All the birds are ringed and their home base is a big barn on a friendly farmer's patch. They will be on display at the Mauchline Holy Fair.
Our club raffle was won by Jim Liddell. Our attendance was 10.
We were pleased to welcome 2 visiting Rotarians from Kilmarnock Rotary Club, which increased our attendance to 11.
Arrangements were discussed for the Mauchline Holy Fair. The stall will consist of a variety of "goodies" to be won if raffle tickets bought ended in a 0 or a 5. The goodies consisted of some donated items, some bought items and some left over from previous outings (including Rotary pens). Members agreed to work in 2 hour shifts.
Secretary Dave has set up a new website for the club which should make two-way communications better. He used the occasion to demonstrate on the hotel's screen the layout and benefits of the site and how to access it. Individual assistance was offered to (and gratefully accepted by) one or two members who were less confident in the operational technicalities.
Agnes Cowan informed us that the weekly rambles had now been operating for 2 years, and estimated that the distance covered would have been in the region of 85 miles. Well done, walkers - and well done Agnes for coming up with the idea. The club raffle was won by Freda (one of our visitors!).
This was the day of the Mauchline Holy Fair and after our experience last year we made some changes to our stall. We were in the same area but we had a bigger and better variety of items as prizes, a more orderly layout on the table making it easier to find matching numbers of the raffle tickets, a simpler ticket sale system, and a rota of members on stall duty. Some of the main organisers were there on hand most or all of the day, but others helped out on two hour shifts.
The weather was good, custom was good, there was no loudhailer next to us (as last year!), and we still have plenty of items for our next outing. Takings were about £600, most of which after costs will go to the Ayrshire Hospice appeal.
We had two speakers at our meeting. The first was the new Assistant Governor for the nine clubs in Ayrshire, Hazel McCully, who had asked to attend our meeting to introduce herself. Under the new Distict format, from July this year, there are now to be only 2 districts, instead of 3, in Scotland. Some changes in practice and procedures are inevitable, and it is hoped to accommodate all clubs’ views and wishes.
Our main speaker was Eddie Fraser, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council. He had been involved in local authority services for most of his working life, first in Glasgow under the Strathclyde Regional Council and then after reorganisation the East Ayrshire Council. His main background was in Social Work and Social Health Care until he replaced Fiona Lees as Chief Executive when she retired.
He highlighted some of the wide ranging responsibilities and challenges facing local authorities, with an ageing population, fewer young people, fewer workers and ever increasing demands on the services. He spoke briefly about apprentice-ships, social care in house, the deposit return scheme, council housing, Roads Alliance, and during questions he ackowledged the problems of the provision of new and adequate school premises.
Our attendance was 9 and our club raffle was won by Dave Perriman.